Saiee Manjrekar is keeping her fingers crossed. Her debut film in Telugu cinema, Ghani, is releasing this Friday (April 8). “It’s a sports drama with a pinch of romance, comedy and family drama. I play Maya, a free-spirited girl, who likes to lead a happy life. Her character, in a way, changes the course of the film. She likes Ghani and the college sequences between these characters are a treat to watch,” says Saiee, the daughter of prominent actor and filmmaker Mahesh Manjrekar.
Although she may be a newcomer to Tollywood, Saiee says she is fond of Telugu films. “I have immense respect for Telugu cinema and I watch all the films that are dubbed in Hindi. Ram Charan’s Magadheera, Allu Arjun’s Pushpa: The Rise and Pawan Kalyan’s Vakeel Saab are my favorites,” she reveals.
The 23-year-old recalls being star struck when she first saw Allu Arjun. “I am a huge fan of Allu Arjun and seeing him in person during the pre-release event of Ghani was special. I was dancing with joy inside and was literally, over the moon. I was equally amazed seeing the incredible fan following of Pawan Kalyan. I also had a great feeling meeting Ram Charan during the promotions of Dabangg 3. I never thought I would do a Telugu film in the early stage of my career. Now that I have done two films (Ghani, Major), I am confident of finding a foothold in Telugu cinema” shares Saiee.
Admittedly, her parents are happy seeing her progress as an actor. “They support me a lot and are my biggest strength. Even though they don’t tell me what to do, their encouragement helps me make the right choices and also allows me to learn from my mistakes. They wanted me to script my own journey. In a way, they have struck a fine balance in letting me know what to do and what not to. Before I read a script, I send it to my dad because he is a fast reader and I value his judgment,” explains the actor.
Saiee wants to be remembered for doing quality cinema and wants to be known as a versatile performer. “Given a choice, I would like to be a part of meaningful cinema and want people to see me playing versatile roles. I want my character to have significance such that it should create an impact in the story. This is one of my criteria before signing a script. I wanted to challenge myself and make it big on the basis of my hard work,” says Saiee.
Saiee is confident that Ghani will overcome the pan-India wave and the film will do well at the box-office. “A pan-India film (like Major) will have a wider audience and a bigger potential at the box-office. Ghani, despite being a regional film, will have a similar impact owing to its universal backdrop. I am confident that more and more people will like Ghani once it arrives in theatres,” signs off Saiee.