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Avantika Vandanapu hopes to 'break stereotypes'


Avantika Vandanapu hopes her 'Mean Girls' role will help to "break stereotypes".
The 19-year-old actress plays Karen Shetty in the new 'Mean Girls' musical movie, and Avantika hopes that her role as an on-screen "bimbo" will prove to be "impactful" for South Asian women.
Avantika - who stars in the new film alongside Renee Rapp and Angourie Rice - told the BBC Asian Network: "Karen feels like somebody who embraces being a bimbo and embraces being someone who's sexual.
"I think playing that kind of character, especially as a South Asian woman is really, really crazy."
The actress is keen to prove that she's not someone "who can only play the shy nerd".
She said: "It's validated this feeling that I can truly play different characters and embody different people."
Avantika has previously worked in the India film industry, and she's actually found Hollywood to be a less intense environment.
She shared: "The film industries [in India] are a different beast. It was much, much more difficult, like we just work more hours there and it's a little bit more of a hustle."
Despite this, Avantika acknowledged that both industries have "their pluses and minuses".
The movie star added: "The joy of doing Indian musical numbers and working with people who speak the same language as you.
"And working with people who look like you in a country where everyone's brown, there's no stereotype to fall back into.
"I think that's incredibly liberating."
Meanwhile, Avantika recently revealed that she has a "people-pleasing" mentality.
The actress explained that in spite of her success, she still struggles with self-doubt.
She told Vogue India: "I take pride in being hyper-conscious but I’m also aware that it stems from my own self-doubt. Sometimes, I’m so worried about what everyone thinks of me that I lean into a people-pleasing mentality."