After getting noticed for her performances in Thiru Thiru Thuru Thuru and Naan, actor Rupa Manjari did two Malayalam films. Now, she’s back in K Town with director Sathyashiva’s Sivappu and Deekay’s Yaamirukka Bayamen. In a chat with CE, Rupa says why Sivappu, where she plays a Sri Lankan Tamil refugee, will be a landmark film for her.
“After my debut, people thought I was more suited for urban characters. But, I was yearning to play a village girl. So I’m really grateful to director Sathyashiva for this role. The story and the character captivated me and the fact that renowned cameraman Madhu Ambat was involved in it, clinched it for me,” says Rupa about the Muktha Entertainments’ film, co-produced by Punnagai Poo Geetha and SG Films.
Rupa adds, “I’m very proud to be part of this project. It’s a love story with a strong message told in a realistic way. It will be one among the most important movies in my career.”
So how did she prepare for her tough role?
“I’ve been reading about the issue of Sri Lankan Tamils in the papers. But, the tutor, who helped me with my diction, gave me more valuable insights. She told me her personal tragedies during her life in Sri Lanka. She faced death almost daily. She narrated stories of what she witnessed around her. She faced hunger routinely and was homeless. All this moved me greatly. I put all the emotions I felt into the character,” recalls Rupa.
The film involved shooting in dismal conditions in a building under construction. The gloomy atmosphere and the disturbed emotional state of her character posed a challenge for the normally chirpy Rupa. She adds that the role was also physically exhausting.
“We had to act and work amid mud, muck, cement, dirty roads and rainwater. We even had to wear the same clothes for days without washing for continuity and realism. We often slept only for a few hours. But everything was worth it,” she says with a smile.
Rupa is all praise for her co-stars . “Veteran actor Raj Kiran is known as an iron man but at heart he’s as soft as a baby. Naveen Chandra, is one of the most dedicated actors and he will do anything for the role. He has a very bright future,” she says.