When the trailer for the adult comedy movie, Blockers, was released, very few people expected much in terms of quality from the project as it was considered to be another by-the-numbers Hollywood flick. But when the movie finally hit the theaters in 2018, it became one of the highest-selling comedies in the year, birthing the rise to fame of the film’s leading star, Geraldine Viswanathan.
In another decade or two in the past, one would not expect a minority like Viswanathan to be the shining star of a Hollywood flick, but times are changing. Talented actresses like her are getting a chance to show what they are made of, as demonstrated by her performance in the aforementioned movie, which was a breakout moment for her career that began in 2015.
The Multicultural Background of Geraldine Viswanathan
Geraldine Viswanathan’s life began on the 20th of June, 1995, in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. Much is unknown about her parents, but the little we know so far is part of what makes Geraldine a special woman.
The young actress was born into a multi-ethnic family. Her mother, Anja Raith, is from Switzerland while her father, Suresh Viswanathan, is a native of the Asian ethnic group, Malaysian Tamil. The inter-racial relationship between the couple resulted in the birth of Geraldine in Australia, making her eligible for citizenship in a number of countries.
Her Mother Had Dreams of Becoming an Actress
Geraldine’s mother Anja is said to have wanted to become an actress, however, after getting married and having children, her dreams became challenging to fulfill although she still managed to be a part of shows like Annie and Westside Story. Anja’s father is also involved in the film industry. He makes documentaries and was a ballet dancer.
As for other members of the Viswanathan family, Geraldine has a sister named Indira Viswanathan, whose only known detail is an anecdote her sister shared about them running a guinea pig farm when they were much younger.
Her Road to Hollywood
Having fallen in love with the performance arts at a young age, Geraldine Vishwanathan enrolled at a school of Performing Arts in Broadmeadow, Newcastle, Australia. She later shelved those dreams as she followed the advice of her teachers to study towards becoming a diplomat.
While working to get a degree in international studies and media, her parents who had already recognized the acting talent in their daughter, encouraged her to drop out and become an actor when she was 15. Geraldine later went on to make her on-screen debut at the age of 19 and has gone on to appear in several movies and TV Shows, including the hit movie Blockers which made $94 million on a budget of $21 million.
Since she gained mainstream success and recognition, Geraldine Vishwanathan has become the toast of many young adult film fans. She has cited the popular show, Friends, as an inspiration, and actress Anne Hathaway as a role model for some of her acting techniques.
Her Early Appearances Were Bit Part Roles
When Geraldine Viswanathan starred in Blockers in 2018, it was the culmination of a journey that had begun three years prior in 2015. The actress had experienced a lot of bad luck in her auditions in the past. This made her not dare to be overly optimistic when she got the call for the role. According to her, she could not tell her close friends that she had booked a role in a film because anything could happen and she would end up not being cast.
Geraldine’s first acting credit came in Big Bad World, a short film where she appeared as Neha. In the same year, she appeared in another short film, Moose, where she played the character of Lucy, and then as Sarah in the pilot episode of the show, Lost Angels.
Things took a step forward in her career in 2016 when she starred in All Out Dysfunktion!, the short film Spice Sisters, and the feature film Emo the Musical where she played the character of Jamali. In 2017, she took another step forward by getting cast in a recurring role as Janet King in Bonnie Mahesh, and then in the show, The Y2K Bug, where she played the character, Addison.
In 2018, things changed for Geraldine Viswanathan as she got cast as Kayla in Blockers. The film, which starred other film stars like Leslie Mann, John Cena, and Kathryn Newton, saw her emerge the best performer in the film, earning the praise of several critics. In the movie, the actress played the daughter of John Cena’s character who was a part of a group of friends that had made a pact to lose their virginity on prom night.
Geraldine Viswanathan’s Growing Filmography Includes Several Other Popular Projects
With her breakout film behind her, Geraldine Viswanathan has gone on to star in other notable projects. She has further gone ahead to work with some notable names in the industry, such as Steve Buscemi, Daniel Radcliffe, Hugh Jackman, and Gabriel Luna, among a few others.
The very first hit project the actress was a part of after her role in Blockers was the Netflix black comedy film, The Package. She followed that up with an appearance in the coming-of-age drama, Hala, and then the TBS anthology comedy series, Miracle Workers.
Geraldine’s latest, the festival favorite Bad Education, falls somewhere on the spectrum between the easy laughs of Blockers and the quiet introspection of Hala.
The actress played the character of a high schooler named Rachel Bhargava who is a student journalist. Rachel follows the advice of Frank Tassone, the superintendent of Roslyn School District, who tells her that “a real journalist can turn any assignment into a story.” This leads the young student to unveil the largest public school embezzlement in American history.