'Virata Parvam' heads to theatres on June 17. In this interview, catch Sai Pallavi talk about her character, the rootedness of the movie, working experience with Rana Daggubati, the visual and aural quality of the film, and more.
The 'Love Story' and 'Fidaa' actress also talks about what she keeps in mind before accepting an offer, the pressures she likes to take, and more.
My character in 'VP' is based on a Maoist named Sarala. I met her mother yesterday and she got emotional. She spoke to me like she used to talk with her daughter. It was an emotional moment for me. I am happy to have met her and enjoyed her warm hospitality. I was mindful of her privacy. It would be a matter of satisfaction if 'VP' satisfies her.
'VP' is based on some true incidents but I approached it as a fictional story. I became Vennela, my character. Had I seen the story as a true one, I would have become more emotionally attached. Vennela is raw and malleable. I like the fact that she is like a blank slate that can be molded into something fine.
The film delves into the consequences of oppression. There were times when people were living in mortal fear. It was like an education to do 'VP', which tells an unknown story. It felt new to do the story, as it put him into a new world. There is a naivete to my character. At the same time, she is determined about what he wants in life.
When I read the script, I wanted to see how real it would be executed. The soul is raw and real. And how it would be executed for a big-screen experience really excited me.
After Rana Daggubati entered the project, the project's scale became bigger. I am thankful that he has played Ravanna. He taught me that a project can be pushed to become bigger.
Playing a variety of roles always challenges me. As an actor, I need to be under pressure. I would like to undergo the pain of playing challenging roles. While playing Vennela, I got to be raw and behave realistically. There is no place for glamour in the film. It was empowering to play the character that needed to be natural.
'VP' is visual poetry, thanks to the visuals by cinematographers Dani and Divakar Mani. The way the jungle has been shown evokes some reactions. I am excited about how the audience are going to receive the camera work. Even the film's music is rooted, the tunes respect the local tradition. Both cinematography and music are authentic.
I have watched and admired my co-stars in 'VP', be it Nandita Das, Priyamani or Eshwari Rao. Acting with them was exciting. But I didn't get nervous while doing scenes with them. I didn't want my nervousness to affect my performance.
It feels good when characters are written keeping me in mind. I don't think my image is an obstacle in the way of my bagging projects opposite superstars. I accept the audience's love, and the only thing that concerns me is doing good projects/characters. Times are changing and we are more confident now to do films like 'VP'.
I promote my movies so that I get to tell the audience why I have done the movie and the character. I want them to know why I believe in the movie, my convictions need to be conveyed. I don't know about other actresses and how much they promote their movies. May be, they are busier than me!
My grandfather is a retired cop who believes that humans have to be treated fairly. He believes in being good and doing good. I haven't discussed the story of 'VP' with him as yet.
'Shyam Singha Roy' needed me to show grace and aura in the way I played the character. My character in that movie was repressed and conflicted from the inside. The Devadasi system didn't start out as wrong. It acquired some negative traits with the passage of time. Coming to 'VP', I have always wanted to play a rustic character that is close to the soil. 'SSR' had a bit of commerciality about my role, but 'VP' has none of it. It has me in a grounded role. If Vennela is with four friends, the audience would have to search for me among them!
Personally, I don't put myself under pressure about my image. I just want to do good films/roles that come my way. When I am true to my work and do it right, the audience are going to connect with it.
The celebs who have watched 'VP' have found it to be an honest movie. Director Venu is an amazing writer who does a lot of research. He talks to people, and reads a lot. In writing 'VP', he did specific research to show specific things authentically.
Films live forever and beyond me. We still remember the works of the likes of Sivaji Ganesan to this day. We enjoy watching their good movies regardless of their box office fate. Nobody can say whether the audience will like or dislike a movie. I want to make films that live forever. Art lives forever.
I don't mind taking gaps in my career as long as my filmography possesses quality. If a story is meant for me, it will find me out.
'Gargi', my upcoming release, is a Tamil film that was shot during the pandemic. It is as close to my heart as is 'VP'. It is a novel story that is going to tell you something new. I have signed up to do a new film opposite Sivakarthikeyan in Tamil. I love reading scripts. I do it every day. If a nice web series comes my way, I will definitely do it.