Set in Vandana Valley Girls School (VVGS), Prime Video’s Original series, Big Girls Don’t Cry is a coming-of-age drama that takes us through the lives of 7 friends and classmates. These students—played by Avantika Vandanapu, Aneet Padda, Dalai, Vidushi, Lhakyila, Afrah Sayed, and Akshita Sood—form beautiful friendships while battling their elite boarding schools’ archaic traditions. The show gives a peek into the life of present-day teenagers who are trying to make sense of the world and figure out their place in it.

The boarding school drama, recently unveiled by Ananya Panday, will stream on Prime Video across 240 countries and territories from March 14.

We spoke to the cast about their back-to-school experience with the show and here’s what we learned from them.

Tell us who you are playing and what’s happening at the beginning of Big Girls Don’t Cry for each of your characters

Lhakyila: I play Jayashree Chetri or JC who is determined to make the beauty business that Roohi (played by Aneet Padda) and I run in the school premises a success. She can be herself around her friends in this school whereas back home it’s a different story. Her best friend Roohi (Padda) is like family and someone she believes would never hurt her. However, their friendship takes a rocky turn when they get involved in a love triangle. Eventually, they make up because well, ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’. That’s all I can share, you’ll have to watch the show to learn more.

Big Girls Don't Cry Prime Video

Dalai: I play Pluggy who is unconventionally loved by her friends and family. However, she doesn’t realise or accept this, which is why she is hellbent on proving herself. Her journey throughout the show is about realising that the love she’s looking for everywhere is within herself and that the people who matter have always seen her as worthy.

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Vidushi: Kavya Yadav is a new entrant at VVGS thanks to a scholarship. She doesn’t come from an economically privileged background. In an elite boarding school, she tries to fit in by hiding her true identity. In this process, she slowly loses touch with who she really is and where her roots lie. Hers is a story of self-acceptance, forging ahead and realising one’s true worth.

Sayed: Noor is an extremely intelligent, organised and responsible student. She has big dreams, aspires to be school captain and wants to achieve big goals - she even has a detailed and well-planned vision board. You see her go from a strict junior captain to just like every other teenager who has her own dilemmas. 

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What about your character resonates the most with you as a person?

Lhakyila:  I love how quiet JC is but speaks up when it needs to be done. I am just like that.

Dalai: I’m a romantic, I romanticise everything—from the nariyal pani I drink while running errands to conversations with my best friend. Pluggy is in the fledgling stages of realising this about herself in the show. She pours her romantic energy into boys but sure enough, like many girls she realises that there are so many other cups to fill with all the love that she has to give. I deeply resonate with her desire to belong as well, to feel as though you are valued in a group.

Vidushi: Kavya is a simple girl from a humble and close-knit family who has big dreams that make her stand out from her bloodline. The fact that she is so hardworking and resilient while trying to find herself is what resonates with me the most.

Big Girls Don't Cry Prime Video

Sayed: The love for her friends, her sister and her passion towards her dreams and aspirations! When I first read about Noor’s character, I instantly felt a connect with her. Noor is the girl every parent wants their child to be like, and many students (like me) aspired to be.

What was the prep work like for getting into the skin of your character, that of an ambitious high schooler?

Lhakyila: JC and I have different personalities. I had to mute down my energy a little since JC is more poised and feminine, whereas I’m that one clumsy person, someone who makes jokes during serious conversations and gives people the most awkward responses.

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Dalai: Pluggy is a teenager who hasn’t formed her own personal character yet, but believes she is exactly who she will be for the rest of her life. My approach and day-to-day reminder while playing her was to simply flow. I believe you must do the bare minimum of finding your character's voice, body language and history and then surrender. When you’re playing a high schooler who’s subject to her own ever-changing whims, what else is there to do but release yourself to the tide and trust it all?

Big Girls Don't Cry Prime Video BGDC

Vidushi: The prep was rigorous but fun. We had workshops with which helped me understand Kavya’s world. From reading the whole 7 episodes multiple times, to finally stepping on set— it was a wonderful feeling.

Sayed: To prep for Noor, our director Sudhanshu asked me to make a detailed time table of how her day would go at VVGS. As we went on figuring her schedule, it got easier to understand Noor herself. We made her ‘vision board’- my perspective of it, and then checked how much it matched hers. We also had workshops that helped us understand our characters better, taught us to balance emotions in a scene, and also helped the cast bond with each other so the chemistry of being childhood friends would feel right on screen. I made notes about every time a character had mentioned Noor, and what they said about/think about/told her. This really helped me understand each relation Noor shared with another character.

This show is based on the theme of girls having each other’s backs. Can you recall one memory from your personal life when your female friend(s) came through for you in a difficult situation?

Lhakyila: Three years ago, when I used to live by myself in Bangkok, I tripped and fell on top of a glass jar at around 1 am in my living room. I had blood all over my leg. I was scared thinking I may pass out anytime soon and I called my friend not knowing if she’s awake. Next thing you know, she's outside my door and rushed to take me to the hospital. I got 11 stitches that day on my thigh.

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Vidushi: When my dadi passed away during Covid-19, a very dear friend visited me every day—she didn’t ask me anything, she would just come and we would go for a walk. She gave me space while letting me know that she is there. I call her didi because she is older than me and I am forever grateful to her.

Big Girls Don't Cry Prime Video

Sayed: I’m extremely grateful to have had my girls be there for me on multiple occasions! Whether I need fashion advice or have to talk about something serious or just rant about a bad day, they’re here. A big ‘girls support girls’ moment took place very recently, when BGDC’s billboards were put up in the city. My girl gang somehow convinced the people in charge to let me go on the building’s terrace where the billboard was placed! It was the sweetest gesture. Here’s a photo of me.

Afrah Sayed BGDC Prime Video

What is one standout memory from the set of Big Girls Don’t Cry?

Lhakyila: There was this one time when Aneet had kept a jar of Nutella in the vanity and when we came back in after the shoot, someone had devoured the entire thing—the jar was clear. The culprit had left a surprise in the bathroom too. Aneet cried like a baby that day and someone from the production then got her a bigger jar of Nutella.

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Dalai: Midway through our Ooty schedule, there was a full day of shooting at a fairground. It felt like a school outing—the same way that you share meals and sleep in each other's beds like in boarding. Everyone had different scenes with different directors so whoever was free would run off and jump on one of the free rides. We saw the sunset as we were spinning around on a tilt-o-whirl. It truly felt as though the entire cast was back in school together.

Vidushi: Sometimes while filming there used to be music, so dancing off camera and acting on camera was something we all enjoyed a lot.

Big Girls Don't Cry Prime Video
Big Girls Don't Cry Prime Video
Big Girls Don't Cry Prime Video
Big Girls Don't Cry Prime Video
Big Girls Don't Cry Prime Video
Big Girls Don't Cry Prime Video
Big Girls Don't Cry Prime Video
Big Girls Don't Cry Prime Video