There is plenty of fresh blood in Bollywood, but up-and-coming actress Swara Bhaskar, who plays the lead in upcoming film Listen Amaya, compares the entertainment industry to a jungle where she believes the "survival of the fittest" dictum truly applies.
"I think Bollywood today has a lot of great talent — very beautiful, good- looking people, who are also great actors. This is a good time for all of us. But Bollywood is a jungle; so everyone is in a competition and I guess only the fittest will survive," the 26-year-old says.
Swara was a Delhi University student and went on to do her masters in sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University. Her father is the well known strategic expert C Uday Bhaskar and her mother, Ira Bhaskar, is a renowned professor of film studies.
She began her acting career with 2010 film Madholal Keep Walking. She was last seen in Kangana Ranaut-starrer Tanu Weds Manu, where she played the second female lead.
Her forthcoming film Listen Amaya, directed by debutant Avinash Kumar Singh, tells the story of Amaya and her widowed mother, who begins to develop a relationship with Amaya's friend.
To be screened at the 15th London Asian Film Festival in March, it also features veterans like Farooque Shaikh and Deepti Naval, who have shared screen space 28 years after their 1983 film Katha.
Swara finds herself extremely lucky to be in the same frame as them so early in her career.
"Deepti ma'am and Farooque sir were a great pleasure to work with. Just watching them both at work was a big lesson for me. They are both so effortless and easy in front of the camera and their performance is so fluid and convincing.
A trained Bharatanatyam dancer, she feels that "formal training in a performing art is important for an actor".