Anya Chalotra’s Parents: Expected Her To Follow A Traditional Career Path

Anya Chalotra is one of the stars of Netflix’s hit show The Witcher. Chalotra plays Yennefer of Vengerberg, the youngest member of the Council of Sorcerers and a powerful magician. Henry Cavill might be the star attraction in the series, but Anya has also proven to be a massive fan favorite. 

The actor of Indian descent marked herself as a future star as a 21-year-old theatre actor. A year later, she landed her first leading role in a television production in BBC’s Wanderlust. Chalotra’s meteoric rise culminated in a role in a major Netflix series. 

Anya celebrates her ethnicity through her red-carpet fashion choices. This piece will look at Anya’s parents. 

Anya’s parents expected her to follow a traditional career path

Anya Chalotra was born on 21st July 1996 to Madan and April Chalotra. Madan is Indian, and April is English. Anya and her siblings, Raeeya and Arun, grew up in South Staffordshire, England.

Growing up as a middle child forced Anya into an attention seeker. She became the household performer, much to the detriment of her siblings. Anya told The Guardian:

“Oh God, my brother. I found a clip the other day where I’d dressed him up as Gareth Gates, because I was obsessed with him from Pop Idol. And another one – he was Peter Pan, my cousin was Wendy, and I have no idea who I was, but I was in a costume and I was bossing them around. I was annoying, more than anything.”

Anya’s parents expected her to follow a ‘traditional’ career based on academics. They hoped she would turn out similar to someone like journalist Anya Sitaram. Chalotra had the brain smarts to pursue an academic career, but she felt more attracted to drama. She explained:

“I had to get into drama school because in my family – I’m very influenced by my Indian culture – my dad typically wanted me to be a doctor or a dentist or a pharmacist or a journalist. Anything that was more academic than, you know, prancing about in a costume.”

Chalotra didn’t follow the path her family expected. However, she gave acting her maximum effort, just like her parents had taught her. Anya’s parents valued hard work and perseverance, which helped Anya when she joined the unforgiving acting industry. 

“I’ve got so many no’s – so many!” Anya told Glamour Magazine. “But I never really take them personally. There’s something that going to happen next. All I’m really bothered about is being good to the people that I love and then everything slots into place. I work hard, that is something that my family gave me.”

Anya and her siblings have pursued different careers, but they remain close. Chalotra called her brother when she accidentally kicked an expensive camera into a canal while taking photos of bugs on the water. 

“I called my brother – he has the same camera – and was like, ‘You’ll never guess what happened: the camera, the grand camera, has just gone into the bloody canal,” Anya told The Guardian.

Anya’s father helped her craft her identity in a foreign land

Anya grew up influenced by her father’s Indian roots. She had many cousins, most of whom reside in India. Chalotra doesn’t have many family photos, but she did post several of them on her Instagram page in August 2018. “My heart is full,” Anya wrote

Having a big family meant that Anya didn’t need social media. “I think it’s because I have such a huge family – I have about 35 first cousins – so I come from a big family, and I’ve always been quite content with that world.”

Chalotra struggled with her identity growing up away from her home in India. She tried to fit in, but thanks to her dad, she dismissed the idea of fitting in. Anya told Glamour Magazine:

“I was heavily raised by my Indian culture. Coming to a Western world was a big deal for my dad, my dad’s family and for me now but not so much then, I just wanted to fit in. Me desperately wanting to fit in made my dad reassure me that I didn’t necessarily need to. It was purely who I was.”

Anya had to endure daily morning lectures about identity, but they helped her become the strong woman she is today. “On the way to school there would be a lecture about who I was, what kind of woman I was and although that’s kind of intense at the time – I think about it a lot,” Chalotra added.

Chalotra’s father might have had an easier time of it had Anya seen more Indian representation on screen. “I really looked up to performances that were flawed, too,” Anya said. “That was something that I could relate to because it made me feel better about myself.” 

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