Bay Area native Rashmi Rustagi appears in her first major film the upcoming blockbuster “The Avengers.” Based on the ever-popular comic book series first published in 1963, “The Avengers” assembles Earth’s mightiest superheroes to save the world from disaster where Rustagi plays the only Indian woman in Kolkata where Bruce Banner aka The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) tames his temper by saving her family.

Born in Lucknow, Rustagi is fluent in Hindi, Urdu and English. This afforded Mark Ruffalo the opportunity for Rustagi to dialogue with him in Hindi. Rustagi reflects, “Working with Ruffalo was so enjoyable. I developed an admiration for his commitment to learning Hindi, which allowed his performance to not only, be accurate, but captivating. I was impressed with how down-to-earth he was and how he endeared himself to the cast members in the scene.”

Rustagi continues, “If I was blind-folded and brought to the production set in Arizona, I’d think I was in Kolkata because Joss Whedon did a fantastic job depicting the congested, chicken and livestock bred streets of Kolkata.” Rustagi’s acting roles include Bollywood films “Compromise,” “Under One Sun,” and “It’s a Mismatch” with Bollywood actors Anupam Kher and Boman Irani.

Not limited to the silver screen, Rustagi is also a San Francisco Theater Works actor (Baby Taj), producer, writer and cook. She shares her recipes in her food blog Rashmi’s Recipes
“The Avengers” opens May 4.

Vandana Kumar is a publishing executive with a 35-year track record in the industry. She leads the India Currents Foundation as President and CEO. As a new immigrant, she co-founded India Currents magazine...