In an exclusive interview, emotionally-charged suave Bollywood actor Chunky Pandey revealed that his stunningly beautiful daughter Ananya Panday, who makes her dazzling debut in Karan Johar’s Student Of The Year-2, has always aspired to become a movie actress. Although she was an academic topper in real life and had even flown abroad for studies, her heart always yearned for the silver screen. 

"Although she is my daughter, she bagged the lead role in SOTY-2 on her own merit, because she is a well-trained actress and I have given her the independence to decide what is right and wrong," Chunkey Pandey said.

"Strangely I have never worked with Karan in any of his movies, nor have I appeared on his chat show KWK,” shrugs the senior Panday known for his quirky character Aakhri Paasta.

Ananya Panday ( right) with Tiger Shroff and Tara Sutaria

Mentor-cum-star-maker Johar ( KJo) endorsed what Chunky says, when he clarified that although he knows Ananya ever since she was a little kid, it was only after auditioning, that she was finalised.

Being cast in a ‘romantic tug-triangle’ opposite the rugged, sinewy Tiger Shroff in the campus-centric movie SOTY-2 Ananya also has the vivacious singer-actress Tara Sutaria vying for Shroff’s amorous attention. Known for her bubbly, honest nature, charismatic Ananya is modest and grounded, yet she has this fighting and sporting spirit.

"Both off-screen and on-screen I love tough competition. You will enjoy it in our SOTY 2 trailer as well as the movie directed by Punit Malhotra when it releases next month. Healthy rivalry-competition is highly motivating and brings out your best. Our film industry needs new talents all the time," enthused the chilled-out Ananya whose spunky character has a dramatic scene where she confronts Tiger and after addressing him as ‘Princess’ mock-air-fires with her clenched fist and fingers resembling a pointed revolver.

In keeping with his fetish for retro-songs, KJo has recycled the R D Burman composed iconic retro song Yeh Jawani (1972) but the recreated track has the original Kishore Kumar vocals picturised on Tiger Shroff. 

Chaitanya D. Padukone is an award-winning senior Bollywood film and music-biz journalist and recipient of Dada Saheb Phalke Award for his outstanding contribution to showbiz journalism.