Biography of Anya ChalotraAnya Chalotra is a British actress, known for her role as the sorceress Yennefer in Netflix's series "The Witcher". She is also recognized for her roles in the series "Wanderlust" (2018) and "The ABC Murders" (2018).
Childhood and YouthAnya Chalotra was born in 1996 in the English city of Wolverhampton. Her father, Madan, is an Indian descent, and her mother, April, is British. Anya is an ancient Sanskrit name, which literally means "inexhaustible", "other" or "strange". It is often found in Hindu mythology and folklore. Like her relatives, the actress follows Hindu beliefs and practices.
Anya spent her childhood in a small town in South Staffordshire. Chalotra took her first steps towards her future profession in London, where she attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
At school, Anya was a real star - no theatrical production was complete without the artistic girl. Neither classmates nor relatives had any doubts - Anya would become an actress.
After finishing school, Chalotra went to study the nuances of acting at the prestigious London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA).
Acting CareerAnya Chalotra began her acting career on the London stage. She could be seen in plays such as "Great Expectations" based on the novel by Charles Dickens, "A View from the Bridge" by Arthur Miller, "The Merchant of Venice" by William Shakespeare, and many others.
Her brilliant performance in "The Village", where she played a strong-willed Indian girl inspiring a group of women to stand against authorities, particularly impressed critics. The popular British daily newspaper "The Guardian" described Anya's performance as "convincing" - isn't this the best praise for an aspiring actress!
She landed her first television role in 2018, starring in the drama series "Wanderlust". The series tells the story of a couple, Joy (Toni Collette) and Alan (Steven Mackintosh), who suddenly find themselves attracted to other people but are trying to save their marriage. The first episode of the series was aired on BBC One in September 2018.
That same year, Chalotra appeared in the mini-series "The ABC Murders". This three-episode story unveils the tale of retired legendary detective Hercule Poirot, who is tormented by mysterious letters signed "ABC" from a mysterious murderer. The role of the detective was played by the renowned John Malkovich, with "Harry Potter" stars Rupert Grint and Shirley Henderson also appearing in the film.
In 2019, Anya first tried her hand at voice acting. She provided the voice for the main character of the animated series "Sherwood" - a futuristic take on the famous "Robin Hood". The action of this 10-episode British cartoon takes place in the distant future, in the 23rd century.
Anya's character, the teenage hacker Robin Loxley from Sherwood, teams up with a group of renegades to fight against the mad Sheriff of Nottingham on the vastly changed streets of London.
The WitcherAnya Chalotra gained fame after appearing in the Netflix series "The Witcher." The series is based on a book series by the famous Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski. The author's novels gained popularity back in 2007 when video game developers released an action game based on his works.
The plot of the fantasy saga revolves around the witcher and monster hunter Geralt (Henry Cavill), young princess Ciri (Freya Allan), and sorceress Yennefer (Anya Chalotra). The powerful sorceress and close friend of Geralt, Triss Merigold, will be played by Anna Shaffer, well known to the audience from her role as Romilda Vane in the Harry Potter films.
Video game fans were thrilled with the idea of adapting "The Witcher". However, many were disappointed with the casting results. According to fans, Anya was too young to play Yennefer - a 14-year age difference between her and actor Henry Cavill (between whose characters a love line unfolds) is simply inappropriate.
Viewers envisioned the role of the sorceress Yennefer played by Eva Green, Cobie Smulders, Megan Fox, Liv Tyler, Evangeline Lilly, and other seductive and experienced brunettes. A petition demanding the cancellation of Chalotra's appointment as Yennefer was even created on the Change.org platform. However, the decision of the series creator Lauren Schmidt was not up for discussion. In one of the interviews, she noted:
Personal Life of Anya ChalotraIn her youth, Anya Chalotra dated Honduran writer and journalist Juan F. Sanchez, but the relationship did not work out. In 2019, the actress began dating British actor Josh Dylan.
In her free time, the actress enjoys reading, shopping, and traveling. Chalotra's favourite holiday destination is Miami.
Anya Chalotra NowIn 2021, Anya Chalotra was involved in the Royal Stratford Theatre's production of "Maryland" and the filming of the second season of "The Witcher". The premiere took place on December 19, 2021, on Netflix. In March 2022, the actress began filming for the third season of "The Witcher", which was released in the summer of 2023.
By then it was already known that the role of Witcher Geralt in the fourth season would not be played by Henry Cavill, who had left the project, but by Liam Hemsworth. However, Jennifer remained the same. "There is still so much that Jennifer hasn't experienced. Only then will I find out where she will go, how she will decide to get out of a certain problem or get into it," Anya admitted. The actress was surprised by Cavill's decision, especially knowing his passion for the franchise, but was excited about the opportunity to work with a new partner and immediately contacted him to discuss the possible development of their characters.
In an interview with Variety, timed to coincide with the release of the third season, Chalotra also spoke about her vision of her character and the influence of Jennifer on her own personality:
Jennifer has taught me a lot. She goes through a massive transformation and changes a lot in her appearance to feel more powerful, but she understands that her inner insecurity is still with her. Relationships are what actually help her develop the way she wants and make her feel stronger. That's what I learned from her. I mean, I've been playing this role for five years. During those formative years, I also went through this, especially considering that a large part of my life is online and I constantly have to look at myself.In addition, the actress lent her voice to Jennifer in the anime "The Witcher: Sirens of the Deep" by Netflix, which began production in November 2023.
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