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'I will never say that I am the best actress'

Last updated on: September 20, 2012 10:54 IST

'I will never say that I am the best actress'


Srikanth Srinivasa in Bangalore

Chaarulatha, billed as one of the first Indian films on conjoined twins, is releasing this Friday across South India.

The film, which has been made simultaneously in Kannada and Tamil, is based on the Thai film Alone, with the National award winning actress Priya Mani playing the main lead.

The film has been dubbed in Telugu and Malayalam and the actress has done her own dubbing for the Kannada and Tamil versions.

The film was shot in about 50 days and after a long time a South Indian film was shot in Kashmir.

Unfazed by the failure of her recent Malayalam release Grandmaster and the average performance of her last Kannada release Anna Bond, Priya Mani seems upbeat about Chaarulatha and her performance in this interview.

How did you manage to play two roles that are a contrast in character?

Director Kumar was very supportive. I had this girl Deepika who is also an artiste, to play my body double.

She used to help me with my dialogues. I should say she played an equally crucial role in helping me get the right expressions.

We had a monitor that would show us how a scene was canned and then I used to go back before the camera to give another reaction.

Sometimes, we had to shoot from 8 am to 2 the next morning. It used to be very tiring because I had to give everything to every scene.

Image: A scene from Chaarulatha


'I think nobody has ever attempted conjoined twins in Indian cinema'

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How did you manage to keep your energy levels high and look fresh?

We had to finish the film and there was no other go. There were times when I used to go to the director to tell him that I am looking tired. He would wrap it up for the day and do the scenes next day.

Eyes are a dead giveaway; they tell if you are tired or not, and I couldn't look tired in a scene that required me to be otherwise.

I was comfortable with the director Kumar with whom I had worked earlier in Vishnuvardhana. He understood me.

How did you prepare mentally to play conjoined twins?

I had actually watched this Thai film Alone about three years ago when another film-maker had evinced interest in doing it with me.

The project didn't take off then. So when this offer came, I had no hesitation in accepting it.

We have Indianised the Thai film and added several new scenes to make it a lot more authentic and Indian.

Image: A scene from Chaarulatha

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'I feel that my performance in the movie will be noticed'

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Was it a challenging enough role for you?

As an actor, there is a hunger to do something really different all the time. We are always game for challenges and challenging roles.

Are you expecting awards for your performance in this film?

I think nobody has ever attempted conjoined twins in Indian cinema. We have seen twins in our movies but not conjoined twins.

Awards come as a bonus. I feel that my performance in the movie will be noticed.

At the same time I cannot say that I have done a wonderful job. It is for the people and the audiences to say if I have done well.

I will never say that I am the best actress. Even if I don't get an award, I will be happy that I got to play something of this kind.

How did you prepare yourself for this role?

I went with the flow. I did not do any preparation. It was just an instinct.

The sisters are in sharp contrast to each other. Audiences should see it to know.

Image: A scene from Chaarulatha

Tags: Indian

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'Maattran is totally commercial and a typically Suriya movie'

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Did you study the behaviour of conjoined twins or do any kind of reading on the internet about them?

No. I did no research, study, or read anything about Siamese twins. I had only watched the Thai film a few years ago. I saw something on Discovery channel about conjoined twins and I got to know about them.

It's really very sad to know about them and one sympathises with the parents of such children.

The parents shower them with unconditional love. I am sure they cannot lead normal lives. They are constrained to stay at home and are confined to home tuitions and home schooling.

They may be alone and never fall in love.

Is there any similarity between Chaarulatha and the Tamil film Maattran?

There's absolutely no similarity whatsoever between Chaarulatha and Maattran except the fact that Suriya gets to play conjoined twins in the latter just like me in the former.

Maattran is totally commercial and a typically Suriya movie.

What can the audience expect from this movie?

Audiences can definitely expect a different movie. There are some thrilling moments and some horror scenes in the movie.

I am sure Sundar C Babu's background score will further captivate and enthrall audiences.

There are some emotional moments the sisters share when they are separated. Audiences will find out why they were operated on and what it is that separated them.

Image: A scene from Chaarulatha

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