Known for preferring unglamourous roles and portraying serious characters, the lissome Yagna Shetty seems to have hit the jackpot, bagging a role that could take her to the next level of cinematic excellence. With ample scope to perform, her next project is a film titled Ramabai, which chronicles the life of Dr Bhimarao Ambedkar’s wife Ramabai.
The actress, who is just 13 films old in Sandalwood, states that the film directed by M Ranganath is just the kind that she has been looking for. “I am glad that people consider giving me heavy-duty performance-oriented roles where I need to perform. I am also very choosy as to what I sign on as I don’t believe in numbers. At the most, I do one or two films in a year. I am a little careful and have always been a part of projects that I believe in,” says Yagna.
Speaking about her role in Ramabai produced by Auditor Srinivas, she says, “It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I was very satisfied doing it. Being a protagonist of this film is a good addition to my filmography.”
According to the actress, the film is completely factual and while there have been many movies about Dr Ambedkar and his life, not much has been said about his wife. “She made so many sacrifices for her husband in her short life. And throughout those 35 years, she was struggling only to support her husband. In an original letter written to Ramabai, Ambedkar acknowledges her sacrifice and states that she was one of the main reasons for his achievements,” says Yagna.
Personally, Yagna did a fair bit of her own research to get into the skin of Ramabai. “I picked up reading materials and even researched her on the Internet in order to learn more about her and that period. I tried a few things while acting but the main inputs came from the director and the team,” she says.
About the script, the actress states that director Ranganath, who is associated with Dharwad theatre, got hold of an academic Siddaram Karanik who was doing some research on Dr Ambedkar and is also playing him in the film. “Through the process, he researched Ramabai as well. That’s how the script was written. We shot at the exact locations where Ramabai stayed. Major portions were shot in Dharwad and Karwar,” she says.
The film is at the rerecording stage and is touted to be screened at various festivals. “This kind of a film can be showcased at renowned film festivals and I think it will be ready by August,” she says.