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Manjari in K Vishwanath's Shubhapradam

Last updated on: July 15, 2010 19:16 IST

Manjari in K Vishwanath's Shubhapradam

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Radhika Rajamani in Hyderabad

The pretty Manjari Fadnis charmed us in Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na.

Subsequently, she made her Telugu debut with Siddu from Srikakulam (with Allari Naresh), which performed decently at the box office. Her second Telugu film, Inkosari, however fared badly, even though it was a bit refreshing and different.

Manjari's third, and biggest, Telugu film is Shubhapradam, directed by legendary thespian K Vishwanath, and also stars Allari Naresh.

In this interview, Manjari chats about Shubhapradam and working under K Vishwanath.

Did you feel privileged to be offered a role in K Vishwanath's Shubhapradam?

Obviously. I think it was a blessing. Vishwanath sir's movies tend to become classics. Normally heroines are taken for their glamour quotient, and it's rare to get substance in the characters.

I got a performance-oriented character with substance. Vishwanth Sir's name speaks highly of the product you are going to get.


Image: Manjari Phadnis

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'People asked me to close my eyes and sign the film'

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Did you know about his body of work? Had you seen any of his films?

Honestly, I did not know initially. I was a baby when his earlier films released. I had only seen Sangeet. But the kind of reactions I got from people (especially Anil Kapoor and Kamal Hassan, who had worked with him) was positive.

Anil Kapoor and Kamal Hassan spoke fondly of him. Other comments I have been getting are, 'Wow! You are having a good journey,' and, 'Oh my God! You are doing his film? You are so lucky!'

Slowly and steadily, it grew on me that I was working with a legend. Soon after I signed the film, we were shooting from January to April-May. The way I signed the film was interesting.

What was interesting about the way you signed the film?

They say every role, every character, is destined to go to somebody, is meant for somebody. After I got the call, I went to meet Vishwanath sir in Mumbai without knowing the greatness about him. Within about 10-15 minutes, they (sir and another person) said, 'She's my character.'

I am the kind who would think and then sign a film. I don't do it instantly. But those whom I spoke to asked me to close my eyes and sign the film. I took a drive for 30-60 minutes before saying yes.

Ashok Kumar (who also acts in the film), who was there, told me, 'This is a great step in your career'.

I then realised it was a Thursday and it was Saibaba's day. I said, 'Nothing could go wrong with me on a Thursday.' And the character too is a Saibaba devotee, I was told then. I got goose bumps when I heard it!


Image: Manjari Phadnis

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'You don't need to do homework in K Vishwanath sir's film'

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What's your role in the film? Did you do any homework?

You don't need to do homework in K Vishwanath sir's film. Of course, I do it in Hindi. Vishwanath sir does not share his script with his actors. I was only given the scene and dialogues and had to perform. That's not how I function.

I need the film running at the back of my head. I had a difficult time asking him questions about the film. He was sweet; he sat and told me about the parts I am there, which is 60-70 per cent (of the film).

I play Indu, a Telugu girl born and brought up in Kerala. She falls in love with a boy who lies to her to make her fall in love.

Was working under Vishwanath a learning experience?

Yes, definitely. He has a different style of working. As a director, he does a lot of detailing. Every single frame has a meaning. He's a complete visionary. I learnt in my acting school that it was important to do detailing. While doing the film, I saw how it was done in practice.


Image: Manjari Phadnis

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'Naresh and I share a fantastic rapport'

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What would you like to say about Allari Naresh, your co-star in the film?

Naresh is fabulous, nice, dedicated and a sincere actor. He is a workaholic. Everyone knows that he works without a break. He is very helpful. We share a fantastic rapport, as we have worked before.

Music and dance are strong points in K Vishwanath's films. What's this film like?

The music is fantastic. It's composed by Mani Sharma. It's doing well too. But music is not central to the story here.

How would you describe the film?

It's a complete family film with beautiful moments and there is something for everyone.

How was the overall experience of acting in Shubhapradam?

It was a totally different experience. I normally work on my own and have my own conception of things and provide inputs. Vishwanath sir guided me to a more perfect way. I was spoon-fed. I had a great time as I was totally pampered. Vishwanth sir became like a grand-dad to me, encouraging me all the time.


Image: Manjari Phadnis

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'I was upset that people didn't get to watch Inkosari'

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Were you unhappy that your second film Inkosari was yanked out of the theatres before people got an opportunity to watch it?

Yes, I was upset that people didn't get to watch it.

What made you choose Inkosari? The fact that the story was something everyone could relate to?

I was given a narration by director Suman (Pathuri). I fell in love with the script. It was an overall nice film. When I heard the script, it was even better.

Inkosari had a young cast -- Raja, Richa Pallod, you and others?

Yes, we all had a blast shooting it. We used to be all charged as we were living in one place day and night and having fun. We became friends too.

What do you think went wrong with Inkosari post-release?

There was lack of promotion, and other things, too.

What would you like to say about your first film, Siddhu from Srikakulam?

I felt it was a nice decent film and people remember me from that film.


Image: Manjari Phadnis

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'I want to wait for Shubapradam's release before I take my next step'

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Would you like to do more films in Telugu and other South Indian languages?

Yes I am trying to balance. Any good subjects are welcome.

Have you signed any new Telugu film?

I thought I should wait for Shubapradam's release before I take my next step.

What do you feel about the Telugu film industry now that you have done three films here?

I think it's very nice. I loved the idea of starting, beginning and finishing shooting and releasing a film in six months. Bollywood is more professional, but films take time to release there.

Are you nervous about the release of Shubapradam?

Not really. But we all hope and pray that it does well.


Image: Manjari Phadnis

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