Hailing from New York, Lakshmi Devy is an actress, screenwriter, and producer of Indian descent. Although born in New York, she spent most of her life living in South West India, in the state of Kerala. She is a Doctor who transitioned into films and modeling. As a well-known actress in India, she has begun her film journey here in the United States. She is currently being managed by the prestigious Bohemia Group.
How did you get into performing arts?
Like so many little girls, I started dancing and performing on stage in India. I was always inclined towards the arts, but growing up in India had its limitations. Pursuing acting was never a career option for my family. All the women in my family are doctors and all the men are mostly engineers. My mother is a doctor. She has always been my hero, so studying medicine was a natural progression for me.
Although in saying that, dance is very popular in my culture and so I continued to dance and act on stage, throughout medical school. I began the rigorous training of Indian classical dance technique, which has remained with me into my adult life. At the time, I didn’t think I would become a professional actor – it never crossed my mind.
We understand you were star spotted in a local shopping mall. Can you tell us about that?
It was so surprising. I was just shopping and suddenly approached with an offer for a print ad modeling job by a fashion choreographer! From then on, I started modeling and I developed a special love for the camera. Until then, I had only performed on stage, so the more I started working in front of the camera, the more I fell in love with it.
Have you had any formal training?
Oh yes, and I continue to do so. I attended The Mindscreen Film Institute in Chennai, India, as well as The Actor Prepares acting school in Mumbai, India. The more I studied, the more it felt as though this was something I was meant to do. I have also taken Master classes with Peter Meiner at the renowned T. Schrieber Studio, and improv classes at Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) in New York City.
You have had a wonderful acting career to date. Can you tell us some of your highlights?
I have worked on close to 100 print campaigns and both local and national TV commercials in both India and now in the USA. One of my first film roles in India, was the Anand Chakravarthy directed thriller ‘Nil Gavani Sellathey.’ It was a wonderful experience and character to play. It was my first major movie role and I remember how pleasantly calm I was. There was a lot of screaming and crying so I found it all quite cathartic.
Another great experience was having one of my own scripts come to life, ‘Masala Padam.’ I wrote ‘Masala Padam,’ as well as acted in it. That was my very first screen play. It was quite a different topic and the wonderful overwhelming response of the audience made me realize that I was indeed leaning towards screen writing, in addition to acting.
Can you tell us what you have been up to more recently?
Recently, I opened my own production company, FiDi Talkies LLC. It has been a dream of mine to have my own production house, and I feel extremely grateful that I have finally achieved it. My first film, under my new company, is called ‘Daro Mat’, which translates to ‘Don’t be Afraid.’ I am particularly excited because the film has been officially selected to be screened at The Studio City Film Festival in Los Angeles as well as the Monarch Film Festival at the Pacific Grove. I wrote the screenplay, produced and am acting in it. We filmed it entirely in India. I hope it does well in the film festival circuit.
I am also in pre-production for a second short film, ‘Idle Hands’, which I also wrote, and am producing, set to shoot later this year in New York. I am looking forward to sharing that project with everyone very soon!
To learn more about Lakshmi Devy, visit her at www.lakshmidevy.com , or follow her on Instagram – @lakshmidevy or on Facebook – @actresslakshmidevy