Pooja Bhatt Champions New Talent in “Big Girls Don’t Cry”


In a move hailed as a bold challenge to Bollywood’s infamous nepotism, acclaimed actress and director Pooja Bhatt has thrown her support behind seven promising newcomers in the eagerly anticipated series, “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” Bhatt, who herself has witnessed the ebb and flow of show business, shared her excitement and confidence in the fresh faces that are ready to make their mark.

The series, set in the evocative backdrop of an all-girls’ boarding school, resonated with Bhatt on a personal level, making her role as a principal a natural fit. “Big Girls Don’t Cry was an easy yes for me,” Bhatt stated. Her own educational journey, characterized by a spirit of rebellion and a Mumbai school that emphasized character building, paralleled the core message of the series. Bhatt’s character stands as a beacon of encouragement for the girls’ individuality and strength – a position she cherishes given her experience as a young, outspoken star in the industry.

Bhatt recalls earlier times when she was advised to temper her voice to succeed, a directive she is glad to counteract in her role. “We were told that if we wanted to make it big, we needed to keep our opinions to ourselves,” Bhatt reminisces. But now, in playing the nurturing principal, she gets to pass on a different lesson – one of strength and authenticity.

Joining Bhatt on screen are the seven promising talents: Avantika Vandanapu, Dalai, Akshita Sood, Lhakyila, Afrah Sayed, Aneet Padda, and Vidushi. Bhatt felt a deep sense of responsibility to provide them with a secure environment, mirroring the support she received in her own debut at 17. She speaks warmly of her co-stars, admiring their rawness and the lack of “Bollywood baggage” that often accompanies young actors in the industry.

Through the platform provided by Prime Video and the creative vision of series creator Nitya Mehra, these new actresses are offered a potential-laden entry into the entertainment industry. This opportunity, Bhatt emphasizes, is also a call to action for audiences. She openly challenges those who perpetuate the nepotism narrative to turn their criticism into constructive support by embracing the talent of those who do not come with industry connections.

Bhatt’s passion is clear: “I am sick and tired of this ridiculous conversation about people not getting their due in the entertainment business. We’ve launched many new girls, they represent the future.” There’s a decisiveness in her tone, both an appeal and a dare for the public – will they invest in the future of entertainment, or will they continue to lament the pervasiveness of nepotism from behind the anonymity of their screens?

This time, it seems, the ball is in the court of the audience. Bhatt sighs when considering the usual arguments surrounding nepotism, suggesting that some fail to acknowledge a lack of success could stem from a lack of talent. “Some of those crying foul don’t have the capacity to admit that maybe they didn’t have it, that’s why they didn’t make it [in films].”

With “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” Bhatt hopes to spark a turning point where actions speak louder than words – a change that could herald a new era for Bollywood where merit and fresh faces are celebrated. As Pooja Bhatt takes the stage as a principal on screen, she’s schooling the world on embracing new talent off-screen, minding not just the call for diversity and equity but nurturing cinema’s evolving landscape.

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