Avantika has been putting in the work over the last few years in the film & tv industry and she’s just getting started. From a young age, she knew she had an interest in being creative and worked hard to get her foot in the door in Hollywood, and now she’s everywhere! In our exclusive interview with the “Mean Girls” star, we talk about her goal to represent her South Asian culture proudly, growing up in California and much more!  


Archival Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello

What are some of your favorite memories of growing up in the Bay Area? 

I really have super fond memories of being with my parents in the Bay Area. That was a period of my life where I struggled deeply with friendships, and especially having no siblings, my parents were absolutely my best friends.

My mom would drive me for hours to classes and dance recitals and tournaments, and we would camp out in the back of her van during the interim periods. And days with my dad were filled with watching old movies and reading books – one of my favorite book series of all time is undeniably Percy Jackson and The Olympians – which I only started because my dad insisted that we had to race to see who could complete the books first. 

Living in this part of California where big tech companies are all over, you’ve spoken about the pressure of initially feeling like you needed to have a career in STEM, which never really felt like you. When did you know you wanted to be an actress, and how were you able to start your career in this industry? 

I grew up being a ballet dancer, and some part of me – despite loving the dance form so deeply – knew that wasn’t my ultimate goal in life. Something about retiring at 30 and living out the rest of my career as a choreographer didn’t speak to me. But I was sure I wanted to stay in the performing arts, and drama/theatre felt like the natural segue from dance. I joined our drama club at school, fell in love with acting, and the rest is history! 

Archival Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello

When you were cast in the new Mean Girls musical comedy as Karen, you once said that you were shocked to get offered the role. Talk to us about why you were surprised about this role, your overall audition process and what it was like working on this film. 

I think it’s natural to feel surprised and shocked and confused when you don’t necessarily see yourself getting cast as a character – and then you find out later that one of your ultimate idols (Tina Fey) and a whole board of executives at one of the biggest studios in the world disagree with you.

As a young brown girl, I rarely see myself represented in cinema that acknowledges the beauty and versatility of my community. So, finally, getting the opportunity to disprove that in my own way was nothing short of an honor.

I also, like every other creative, struggle with a debilitating case of imposter syndrome – so of course, I’m nervous whenever an opportunity as cool as this presents itself. Yet, the entire team was so welcoming, kind, and understanding that it really made up for the self-doubt that I was experiencing. 

Once the Mean Girls re-imagination movie was announced, many people began discussing your race in a negative way. How are you able to protect your mental health as your star power grows and you encounter racism from the world? 

Racism, most of the time, rolls off of my back. I mean it. Especially when it comes from trolls online. It’s such a stupid thing to nitpick about a person because none of us have any control over our skin color. So why even bother taking those comments personally? 

You’ve spoken about feeling like you have a responsibility to properly represent South Asian culture as an actress based on the response you’ve received from your supporters. Talk to us about why you feel this way and what your culture overall means to you. 

Unfortunately, I think the number of actors that represent our community are few and far between. So, I do think it’s important for me to maintain a good relationship with the people who look up to me and have been supportive of my journey from the very start. And part of that duty is being a solid role model and trying my best to do my people justice and represent our culture with integrity and authenticity.  My culture means everything to me. I hope my work reflects that always! 

Archival Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello

What is your favorite South Asian meal? 

My mom’s dosa and mint chutney! 

How do you incorporate your culture into your fashion style? 

I wear a bindi with all my outfits – less as an intentional fashion statement and more as a constant connection to my faith. However, I have found that it has become an accidental constant element of fashion with most, if not all, of my outfits. Bangles, fun earrings, maxi skirts from bazaars in India, and consistent incorporation of vibrant colors in my fashion have also helped me maintain tethers with my culture. 

You’ve spoken about wanting to work in the Bollywood industry. What would be your dream role to play in this space? 

I’d love to be in a Bhansali or Rajamouli film. Something, period, and something with a lot of dancing. I’m a simple girl! 

Dress: Gucci 

Let’s talk about your latest Amazon Prime show “Big Girls Don’t Cry”. Talk to us about what this project is about, your experience filming at a boarding school and what viewers can expect to learn from the show. 

This Hindi and English-language project documents the journeys of young girls navigating their dreams, fears, families, friendships, and sexualities in a boarding school. It’s a refreshing, endearing show, especially considering that there hasn’t been a Bollywood show that portrays high school students in an honest manner and in a uniquely Indian dorm setting. I had the best time filming with these girls, who have now become my family. I am so deeply grateful for the opportunity to have met and worked with them. 

You’re gearing up for the release of your new horror movie, “Tarot”. Talk to us about your character, filming and what you’re most excited about the viewers experiencing watching this film. 

Horror has always been my favorite genre. So, to be a part of such a cool cast AND get to perform in my favorite kind of movie is insanely cool. I’m most excited for audiences to experience astrology and tarot in this kind of setting. I feel like people of this generation have developed a renewed interest in the occult, so I think this movie feels especially timely and relevant.

I play Paige – she’s definitely the mom of the group – the wealthy, protective, rational one. Protective, I am. But I don’t know if I relate to her on the other levels – and it’s undoubtedly always more fun to play characters who are the furthest away from who I am. 

How does it feel to have two movie theater releases in one year? What did you do to celebrate these accomplishments? 

It’s so wild. I can’t even describe it. Especially post-COVID, it feels surreal. And I guess every time I get to watch a movie I’ve seen in theaters or hear about a friend watching it, it feels like a celebration. 

Archival Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello

What type of roles would you like to be a part of in the future? 

I’d really love to do something action-related! Also, a rom com maybe? 

What’s your current skin care routine? 

Gentle moisturizer, Vitamin C, niacinamide, retinol, and thick moisturizers. 

When you have time for yourself, what are some things you do to practice self-care? 

I spend time with my friends. It’s my favorite way to feel rejuvenated, happy, and relaxed. Aside from that, though, I go to the cinema, box, cook, and love to read! 

Archival Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello

What food could you eat every day for the rest of your life? 

Thai food and ice cream. 

When you’re back home in NYC, what are some things you’re doing with your friends? 

We love going to the movies and doing karaoke and just bopping around the city! 

What song is currently on rotation in your playlist? 

Laufey and Mitski are all over my playlist right now. What can I say? I’m in a melancholy mood. 

Archival Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello

What are your favorite hair care products? 

I love Shea Moisture, Fable and Mane! 

What’s some of your current favorite hobbies? 

If I’m being so honest, my favorite hobbies are and always have been – sleeping, daydreaming, cooking, and watching movies. 

What’s next for Avantika? Anything you can share exclusively with Galore readers. 

There are things in the pipeline, but nothing I can say officially! Hopefully soon, though! 

Archival Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello


Editor in Chief: Prince Chenoa (@princechenoastudio)

Feature Editor: Taylor Winter Wilson (@taylorwinter)

Cover Art Design: Carlos Graciano (@sadpapi666)

Photographer: Emma Craft (@emmacraft)

Digi Tech: April Bloom (@aprilblumphoto)

First Assist: Tom Miller (@tomm_furyy)

Second Assist: Danielle Larose (@daniellelarose_)

Stylist: Brendon James Porter (@brendonjamesnyc)

Stylist Assistant: Lauren Nasrawi (@laurennasrawi)

Makeup Artist: Robert Bryan (@robertti) for Exclusive Artists using Make Up For Ever

Hair Stylist: Davey Matthew (@daveydidmyhair)

Set Designer: Caylah Jean (@caylah.jean)

Gimme More

Do You Like?

Some things are only found on Facebook. Don't miss out.