As someone who nursed acting dreams from a very young age but had no filmy background, the last thing Sharanya R Nair expected was to be cast opposite someone like Tovino Thomas for her debut.
The film, Maradona, coming out in July, has some fine talents among its crew, and the newcomer gushes about her experiences on the film, director Vishnu Narayan's direction, Tovino and how she managed to pull everything off.
Sharanya landed the part after appearing in two successive auditions. Though she had taken part in her college culturals, she couldn't believe it when Vishnu picked her for his film. "Initially I got a lot of calls to act in serials but I wasn't interested in that. It has always been films for me."
The MBA graduate from CUSAT received the call to act in the film just after getting placed at a corporate. "I thought I would have to resign the job but the company was okay with me taking a leave to go for the shoot."
It took her a while to get accustomed to the strange experience. "I was seeing all these new faces and I didn't know any of them. But Vishnu Sir suggested that I first study the portions that I was not in and slowly get an idea of how the set operates: cameras, lighting, blocking, etc. I got a chance to mingle with everyone and that made me very comfortable. He then asked me to develop her personality, thoughts...all the details. Tovino also helped."
Maradona, which is a romantic thriller, has Sharanya playing Asha, a home nurse who falls in love with Tovino's character, Maradona. "Asha is a 'katta local' character -- innocent and very talkative. She is much closer to my personality. She puts her mind to everything she does. And she is not too modern."
Was it awkward filming the romance portions? "Yes, it was, initially. In fact, my first scene was a romance scene. These two live in the same building but given the placement of their flats, the romance happens quite often without them seeing each other."
Tovino made her feel comfortable, says Sharanya. "I was nervous wondering how they all will look at a newcomer. But everyone was cool. Tovino had none of the trappings of a big star. We were conversing like two ordinary people. I had a great time on set."