Nelu Handa is known for her work as a writer on Run The Burbs, Sort Of, TallBoyz and The Baroness Von Sketch Show, but lately she’s been getting a lot of buzz for her acting in the hit Canadian web series Avocado Toast.
Created by Perrie Voss and Heidi Lynch, the Canadian web series Avocado Toast is being recognized by the Canadian Screen Awards for its honest portrayals of women finding their footing later in life than expected.
Described as “a queer, female-driven dramedy about friendship, family and intimacy” Avocado Toast tells the stories of Molly and Elle, two best friends in their early 30s navigating bisexuality, divorce, mental health issues and so much more.
Among the series’ 7 nominations at the 2023 Canadian Screen Awards, (including Best Fiction Web Program or Series) Nelu scored her first acting nomination for her supporting role of Rosie, a no-nonsense friend to Elle and Molly.
“Nelu is a delight and joy to have on set and we’re so lucky to have her playing Rosie,” wrote the co-creators. “This absolute force in the comedy and TV world graced us with her wonderfully dry sense of humour and no-bullsh*t attitude towards the comrades-in-trouble Elle and Molly.”
Ahead of the awards, we caught up with Nelu to ask about what she loves most about Avocado Toast and why Rosie was her ideal role.
Congratulations on your CSA nomination! How did it feel to find out you were nominated?
Thank you! It was a total surprise. It’s my first acting nomination, so I’m thoroughly grateful. There’s a few of us nominated from the show, so I’m happy Avocado Toast is getting its flowers. I’m hugely biased but I’m also glad TallBoyz and Sort Of got so many nods. Big fan of the groundbreakers!
Can you tell us about your experience being a part of Avocado Toast?
I’ve loved it, it’s a fun job and the cast and crew make it a great vibe on set. Heidi and Perrie, the co-creators and stars, have always been so warm and welcoming to me, it’s nice to be part of the family. The series centres around a strong, funny, and tumultuous friendship between two formidable female leads. Bff relationships are very relatable, so I think a lot of people can see themselves in the show.
what friends are for ❤️ pic.twitter.com/MKqNyxy8yJ
— Avocado Toast the series (@AvoToastSeries) October 18, 2022
What do you enjoy most about your character, Rosie?
She’s no-nonsense and generally unimpressed, but also a very good friend to Molly and Elle. I’m a Libra so I like that balance in a human.
Looking back on 8 years of Mirchi Comedy, what has been the most important lesson or memorable moment?
No one woman of colour is a monolith, and we’re often all lumped into one category, which is ridiculous. Mirchi was a chance for us to rep ourselves, and lift each other up in the process. We’re better together. I miss it! And I hope to bring it back in person someday soon.
Something very memorable for me was our 4-year anniversary show, when we sold out the Theatre Centre’s big stage. I was coming back from Montreal for work, so once the plane landed at Billy Bishop, I hauled ass, literally running with my luggage to get out of the airport — that tunnel feels a lot longer when you need to get somewhere fast. I showed up about 30 minutes into the show and walked into the best energy, it was such an incredible vibe. It was proof that the show had become something bigger than I’d imagined.
Is there anything else you’re excited to be working on now?
We’re about to start up the writing room for Season 3 of Run The Burbs. Our team is amazing and it’s so fun making this world come to life. I love that we get to tell modern cultural stories that most shows can’t. Because representation really does matter.
Watch Nelu Handa in Seasons 1 and 2 of Avocado Toast.