Born in New York, New York, Lakshmi Devy is an actress, screenwriter and producer of Indian descent. She was raised in the serenely beautiful state of Kerala, India, with her two siblings. Her life took a turn when she was spotted shopping at a mall by a fashion choreographer. He offered Lakshmi a modeling job for a print advertisement, and thus starting her modeling career and love for the camera. From stage to screen, Lakshmi decided to hone her craft and attended The Mindscreen Film Institute in Chennai, India as well as The Actor Prepares acting school in Mumbai. She has since worked on close to 100 print campaigns and both local and national TV commercials.
Her first, of many film roles in India, was the Anand Chakravarthy directed drama ‘Nil Gavani Sellathey’. She later starred in numerous South Indian movies, in three distinct local languages of Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam, including ‘Shivani’, ‘Cinema Company’ and ‘Masala Padam’, which was also her original screenplay debut. In 2016, Lakshmi made a permanent move to New York receiving rave reviews from some of the entertainment industry’s leading casting directors. She began training with Peter Meiner at the renowned T. Schrieber Studio, joining alumni’s Edward Norton and Julia Garner, and improv. classes at Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) in New York City. Since arriving to New York, Lakshmi has appeared in several national commercials and print campaigns, including Google 360, Kraft & Heinz and whiskey brand Johnnie Walker to name a few.
More recently, Lakshmi stars in the upcoming TV pilot ‘Happy Divorce’, directed by Jamal Hodge, and is both acting in and producing, the hysterically funny web-series ‘Wank Bank’ directed by Kevin Martin.
Under her new production company FiDi Talkies LLC, Lakshmi has written, and is producing, two short films. Set to film in India, ‘Daro Mat’, which translates to ‘Don’t be Afraid’, is being directed by Unni Krishnan P.P, and ‘Idle Hands’, which is in pre-production, shoots later this year in New York.
Meet the Artist: NY Elite Interview with Lakshmi Devy
NY Elite: What are you latest and current movie projects?
Lakshmi Devy: I have just finished wrapping up a TV pilot called “A Happy Divorce” directed by Jamal Hodge as well as a hilarious web series called “Wank Bank” directed by Kevin Martin.
I am in the process of submitting my short film, “Daro Mat”, which I wrote and produced, to various prestigious film festivals across the world.
NY Elite: Can you tell us about your character in the film?
Lakshmi Devy: In “A Happy Divorce” my character’s name is Rebecca and she is quite an authoritative lawyer. She is determined yet flawed. Her own journey helps her empathize with others who share a journey similar to hers.
In “Wank Bank” my character’s name is Meera. I play a Tamil Indian girl who is part of a Mastorbator’s Anonymous Group. I guess she’s unintentionally funny. She refuses to speak English in spite of knowing how to, and insists on speaking in her native language of Tamil, while letting the entire group comprehend what they can from it.
“Daro Mat”, which translates to “Don’t Be Afraid”, revolves around the less spoken about Indian Girl. The Indian girl who is smart and yet devoid of opinions as ” having an opinion” was never an option. The movie depicts her strength portrayed by simple thoughts.
NY Elite: What was it like working with the director?
Lakshmi Devy: Working with director Jamal Hodge on “A Happy Divorce” was delightful. He is wonderful with actors and has quite an intense approach towards his work. “Wank Bank” is directed by Kevin Martin. It was not exactly the standard actor approach as I was also a Producer on the web-series along with Rakesh Shah. So, I was involved with most aspects as opposed to just the acting part. It was a fun project, and the off-beat hilarious topic is sure to strike a chord with the masses. “Don’t Be Afraid”, or “Daro Mat”, was directed by Unnikrishanan PP who is an award-winning editor in India. “Daro Mat” was also a collaborative process for me as I played the roles of an actor, producer, co-director and writer.
NY Elite: What do you enjoy most about your acting career?
Lakshmi Devy: I guess the arts liberates me. I like the freedom of mind attached to acting. I like the prospects of playing different characters and being able to challenge myself. I find acting as well as writing cathartic too.
NY Elite: What other hobbies and interests do you have?
Lakshmi Devy: I am an Advanced Scuba Diver, and adventure sports junkie and I believe travelling is a necessity rather than a hobby. I love listening to music and reading, the topics and choices wildly varying from time to time.
NY Elite: Are you working on your next project now?
Lakshmi Devy: I am in the process of producing another short film called “Idle Hands” as well as reading and finalizing scripts for my acting projects. I have just signed with an international management firm, Bohemia Group, and so now have bi-coastal representation in both New York and LA. I am excited about this collaboration and really look forward to working with them.
NY Elite: What personal advice would you give to someone about impressing the directors during audition? How to audition?
Lakshmi Devy: First off, I do not believe in impressing the Director. That is not an actors job. An actors job is to give a brilliant performance. That in turn impresses the director. Being approachable and professional always helps. Always be prepared and when you do not have the opportunity to be prepared then always be prepared to be unprepared and still work magic!
NY Elite: What causes/charities you actively support or feel strongly about?
Lakshmi Devy: I have been involved in various charities for the past ten years. Currently I sponsor a child in India with the “World Vision Organization.” I have also signed up to volunteer with UNICEF. I am a feminist, and equal opportunity, as well as equal respect for women are topics that are very close to my heart. I strive to build a stronger voice that will help make a difference for us women all over the world. Sans religion, race, or economic status, somehow, the basic problems women face are universal. Throughout history we have always been “Second Class Citizens” and while the outlooks have improved in certain areas of the world, disregard and disrespect are still very much a part of most women’s lives. So much so, that for a lot of ladies out there, it’s not an issue, it’s just life. To be able to provide hope, insight and strength to my fellow women, as well as young girls growing up, is something I consider a responsibility.
NY Elite: What are the things in your life that you’re most grateful for?
Lakshmi Devy: My family, my health, wonderful opportunities, the chance to be an actor and my strength.