‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’ Cast And Character Guide: Who’s Who In Amazon Prime Series?

Having attended a missionary, all-girls school myself, Nitya Mehra’s new Amazon Prime series Big Girls Don’t Cry (BGDC) has struck a deeply personal chord with me. It offers a glimpse into the lives of girls who have to obey the strict rules and regulations of their school, where even the smallest infractions are “NOT TOLERATED!” From sneaking chocolates and chewing gum to daring to wear lipstick or nail polish, the girls of Vandana Valley Girls’ School mirror my own teenage experiences. Like them, I remember the curiosity that bubbled within us—about boys, about breaking the rules and trying to find out who we really are while dealing with all the strict rules around us. Each girl in the series, much like each of us during our school days, is engaged in her own personal battle. Yet, there is a common thread: the quest for self-discovery, as “Atmanam Vidhi” or “Know Thyself.” BGDC showcases the conflicts, the triumphs, and the messy yet beautiful process of growing up. So, let’s delve into the halls of Vandana Valley Girls’ School, and let’s see how each character comes to know themselves!


Spoilers Ahead

Leah Joseph 

Leah Joseph, portrayed by Avantika Vandanapu, is the basketball captain of the Vandana Valley Girls’ School. We have seen Avantika in a recent remake of the popular movie Mean Girls. Leah, popularly known as Ludo, is incredibly determined when it comes to playing sports. But behind her confident facade lies a hidden truth—she’s struggling with her own sexual orientation. She’s afraid to let anyone know that she’s in love with a junior girl named Vidushi. The fear of being labeled “lesbo” by her friends fills her with shame, especially since being the sports captain and playing in national tournaments is her biggest dream. When word spreads about Leah kissing Vidushi, she panics and puts the blame on Vidushi to protect her own reputation. Coming out of the closet seems like an impossible feat for Leah. In a desperate attempt to prove her heterosexuality, she kisses a boy from Oakland High at a social event. She showcases the struggles of many young girls who are afraid to embrace their true selves in a homophobic society where people are too quick to judge. 


Dia Malik

Dia Malik, portrayed by Akshita Sood, is a girl who stands out from the crowd. She’s the epitome of the backbenchers, the rule-breakers, and the nightmares for teachers! Dia doesn’t hold back from speaking her mind; she’s a brilliant poet and definitely not a teacher’s pet. While other students fear punishment and rustication, Dia actually yearns for it, seeing it as an opportunity to break free from the cage of the prestigious school and just be herself. But being true to oneself isn’t always easy, is it? It comes with its own consequences. During a school play, Dia is cautioned not to upset the school’s donor. However, she does not listen to this advice and uses her platform to recite a fiercely feminist piece. As a result, the play’s teacher gets fired, and the school loses its funding. But amidst the chaos, Dia learns a valuable lesson: there’s a right time and place for everything. She realizes the importance of controlling her anger and not rushing to express her frustrations, but staying calm and thoughtful can make all the difference.


Pluggy, played by Dalai, embodies the character of many teenage girls: curious about relationships, losing her virginity, and feeling like time is passing without experiencing life. She expresses her mischievous, sensuous thoughts through her writing, dreaming of experiencing them herself someday. Despite failing the 12th grade twice, Pluggy becomes desperate to lose her virginity. With her friends’ help, she talks to a boy named Jojo on a video call during school and invites him to have intercourse. However, she begins to realize she may be moving too quickly. Maybe she should wait until she finds the right person, falls in love, and feels ready. But these logical thoughts are overshadowed by her teenage curiosity and desire to fit in. Pluggy even asks her best friend, Asad, played by Bodhisattva Sharma, to practice having sex with her so she can be better prepared for the real thing. However, this decision ultimately costs her the friendship of Asad, as she uses his emotions for her own gain. Her character reflects the common belief that losing one’s virginity is tied to age and how girls often feel like they’re missing out as they grow older.


Noor Hassan 

Noor Hassan, played by Afrah Sayed, is a literal teacher’s pet. She’s super ambitious, aiming to get into a top university and become the school captain. But as she works hard to achieve her goals, she starts to notice something not-so-great: the teachers are taking advantage of her. They keep piling on responsibilities, like cleaning up after them when they’re sick or organizing school trips or functions. And Noor, being a people-pleaser, just goes along with it all. When her friend Leah gets unfairly booted from the basketball captaincy, Noor speaks up, but she’s quickly shut down because it could affect her chances of getting a recommendation letter for the fancy university. On top of that, she thinks about giving away her last name, Hassan, because she’s seen so many Muslim alumni get rejected for visas. But then she remembers something important: the school motto is all about knowing and being true to yourself, mistakes and all. So, she decides to rebel a bit. She proudly keeps her last name, Hassan, and even flies a rainbow flag to support her friend’s homosexuality. Noor shows us that you can reach your dreams without sacrificing who you are or what makes you happy. 

