'There is no competition among the heroines in Kannada cinema'
Haripriya is back on home turf after close to two years. The Bangalore-based actress, who hails from Chickaballapura in Karnataka, a district bordering neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, is at ease conversing in Telugu, Kannada and Tamil.
She will be acting in the Kannada film Ugramm (co-starring Srimurali) that opens in screens across Karnataka on Friday, February 21.
The 22-year-old actress has dubbed for the first time in a full-length role in a Kannada movie.
In this interview, Haripriya talks about her experiences shooting for Ugramm.
What is your role in Ugramm?
I play Nitya, a girl who comes to India from Australia in search of her mother’s grave, much against her father’s wishes.
She is also keen to enjoy Indian cuisine and the Indian way of life but is prevented by her father. There’s also a love track.
My character is nice because it is not made up but is natural.
'We had to re-shoot if the director was not happy with what he saw on the editing table'
How did you prepare for the movie?
First of all I should thank director Prashanth Neel. It is his first film.
He put us actors through a workshop so that we came to know our characters and the thrust of the movie. That helped us a lot.
He was thorough in his preparation and he knew what he wanted from us.
You use no make-up in the film. How did you agree to face the camera without make-up?
On the first day when I reported for the shoot on the set, I wished everyone and went to my room to apply make-up. After I was done, and was called for the shot, cameraman Ravi Verman told me to wash my face!
I thought he was joking.
After I washed my face and reported for work, I was told I would be without make-up in the whole movie.
I was surprised. I was used to the routine of applying make-up although it is minimal in Tamil cinema.
Both the cameraman and the director promised me that they would present me beautifully.
I sent the make-up man home but employed a hairdresser for the curls.
During the song shoots, I was apprehensive that my sensitive skin would be affected by the lights. But the cameraman took care of me and helped me protect my skin.
Why was the movie-making exercise kept a secret?
Director Prashanth is known for his detailing and what he wanted for the movie. There would have been no freshness had we gone to the media then.
We had to re-shoot if the director was not happy with what he saw on the editing table. We had been informed right at the beginning of the shoot that it would take a long time and so there would be no press meets or any talk of the movie except that I would mention that I was doing this film.
Today, we are happy that we are coming out with a good product although it has taken a long time in the making.
'The director insisted on having my voice for the movie'
What was it like working with a new director?
I liked the director’s clarity of vision and thought. I also liked his confidence and the way he narrated my character.
Many a time, directors make on-the-spot improvisations and changes out of confusion. Sometimes, they even write out the scenes on the morning of the shoot after everyone reports for the shoot.
There was nothing of that sort on this movie set. Everything was perfectly done and planned. The director had done a lot of homework.
It gave me confidence. I was aware about the scene that I would be doing even on the next day.
How was your first experience of dubbing for yourself in a full-length role?
I had dubbed for a guest appearance in Male Barali Manju Irali. But, this is the first time I have dubbed for myself in a full-length role.
The director insisted on having my voice for the movie. He waited for me as I was busy with other shoots. I would squeeze some time between the breaks and finish a portion of my dubbing.
I should thank him as I have grown in confidence after the dubbing exercise.
'I was happy with what I got in Tamil and Telugu'
Will you do your own dubbing henceforth?
Yes. If the director insists that I do it, I will. The director should give me enough time to dub because I am not a dubbing artiste who can finish my work in one or two days.
Why did it take so long for you to appear in a Kannada film?
I didn’t get good scripts. Either I wasn’t happy with the script or with the team.
If the team is good and my role is ordinary, I don’t mind doing it because it would be executed well.
I was happy with what I got in Tamil and Telugu during this period. I did Galata and Ee Varsham Sakshiga in Telugu and my Tamil film Vaaraayo Vennilaave is ready for release. I am happy that all my movies are releasing at the same time.
'There was a time when Ramya, Rakshita and Radhika were involved in a healthy competition'
Which are the Kannada movies that are currently in the production stage?
I am doing Ravichandran’s Manjina Hani and Ranatantra opposite Vijay Raghavendra.
How do you see competition among the heroines in Kannada cinema?
Today, there is no competition at all. There was a time when Ramya, Rakshita and Radhika were involved in a healthy competition. I used to follow the industry as a school and college-going girl then.
I think there is no competition among the heroines in Kannada cinema because all of them are outsiders and are not seen regularly. There is competition only when there are Kannada-speaking girls.