10 min read

Ria Nalavade Gets Candid About Her Auditions And Excitement For Her Debut Web Series Sunflower

Tanvi Rumale

May 5, 2021

10 min


Sunil Grover’s upcoming web series on ZEE5 also has Ria Nalavade as one of its important cast members. We got in touch with the young actress to understand her reaction and excitement for her OTT venture.

ZEE5’s upcoming web series, Sunflower boasts of a varied and extremely talented cast like Sunil Grover, Ashish Vidyarthi, Sonal Jha, Ranvir Shorey and many more and the show also include some young and budding artists! ZEE5 recently had the chance to have an exclusive chat with Ria Nalavade, a young actress who plays the role of Ashish Vidyarthi and Sonal Jha’s daughter on the show! Ria Nalavade was the winner of the Oppo Times Fresh Face Contest in 2016 and is a model based in Mumbai. She is part of a couple of other films as well and Sunflower is her first web series! Read to find out about her experience, if she was hesitant to shoot amidst a pandemic and her excitement for the show’s release!

Ria, how excited are you about the release of this ZEE5 web series?

I’m very excited. Although I have shot a couple of movies in the past 2-3 years, Sunflower is my latest project and it’s going to be my first release. It’s going to be my first official acting thing to release and I am very happy but I’m also nervous because the character that I portray is very different from me in real life. So I’m a little nervous about how people are going to take that, but overall I’m excited because people get to see my acting job alongside these big names, which is awesome. Glad people are going to get to see that along with the story which is hilarious!


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A post shared by Ria Nalavade (@riaoninsta)

You spoke about how your role is very different. Was it very challenging for you to play it? How did you manage?

When I auditioned for it, I personally did not think that I could pull it off. I guess our director Vikas Behl saw some good potential in what he saw and after several more rounds of auditions I think he was convinced that I’m the girl. Plus on top of that what helped was that we had several look tests and rehearsals before the actual shoot so that all of us could get into our characters and be familiar with our characters. I would have been able to do it by myself or I would have taken a lot of time to do it but thankfully Vikas sir and Rahul sir were very helpful. And they knew exactly what they wanted and they let us know that. So that way it was a lot of fun to do and all my initial inhibitions were gone and I had a blast!

Also read: Sunflower: The Makers Of Sunil Grover’s Next Unveil The Show’s Logo And It Has Amped Up Our Excitement

What was your initial reaction when you got the role?

Yeah, I was thrilled but again my first question was – how am I going to do this? I started researching and reading up on my character but I think the first day I had the proper confidence that I could do this was when I met Vikas sir and Rahul sir in person and we had a reading and some ice-breaking sessions. I think that’s when I felt like okay I got the role and it’s great but I felt like I could do the role to the best of my abilities on that day.


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A post shared by Ria Nalavade (@riaoninsta)

Since Sunflower was shot during the pandemic, how was that experience?

Of course, that was something we had to get adjusted to. Usually, on set, there are a lot of people running around. You know, they say it takes a village to make a film, right? But the crew for Sunflower was drastically reduced because we were following all these precautions. Every morning when we got in, we had to go through the sanitisation station where we got ourselves and all our things sanitized. While we were shooting everybody maintained social distancing and there was an entire crew from Reliance that was present on set whose full-time job was to ensure that all protocols were being followed. So I was not scared at all as I could see it visually that people were taking care of it as covid test were also being done every few days and every new cast member also had to get the test done so that was really comforting.


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A post shared by Ria Nalavade (@riaoninsta)

We know that Sunflower has some great actors in the cast. Did you get to work with them? How was it like to be around them?

The first time I met the entire cast was at the table read which had all the characters of Sunflower in one room and that’s when I met the bigger names associated with this project like Ashish Vidyarthi, who plays my father, Sonal Jha who plays my mother, Ranvir Shorey who’s a cop and Sunil Grover who is lead, and all other wonderful names associated, I met them all that day. And everyone made all of us (younger actors) feel so comfortable and important. I was lucky enough to have a lot of scenes with Ashish sir and Sonal ma’am which was great. The fun part is, when you’re shooting with them, it doesn’t feel like work at all! It literally felt like there’s a game going on with a lot of give and take and some fab energy and there’s been so much to learn from them!

And what I loved about Ashish Vidyarthi and everyone else was that even though they’re such big names, they still want to learn more. They’re inquisitive, they’ll ask questions and yeah, I had a really good camaraderie with all of them, especially with Sunil Grover. He’s a great person off-camera also and a very good human being.


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A post shared by Ria Nalavade (@riaoninsta)

There were some young actors in the cast as well, did you connect with them too? 

Yes, I did. You know I think it’s a universal fact that when you make a film together, make a series together, everyone becomes a family. I was very close to Dayena (Erappa) who plays Justina and Simran who plays Gurleen because we’re more or less the same age and it was great with these girls also. We’re really good friends and we keep getting excited together for when the show is going to come out.

What are your thoughts on OTT platforms after working on Sunflower? Do you think it’s encouraging younger actors?

Absolutely. I think it’s the best thing that has happened to content in the last few years. It has given so many new actors opportunities. Casting directors are finding talent from places they didn’t think they would usually find. And yeah, for a young actor who has no contacts in the industry, it’s a big deal because we have yet another platform for us to showcase our talent.

What’s next for you after Sunflower?

Well, I have a couple of films releasing, one on OTT and one waiting for its theatrical release and both these characters are very different from what I play in Sunflower! And I also write, so I have my own projects coming up which are in development too.

Well, that was Ria Nalavade, the youngest actress from the cast of Sunflower!

For more, visit ZEE5.

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