Roohi Ahuja 

Roohi Ahuja, played by Aneet Padda, is the kind of friend we all wish we had in our lives. She’s funny and loyal, but behind her cheerful facade, she deals with a troubled family life. Her parents, portrayed by Raima Sen and Mukul Chadda, put on a show of being the perfect couple, but in reality, they never wanted Roohi and aren’t happy in their marriage. Roohi feels stuck in this, pretending to be happy when her true joy comes from her best friend Jayashree. When they both develop feelings for a guy named Veer, Roohi is willing to sacrifice her own feelings to secure their friendship. She even hides the fact that she kissed Veer so Jayashree wouldn’t get upset. Classic teenage drama, right?! In the end, Roohi realizes that honesty is more important than anything else. She apologizes to Jayashree and risks their friendship by telling her the truth. Ultimately, they mend their friendship because they believe in Phoebe’s famous line from Friends: “Boyfriends and girlfriends are going to come and go, but this is for life!”


Jayashree Chetri

Jayashree Chetri, portrayed by Lhakyila, is a princess who feels the weight of her family’s expectations on her shoulders. Her grandmother, in particular, wants her to marry someone wealthy to uphold their prestigious family name. Jayashree becomes a pawn in her grandmother’s game, forced to attend a debutante ball in Venice to find a suitable match. She’s got feelings for a boy, but she’s also worried about letting her grandma down because if she does not marry someone rich it can affect her family’s reputation. It’s a tough spot to be in, for sure. But then things take a turn when her grandma shows her true colors. Instead of caring about Jayashree’s sick mother, she ships her off to Bhutan under some fake story about therapy. That’s when it hits Jayashree—her grandma’s only thinking about herself and their family’s reputation. That realization hits hard. Jayashree knows she can’t keep bending to her grandma’s will at the cost of her own happiness and her family’s well-being. So, with a lot of guts, she stands up to her grandma. She tells her that she will not go to Venice, no matter what. It’s a big moment for her, but she knows it’s the right thing to do.

Kavya Yadav

Kavya is a scholarship student at Vandana Valley Girls School, coming all the way from a small village. She struggles to fit in among the girls, feeling the pressure to be accepted by her wealthier classmates. She sees how other girls get called all sorts of mean names, and she doesn’t want to be labeled as a “scholly” kid, feeling like it’s degrading. So, she tries to hide her background, even making up stories about her parents being in London so she doesn’t have to show them off. It’s like she’s ashamed of her true identity. Kavya really wants to be part of the cool BGDC group, so she starts lying to teachers and skipping classes, even her favorite chemistry class, just to be with them. But little by little, she starts losing herself in all the pretending. When she gets caught copying an assignment, the teacher threatens to kick her out of school because they know her parents can’t afford the fees. But when life gives you a second chance, you must take it, and so does Kavya. Her mother somehow manages to scrape together the money to pay the fees, giving her a second chance. This time around, Kavya realizes she can’t keep pretending. She owns up to being a “scholly” kid and embraces who she is. After all, out of thousands of scholarship applicants, she was the one chosen. Now, she’s determined to make her parents proud and, most importantly, be true to herself.


Anita Verma

Pooja Bhatt shines as Anita Verma, portrays the strict principal who stops at nothing to maintain discipline and uphold the school’s reputation, making you recall those intimidating school days. Anita really cares about the school’s reputation. She even tells the students not to do feminist plays because she’s worried it might affect plans for a science block named after her daughter. But, even though she tries to control everything, she’s not afraid to admit her own mistakes. It is shown how Instead of just punishing Roohi for breaking school rules, she lets her friends handle the situation because she realizes she needs a friend in tough times. And when the students put up the rainbow flag in rebellion, Anita initially opposed it. But then she sees she’s made a mistake and decides not to punish them. She learns from her students that it’s okay for them to discover who they are and be themselves. Teaching the students about self-awareness helps Anita uncover her own complexities, leading to personal growth and understanding.

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Sutanuka Banerjee
Sutanuka Banerjee
Sutanuka, a devoted movie enthusiast, embarked on her cinematic journey since childhood, captivated by the enchanting world of the Harry Potter series. This early passion ignited her love for movies, providing an escape into the magical realms of cinema. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in media science, combining her academic pursuits with her unwavering passion for the silver screen.

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