‘Mangalavaaram’ is slated to hit the screens on November 17. Ajay Bhupathi of ‘RX 100’ fame has directed it. Payal Rajput will be seen in an author-backed role in this one. Also starring ‘Rangam’ fame Ajmal Amir, Nandita Swetha, Sritej, Ajay Ghosh, and Shravan Reddy, the pan-Indian release will come out in Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, Kannada and Malayalam.
In this interview, Payal talks about her character and the film’s highlights. She thanks producers Swathi Reddy Gunupati and Suresh Varma M of Mudhra Media Works in her interview. The rustic thriller is also produced by Ajay Bhupathi on A Creative Works.
After ‘RX 100’, this is your immediate next film directed by Ajay Bhupathi. How did this movie happen?’
I did seek a chance from him. He told me he would cast me if he had a good character for me. He made it clear that he could not cast me for small roles. He knows my potential, my talent. This movie is going to be my turning point in the Telugu industry. I hope to make a strong comeback. As excited as I am for the release of ‘Mangalavaaram’, I am also nervous because this is an out-of-the-box movie. No one has made a film with this type of character and story in India before us.
Is your character a negative one?
Not really. Shailu is far from being a villain. After watching the movie, you will feel sympathy for that girl. There are multiple emotions in the movie. We have discussed a very sensitive topic.
What thoughts crossed your mind when the script was narrated?
The character is very real. I have done intense, dark roles before but never this kind of a character. After hearing the story, I called my mother and said, ‘I am working with Ajay Bhupathi again’. She was happy because it was he who introduced me to Telugu cinema with ‘RX 100’.
What is your character like?
It is a very challenging role. It was very difficult to pull it off. The real me is not even 10% of Shailu. I was asked not to think about anything before coming to set. I just reposed faith in my director and surrendered to him. I also did some research to understand the character’s emotional journey.
About 35-40 girls were auditioned for the role. Bhupathi finally chose you. What does it feel like?
I came to know about the auditions and called the director up. I asked him why I was not being given a shot. I was intent on teaming up with him because I trust his directorial sense.
You look modern in real life. In contrast, Shailu is a villager. How hard was it to get into the skin of the character?
It took two hours every day to style the character’s hair and makeup. It took more time to come out of the character’s emotional journey after the shoot. Shailu did not come out of my system for 15 days. I went to my mother and lived with her for some days. There were bites on my hand by the end of the shoot.
What is the relationship between your character and the one played by Nandita Shweta?
Nandita Shweta will be seen as a police officer. Her role, too, has surprise elements.
This is a female-oriented movie made by a lady producer. How comfortable did you feel?
Very comfortable. Swathi Reddy was so involved. She and Suresh Varma garu took great care in every matter. Ajaneesh Loknath of ‘Kantara’ fame has provided excellent music. A set of highly talented technicians have worked on the film. This film will have a story and characters that no one has seen on the Indian silver screen.
When will you do a movie with Kartikeya again?
It is left to him (laughs). I want to reunite with him. Once the right story falls in place, we will team up.