This year has been the busiest in Sai Dhanshika’s career, with three films having already released and three more set to come, including this week’s release, Vizhithiru. “All the films seem to be releasing together. It’s amazing. I don’t think people would mind seeing a heroine so frequently, as films are generally thought to revolve around the heroes,” she says.
Excerpts from a conversation below:
While Solo and Uru received good reviews, Enga Amma Rani sank at the box office.
Nevertheless, it is an important film for me. The director approached me saying that the film was written with me in mind. Other films in my career like Nil Gavani Sellathey and Thiranthidu Seese were also like that. When scripts are tailor-made for you, it makes you feel special. I thought of the film as an experiment and didn’t have any expectations.
You weren’t affected by the film’s failure?
When you know you have put in a lot of effort, failure doesn’t affect you as much. I always focus on giving more in my next film. I never relax even when a film does well.
But surely, there will be takeaways from each film?
Definitely. Over the years, I’ve learnt a lot. Both success and failure teach their own lessons. I’m now concentrating on differentiating myself in each film. In this week’s release Vizhithiru, for example, I play a role that I haven’t done before.
The film happened before Kabali — about four years back to be precise. We shot for two and a half years. I play a slum girl who speaks Chennai Tamil. Meera Kathiravan sir has written the story intriguingly.
You’ve said that this is the first time you’ve tried your hand at comedy.
Yes, I wasn’t sure if I could pull it off. I share many scenes with Thambi Ramaiah sir, and as you know, he has an amazing sense of timing, and improvises a lot too. I was quite nervous. But the team helped.
Apart from having to speak Madras baashai, what were the other challenges?
The role itself is quite unusual for me. I’m not a loud person, but here, I had to be. We also shot a lot in the night and that upset my sleep patterns.
The press meet of the film garnered widespread attention following what seemed like T Rajendherr taking you to task for not thanking him in your speech.
I was hurt and needed a week to recover. I switched off my phone for a day, as I didn’t want to contact anyone. I didn’t want to fuel the controversy. When I switched my phone on, I was overwhelmed by all the support I received. Thanks to all the support, I was able to get back to my usual self.
After Kabali, you’re also much sought after in films of other languages.
I got those offers even before Kabali actually, but I thought I should make a mark in Tamil cinema before stepping outside. I guess Kabali did the trick. I’m working on quite a few of bilinguals many of which will get released in Tamil.
Tell us about some of your upcoming work.
Kaalakkoothu and Kaathadi will get released soon. The makers are finding it difficult to get the required number of screens. Kitna is also on. I’ve signed up Mela, a Tamil-Telugu bilingual with Surya Teja which I’ll begin work on soon. I’ve also got Kuzhali (Vaalujada in Telugu). It’s a revolutionary film and I’m also looking forward to shooting an important jallikattu scene. There’s also Udgharsha, a Telugu-Kannada bilingual. Incidentally, I’ve got action sequences in all these bilinguals.
I practise Silambam every day to improve my focus and concentration. It’s better than doing cardio. I would love to do a Silambam-oriented film.