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'It is inspiring to be under the wings of Prakash Raj'

Last updated on: June 11, 2014 18:58 IST

'It is inspiring to be under the wings of Prakash Raj'


Srikanth Srinivasa/ in Bangalore

Upcoming actress Samyukta Hornad has made heads turn in Prakash Raj’s trilingual film Oggarane (in Kannada) that released last Friday.

The Bangalore-based 22-year-old actress was lucky to get a break in three languages -- Kannada, Tamil and Telugu -- at one go.

Her debut film in Kannada Lifeu Ishtene became a hit with young audiences. She played a sprightly young college-going girl in the film.

Oggarane is her third film. She comes from a family steeped in Kannada and English theatre. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication that includes film and television.

The film is doing above average business at multiplexes with family audiences flocking to it, but has not fared well in single screen theatres.

In this interview, Samyukta shares her excitement about being cast in a trilingual film and about working with the national award winning actor Prakash Raj.

How did you get this role?

I auditioned for the role and was selected for Oggarane. Then, Prakash told me casually to keep watching and listening to Tamil songs.

He told me to attend some speaking courses in Tamil and Telugu. That was when I asked him if I am there in all the three languages.

He said “Of course”. I cried. I thank my stars for all that has come my way. 

Image: Samyukta Hornad


'I was nervous about working with so many veterans'

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How was it working with Prakash Raj?

I got scolded a lot on the sets. The most difficult thing is to be yourself.

He is effortless and natural and he taught me how to be like that. He was patient as well and was particular till he got what he wanted.

He kept on shooting till he got it right. This inspired me to give the best.

I was nervous about working with so many veterans as I was the youngest in the team. It was a dream team.

How challenging was it to work simultaneously in three languages?

It was challenging, difficult and exciting. Language was a handicap.

It is a refreshing movie for the Kannada industry. This kind of movie is the right spice for the industry.

I took classes to learn to speak Tamil and Telugu but it didn’t help.

I don’t know how Prakash manages to speak so fluently in so many languages. It was a bit difficult but Kannada provided me the back-up.

Are you open to work in all languages?

Yes. I am game for assignments in any language. A good role and a great script is what I need. 

Image: Samyukta Hornad

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'I think acting is in my genes'

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Weren’t you interested in theatre like your family?

I was always interested in the arts because my family has been in it in some capacity or the other.

What really changed my course was when I auditioned for one of B Jayashree’s plays by her Spandana troupe. I started acting in plays with her during my college days. I toured with her troupe, visited the National School of Drama and that is when the acting bug bit me.

B Suresh had written a play called Girija Kalyana where I played the role of Girija. It was a challenging role and I got to learn Kannada well.

I was also training to become a model. I learnt Kathak from Nirupama Rajendra and that actually pulled me to performing arts. I did a couple of acting courses too.

Do you think acting is in your genes?

Yes, definitely. I did my first play when I was six. It was directed by my grandmother.

All of us in the family are involved in a big way in theatre. To take it up seriously was something different. I think my decision to join B Jayashree’s troupe changed it all.

From doing commerce and studying economics, I moved into the arts at the undergraduate level.

Image: Samyukta Hornad

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'I never thought I was a conventional heroine type'


Was getting into films a planned decision?

No, not really. Director Yogaraj Bhat offered me Pancharangi but I refused. I never thought I was a conventional heroine type.

One day I was running on the road near a theatre where a play was being staged. Director Pavan and Neenasam Satish saw me and thought I was right for a character in their film Lifeu Ishtene.

Pavan immediately called up my mother to persuade me to do the film, but I said no. He sent me the script and when I read it, I felt the role was so much like me that I agreed to do it.

It felt nice when I saw a big poster of me outside my college.

I got many offers after this film. But there was nothing great about them. And my parents insisted that I finish college.

How did you manage to pull off a good performance in Lifeu Ishtene?

I absolutely loved the camera. I acted in the movie as I would have done in a play.

I was not conscious of my body language. If I watch myself now, I think I wouldn’t act like that.

I am careful and sensitive about the camera. I stopped doing plays to learn acting because people told me that I was loud and using my hands a lot.

I was expressing too much. I had to tone down. People liked me in the movie because I was very natural.

Who do you look up to?

There are a lot of people who have inspired me. There’s Prakash Raj and Nirupama Rajendra.

It is inspiring to be under Prakash’s wings. I have not seen many people who are madly in love with cinema and its making like he is.

He breathes and talks cinema 24x7. It will be great if I achieve even a fraction of what he has achieved.      


Image: Samyukta Hornad