August 2, 2022
For Pallavi Sharda, starring in Netflix’s latest rom-com Wedding Season as Asha, an Indian American woman who couldn’t care less about getting hitched, felt totally natural. Apart from one key thing: the meddling parental matchmaking. “They know I’m a free spirit,” the actor said, explaining why her parents never pushed potential matches her way. It’s a headstrong attitude familiar to many in the diaspora straddling their parents’ wishes and their goals. For Asha, she is more invested in making it in her career working in development finance than in romance. Until, of course, she encounters Ravi (Life of Pi’s Suraj Sharma), who is also feeling the heat from his parents to get married. To keep their parents happy, the two decide to pretend to date during a summer of Indian weddings. But, eventually, the lie starts to become the truth. Years after American Desi and ABCD, Wedding Season is one of the few major Hollywood rom-coms to star two South Asians in the diaspora. And for Sharda, an Australian actor who went from teaching Bharatanatyam in her hometown to studying law to acting in Bollywood and now Hollywood, it’s a career path that at times felt impossible.