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Heartthrob: Indian American Actress Megan Suri in Teen Vogue’s ‘New Hollywood Class of 2024’

Heartthrob: Indian American Actress Megan Suri in Teen Vogue’s ‘New Hollywood Class of 2024’

  • She became a household name after portraying Aneesa in “Never Have I Ever,” and essayed the lead role in Bishal Dutta’s Hindu mythology-inspired horror movie “It Lives Inside.”

Actress Meghan Suri is among ‘Seven Rising Stars of Teen Vogue’s New Hollywood Class of 2024. The magazine says this year’s artists in residence portfolio is “about the relationship between the individual and the collective, how each young person on our list brings a singular perspective to what they create in the world, and how that perspective came to be.” 

This year’s list includes “blockbusters, teen heartthrobs, indie standouts, and former child stars,” the magazine says. “But underneath those monikers, they are real people, prone to missteps as much as success, awkwardness as much as confidence, fear as much as ambition. And they are all becoming more conscious of their growing influence on fans and, on a larger scale, figuring out how they want to wield that power.”

Although she made her Hollywood debut in 2010 at age 13 in the first volume of Garry Marshall’s holiday-set trilogy “Valentine’s Day,” her role in Netflix’s “Never Have I Ever” made her “a more recognizable name and face,” she told Teen Vogue. She was seen in as Aneesa, a cool new Muslim girl at Sherman Oaks High, who experiences an eating disorder, is a star athlete, and later realizes she’s bisexual.

She told Teen Vogue that she’s “thankful for that slowed trajectory to being a public figure.” If she had this fame when she was a teenager, she would’ve been “a menace,” she added. “People equate being famous to being important, and that’s just not true.”

Teen Vogue noted that it is this realization, coupled with her “stable, supportive life that gives her the courage and desire to experiment with the roles she takes on.” One of the things she wants to do as an actor is show “varied depictions of the larger South Asian diaspora,” she stated. “I’m really interested in playing different characters…. not the same role over and over again,” she added. “South Asians are all so complex, and I want to stray from the stereotypical narrative that we may have about our families.”

She was seen in ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat,” where she played the daughter of Mina (Preity Zinta). She was featured in the episode titled “Magic Motor Inn,” with Zinta and Vis Das, which centers on an Indian family whose daughter (Suri) attends school with Eddie Huang (Hudson Yang). “Fresh Off The Boat” talks about the life of a Taiwanese-American family in Florida in the 1990s.

Her first title role was Prarthana Mohan’s “The MisEducation of Bindu,”a coming-of-age dramedy presenting a view of high school identity and integration through the eyes of Bindu, a 14-year-old Indian girl living in Midwest America. On “Poker Face,” she portrayed a goth employee at a convenience store. 

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Suri’s first leading role came in the 2023 Hindu mythology-inspired horror movie “It Lives Inside” directed by Bishal Dutta. The horror film follows Samidha, an Indian American high school student who prefers to go by “Sam,” and struggles with her heritage and wants only to be like everyone else. After a falling out with her former best friend, Tamira (Mohana Krishnan), she unwittingly releases a demonic spirit that feeds on her loneliness. 

Dutta told GeekTV  that Suri was the first person he met for the role. “I couldn’t get her out of my mind for this character,” he said. “I could tell based on her previous work that she was capable of doing the insecure, really likable teenage character.”

Suri told Teen Vogue that she was drawn to the role because her character “feels cultural discomfort and eventual acceptance, which many diasporic kids may relate to.” Sam’s “cultural Assimilation” echoed her own experience of returning to California after a two-year stint in India during her youth.” Also, as a horror fan, she felt “centering of a brown face in that genre felt revolutionary to her because it was not something she had seen in her favorites of those films growing up,” she said. For her, “the biggest shift” from the roles she used to audition for and now is “the level of complexity,” she said, adding that she wants “a lot of versatility” in the characters she’s playing.

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