The stars of film and television are some of the most talented individuals in the world. In order to find success in the incredibly competitive entertainment industry, actors and actresses must have a combination of talent, charisma, and looks. Further, they require a strong work ethic. For most of these individuals, a career in acting is the result of a lifetime devoted to the craft.
A rare few individuals are able to see success in this industry while making use of their talents in other areas. One such actress is Melanie Chandra. Chandra has burst onto the television industry and is becoming increasingly popular with her roles in Code Black and The Brink. Further, this month saw the release of her newest project, Brown Nation. This series is the first to be released on Netflix while featuring an all-Indian cast. It centers on the lives of an Indian family living in New York City.
Although Chandra’s popularity with mainstream audiences is on the upswing, few people give her enough recognition for her diverse and impressive skillset. Understanding the personal life and background of this actress will help fans to better appreciate what a unique talent she truly is. Here are ten of the most interesting facts about Melanie Chandra.
10. Her family wanted her to be an engineer
Anyone who knows Chandra through her work would be surprised to find out that her family initially wanted her to pursue a different career path. However, this perspective is biased because of her incredible success as an actress.
Before becoming so successful, Chandra’s family urged her to pursue engineering. Her family were very conservative and academic. In fact, many of her uncles were engineers as well. Although Chandra was successful in math and science, she knew that her passion was in performing.
9. She married her long-time friend
Celebrity relationships are tumultuous for a number of reasons. These reasons include the incredible pressure of having one’s relationship examined by thousands of fans, as well as the difficulty of managing busy schedules. Some of the most successful relationships, therefore, occur between stars and partners that they have known for many years.
In 2015, Melanie married her long-time friend Neeraj Chandra. He is a managing director at Tiger Global Management. The two were engaged for a year before marrying on a resort in the Bahamas.
8. She is a very successful model
Although most of her fans know her from her recent acting roles, Chandra’s modeling career is just as storied as her acting career, if not more. This included winning the 2007 Miss India America contest. In addition, Chandra has modeled for massive brands like Nescafe, Verizon, Crocs, and Acura. She has also been featured in a 5-page spread for Vogue India Magazine.
7. Her parents were initially uncomfortable with her career choice
While Chandra is now an incredibly successful performer, it was still a great risk to take to leave a comfortable job in order to pursue acting. Wanting the best for her, Chandra’s parents were initially very worried that this decision would bring financial struggles and disappointment to their daughter.
However, after viewing her performance in Rules of Engagement, her first major role, her parents were instantly put at ease.
6. Melanie Chandra Net Worth
With such a diverse career, it is no surprise that Chandra boasts a considerable personal fortune. Her current net worth is estimated to be around $6.3 million. This sum has been earned through her acting and modeling work. With her acting career still in its infancy, this net worth is sure to continue rising.
5. She is highly educated
Although most people would assume that a person with the talent and beauty of Chandra moved immediately into the spotlight after high school, this is not the case. Chandra is every bit as intelligent and motivated as she is talented.
The best example of her considerable intellect is the fact that she holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. In fact, her academic performance was so strong that she quickly landed a consulting job with McKinsey & Company before giving it up to pursue acting.
4. She was a leader at Stanford
Standing out as a leader in high school is an excellent accomplishment, but it is far more difficult to do so at university. At a prestigious institution like Stanford, where the brightest minds come to study from all over the country, it takes a very special individual to stand out from the pack.
Chandra is such a special individual. She even served as the Student Body President in her senior year. Further, she was a member of both the school’s cheerleading team and its Bollywood dance team.
3. She became involved in important causes while at Stanford
Despite the rigorous academic demands of university and the various responsibilities Chandra took on with her extra-curricular activities, she still found time to extend help to those in need. Her charity work while studying at Stanford included a stint volunteering in India with the non-governmental organization Jagriti Vihara. While this may seem like a side project, albeit a commendable one, it was actually one of the most important experiences Chandra had at university.
2. She is a world-class fighter
From acting to modeling to academics, there seems to be nothing that Chandra cannot do. However, even with such an incredible array of talents, one would not expect the gorgeous Chandra to be legitimately skilled in combat sports.
Chandra holds a 2nd degree black belt in Shotokan Karate. However, this status is not merely some fancy title. She has demonstrated her abilities on the world stage, representing the US at the Pan American Games in 2000, 2001, and 2002. She won two bronze medals at the games.
1. She is dedicated to charity
While her introduction to charity and volunteering began in her university days, Chandra has continued to build upon this experience. Her passion and dedication to helping people in need has motivated her to create Hospital for Hope, a non-profit organization.
This organization provides healthcare services for people in rural India. It is truly inspiring to see that someone like Chandra, who is multi-talented and enormously successful, being so generous with her time.