Anuja Joshi made her acting debut with the thriller series Hello Mini, which is now in its third season on MX Player. She is the daughter of Alankar Joshi, famous as child actor Master Alankar in ’70s films. Her aunt Pallavi Joshi is also an acclaimed actress, so it was natural for Anuja to want to step into the film world, and she found success as the lead of her very first series.
Talking about growing up in a family of actors, Anuja says, “I’ve always been in the performing arts - me and my twin sister Aneesha - since we were children. That was a huge part of our upbringing. I’ve always wanted to become an actress. And I was surrounded by family members who were actors and actresses. It was always nurtured within me.”
But she grew up far away from Bollywood, as her father migrated to the US after retiring from his acting career. She landed Hello Mini through auditions, and not because of her family connections. “I was raised in the US, very far away from the industry in India. And I went to NYU for film school. My experience came from working in production for a long time. I was working on set, but not as an actress. I did that for several years on different TV shows in Hollywood,” she shares.
Her family, besides being supportive, also gives her good advice regarding work. “Both my father and my aunt give me great feedback. My father has done so many films before, from the age of four. My aunt is a renowned actress in her own right. So I definitely take their advice. They have some amazing pieces of wisdom that they give me along the way. We’re all very close,” she says.
Anuja also has a supportive partner in actor Ankur Rathee, who has starred in the film Thappad and the series Four More Shots Please and Made in Heaven. “People say it is difficult if both are from the same industry, but I think that we understand the expectations of the industry. We are very used to spending a lot of time apart, because we have to travel for work. And we both understand how demanding this job is. And that’s why when we come together, we just focus on nurturing our own relationship, instead of having expectations that are unrealistic on each other. It’s like we speak the same language,” Anuja reveals.
The couple got engaged some time ago, but are unable to plan their wedding because of the pandemic. “We’re trying to plan but the reality is that Covid-19 is still very rampant. And it’s not a time to be irresponsible and have an event of any sort, because that causes a huge spike in numbers. So I’m just trying to wait and see what is going on in the world before we make any hard and fast plans,” she says.
Anuja divides time between family in the US and work in India. She has just finished filming season four of The Resident on Fox, her first Hollywood project. “It is not easy to manage working in two countries, but I try not to complain. Because it’s amazing that I’ve been offered work, especially during a time when it’s difficult for a lot of people to work. I’m very grateful,” she says.