Neetu Chandra talks about making her Hollywood debut in the upcoming Never Back Down: Revolt
“The typical image of a Hollywood star in a car with a headscarf, big glasses and Pink Floyd in the background was in my head too,” says Neetu Chandra, who is now making her Hollywood debut.
At 19, starring in Garam Masala and receiving a medal from Jackie Chan for representing India at Dan black belt, Neetu Chandra knew one thing for sure: that she never wanted to be just one person. “I love acting, this profession makes me happy, I never wanted a 9 to 5 job,” she says over a call, four days after shooting for her upcoming Never Back Down: Revolt.
The actor, who has given memorable performances in films like Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!, Apartment and 13 B, is also a trained martial artist. “I do it all the time. I do a back-kick to shut doors and I don’t use my hands. I sit at a 180-degree stretch while watching a movie…it is a casual thing for me. Marial arts is a lifestyle,” she adds.
Which is why it does not come as a surprise that Neetu plays Jaya, a fighter kidnapped and forced to compete in underground fights, in the fourth instalment of the Never Back Down series. Ask her about the preparation for the role and Neetu jokes, “We will need two more hours to talk about just the preparation.”
She adopted a vegan diet, polished her martial arts skills and trained for six hours a day to become Jaya. “It was unglamorous, and I loved it,” she says, about her character in the film.
A firm believer of making one’s own opportunities, Neetu introduced herself to the producers of the Hollywood film and showed them her portfolio. The producers immediately offered her the lead role. “If I can go to Hollywood coming from Bihar, anybody can,” she says.
She drew inspiration from her colleagues in the industry who have appeared in Hollywood films. “It is great to see Indians doing so well, it is an inspiration to us all. And I hope I inspire more and more people like I have been inspired by my seniors,” she signs off.