Banita Sandhu, latest NRI heroine to grace Bollywood; revealed as Varun Dhawan’s ‘October’ costar

Bollywood seems to be smitten with NRI girls when it comes to leading lady roles. Punjabi-origin Banita Sandhu, currently living in the UK, is the latest of a growing number of NRI models and actresses finding roles in Bollywood. She joins the ranks of Katrina Kaif, Sunny Leone, Rameet Sandhu and others to become a Bollywood star.

Varun Dhawan revealed the name of the female lead in his latest flick October on social media, newcomer Welsh NRI model Banita Sandhu.


#October. Here's the October girl @shoojitsircar @ronnie.lahiri @juhic3 . Thank you for picture @avigowariker

A post shared by Varun Dhawan (@varundvn) on

The actor’s new project, directed by Shoojit Sircar, is set to release in June 2018.

Indian Director Shoojit seems to have made it a habit to launch fresh new faces in Bollywood – he is credited with giving Minissha Lamba, Ayushmann Khurrana and Yami Gautam their debuts in the past.

Banita is an NRI model from Wales, UK, who has been acting in commercials and more since she was 12. She is also well known for the Vodafone TVC, and has previously worked with Shoojit on a commercial too.


She is the #October girl I was looking for #soojitsircar #ronnielahari

A post shared by Varun Dhawan (@varundvn) on

Sharing a photo from the movie’s promo shoot on Instagram, Varun wrote, “#October. Here’s the October girl @shoojitsircar #ronnielahari #juhichatruvedi. Thank you for picture @avigowariker.” Varun also shared a blurry image of the actor earlier with the caption, ” “She is the #October girl I was looking for. @ShoojitSircar @ronnielahiri,”wrote Varun Dhawan on Twitter.”

October is the first collaboration between Varun and Shoojit Sircar, but Banita’s revelation seems to have created a bigger buzz. Shoojit said, “When it comes to the genre of romance, it is always beautiful to see a fresh pairing. Something about seeing their chemistry blossom through the reels of the film, makes you feel a part of their journey from the very beginning. For October, that was one of the main reasons why I chose Banita for the lead role opposite Varun.”

Varun Dhawan and Banita Sandhu in a promo shoot.
Varun Dhawan and Banita Sandhu in a promo shoot. Photo courtesy: instagram

Talking about October, producer Ronnie Lahiri said, “At Rising Sun Films, our endeavour has always been to create stories that are simple, connect with the audience and stay with them. October will hopefully be one more step in that direction.”

The production house is known for backing a quirky, offbeat repertoire of films like Yahaan, Vicky Donor, Madras Cafe, Piku and Pink that have explored different genres and have won national and critic accolades.

Tushaar Kuthiala
Tushaar Kuthiala – Associate Editor

Tushaar has extensive experience as a journalist and in founding two start-up newspapers. He has developed editorial models for both copy and content, and has written several articles, news reports on a wide range of topics. He is a graduate of St. Stephen’s College and earned a post-graduate diploma in TV Journalism from the Asian College of Journalism (ACJ), Chennai. He has worked as a special correspondent based in New Delhi with Daily World, an international media organisation. 


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