When director Yogaraj Bhat made Mungaru Male, he raised the bar for the makers in Sandalwood, guiding the industry to an entirely new league of filmmaking. That was in 2006. Now, director Shashank has taken up the huge challenge of making a sequel Mungaru Male 2. While he will be facing a mountain of expectations, he is taking no chances as he chooses the right partners who will undertake this epic journey with him.
Having roped in Ganesh and Ravichandran, he has zeroed in on newbie Neha Shetty to play the lead. “Neha Shetty will be the new Mungaru Male girl. She is a Kannadiga and as a young model who won Miss Mangalore and was the first runner-up in Miss South India,” he says.
According to Shashank, he spotted Neha in a newspaper in the month of February. “We were thinking of going on floors from April. At that time she was busy with her PUC exams and could not be a part of the project. The film got postponed to July, and while we were still on with the search, her father called up last week and told us that his daughter had completed her exams and was getting ready for the Miss India Pageant to be held next year.”
Shashank reveals that unlike Mungaru Male, the heroine in the sequel has significant prominence. “Neha’s role is equal to that of the hero Ganesh and while the film has a strong essence of Mungaru Male, it will not continue from where it ended,” says the director.
Shashank is already trying to mould Neha into the character. “She is presently going through script rehearsals. We have appointed a theatre person who is explaining the character to Neha. Since she was a model, we are also teaching her the basics of acting and in the process, she will be taught to segue into the role of a girl who is vibrant and represents today’s generation. Thankfully, she is quite close to the character,” he says.
Shashank plans to go on floors from July 28. “Along with Ravichandran, we have Ravi Shankar and Sadhu Kokila among other artistes who are playing important roles,” he adds.
The Lucky Break Neha is equally excited to make her
debut with a director like Shashank and Mungaru Male 2. “I am glad to start my career with a good director. Since I was always keen to be part of films, it is sheer luck that I have bagged Mungaru Male 2 as my launch vehicle. I am currently in and out of rehearsals and practices,” says Neha. A model, Neha says that she now has a whole new subject to study. “I was thinking to pursue computer engineering. But since I have a new subject called ‘cinema’ to study, I will now keep everything aside and concentrate on my acting skills,” she says.