'Jayamma Panchayathi' is heading to theatres on May 6. Suma Kanakala has played an author-backed role in the movie.
In this interview, she talks about how tough it was to play the character and shoot for the movie in a remote village. She also throws light on the differences between anchoring and acting, while also giving an update about her son Roshan's debut.
I did the movie because the director asked me if I CAN play the role. It's a question that I had listened to for the first time in many years. Nobody ever asks me the question in the field of TV anchoring.
TV has been my comfort zone. I see myself as a housewife who works. I came across director Vijay Kumar K when he had been to various actresses narrating the script of 'Jayamma Panchayathi'. He had met the likes of Anushka Shetty. The script of this film was not written for me. There would have been repartees and jokes had the script been written keeping me in mind. People expect entertainment from me. I took up this project as a challenge in that it has no entertainment.
I knew the film would be shot in Palakonda, three hours away from Vizag. So, I checked with my family members whether they were ready to let me do the film. I enjoyed stepping out of my comfort zone. When you attempt something new, you chase your fears. TV is my forte.
I have done dramas in the past as a theatre artist. Doing 'JP' was like reliving those days. The film was shot using the Sync Sound technique. I had to try out a new slang. Nobody ever finds fault with my anchoring. While doing this film, I was corrected many times. It was a learning experience. I fear a lot although I look confident. I wanted to essay the part in 'JP' in a flawless manner. I would read the dialogues on repeat, record my voice, and check how I would look.
Laxman Meesala of 'RX 100' fame hails from Srikakulam. I learned the Srikakulam slang from him. The Srikakulam slang is not one-note. The slang has got many shades. I had to be specific. There is no place for exaggeration. Moreover, the language should be comprehensible to the audience.
The 'Panchayathi' is regarding the 'Chadivimpulu' that my character doesn't get in return when she has been doing it for years at weddings. I have had the image of being funny, but 'JP' casts me in a contrasting role, like 'Pushpa' did in the case of Sunil.
My director secretly shot the conversations of the residents of Srikakulam villages to help me imbibe the slang. They wouldn't have done it naturally had they known a camera was capturing them.
Satirical humour runs as an undercurrent. This is not to say that our film is like a 'Jathi Ratnalu'. It is more in the zone of a 'Care Of Kancharapalem' with a wider scale. It's a village-based film primarily. The village in which the story of 'JP' is set was never explored by any other Telugu film before. The hills, the falls are beautiful. Even tourists don't visit the remotest parts. Our film is going to be a visual treat.
Those who like me will surely be surprised by my performance. I am confident that nobody is going to dislike my acting.
When I am the anchor of an event, I am my own director. In the case of a film, I have to surrender to the director's vision. It was not easy to satisfy the director, who wanted each shot to be realistic.
I would have done a lot of films had I not been choosy. A reason I liked 'Jayamma Panchayathi' is that it speaks up for women, among other things that it does. I had to forgo many cinema events while being away from Hyderabad for forty days while shooting for 'JP'. I am happy to have taken a brave decision.
If meaningful scripts come my way, I will definitely do more feature films in the future.
I have done my bit and the result is not in my hands. My selfishness is that the producer and director of this movie go on to do many more movies. I hope everyone who has worked on 'JP' makes a name for himself/herself. That's why I am promoting the movie a lot.
I am starting to understand the ordeal of promotions only now. Promotions are not easy at all. The pain of a failure after promoting a movie so much can be really biting.
I am telling my son Roshan to be prepared for everything before he steps into the film industry. Roshan has been wanting to become an artist ever since he was a child. Neither I nor my husband can support him limitlessly. It is up to him what he does to click in the movie industry. His launch is going to happen by the end of the year.
My daughter is 16. She wants me to do more and more movies although she couldn't adjust to missing me when I was away during the shoot of 'JP'. She is now mature enough and want me to work in movies.