SVSU alumna and Bollywood actress Meera Chopra visited theater students and lectured on using media to discuss societal issues.
Chopra graduated with a master of arts in communication and multimedia in 2004 and then moved home to India to find a job.
During her lecture Thursday in the Malcolm Field Theatre, she said she first worked for American Express after graduating.
Shortly after, she received an offer to work for a media firm. After starting at the media firm, she modeled for a magazine cover, which launched her acting career.
The first acting job she took was in South India in 2007. She made several films before deciding to move to Bombay and pursue making films in Bollywood.
She explained how films are produced for target audiences and reflect life, and how differences between the two regions are reflected in the styles of the films.
Chopra didn’t receive big roles for nearly a year after moving there. She caught her first big break in the Bollywood film “1920 London,” a horror film.
Chopra let the forum audience in on a few tricks of the trade. When she had to react to ghosts in the film, she would look at an apple or a banana as a placeholder for what is put in the movie digitally after filming.
Chopra moved to Bollywood seeking to make films with more serious content.
Her latest movie, “Section 375,” focuses on the rape laws in India.
Chopra talked about a gang rape that happened in 2012. The victim was school-aged and died seven days after it happened.
After the incident, the laws in India became very strict, and the courtroom became an environment where the accused was guilty until proven innocent.
However, Chopra explained that India is now facing the issue of people abusing the law and reporting fake rape cases. These make it harder for true cases to be taken to court appropriately and solved in a timely manner.
Rape cases take significantly longer now because of all of the skepticism reports receive.
In “Section 375,” Chopra plays a woman who reports a fake rape and goes through trial to prosecute an innocent man. Chopra hopes that the movie will open a conversation about the issue.
Her next project is “Nastik,” a film about issues in prostitution. She will play a police officer investigating prostitution, another issue in India she is passionate in starting a discussion about.
Chopra passed on some words of wisdom to the students in attendance. She encouraged them to find their passion and follow it. She also thanked SVSU for making her who she is today.