'South India has been very generous to me'

Natural Flair

'South India has been very generous to me'

Actress Bhavna Pani, who has acted in a few films, is busy with theatre and says that it satisfies her to the core. Here in the City for a theatre performance, Bhavna who is also trained in various dance forms, thinks that Bangalore is one of the best places to be for any dancer.

Having acted in films and now in theatre, ask her about the experience, and she says, “It’s one of the most challenging ways of expression. I can bring myself out the best on stage.” 

She adds, “I only like doing work that I enjoy. South India has been very generous to me. But I feel I couldn’t reciprocate the same as I couldn’t enjoy it because of the language barrier. It was like working in a foreign land.”

Bhavna has acted in Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Hindi films, and feels that each industry varies accordingly, in minute details. “The flexibility varies accordingly. Kannada films are more about glamour, but Malayalam films are a bit more true to life,” she says. Bhavna is quick to add that having acted in regional films a few years back, she might not be the right person to comment about it.

About the change in films over the years, Bhavna says that though she is not working in films at the moment, she observes them closely since she has family and friends in the industry. “The sensibility of the audience has changed a lot now. Not many people appreciate mindless comedy now, though all sorts of film are still appreciated,” says Bhavna. She’s quick to add that she has nothing against commercial films, and is a ‘song dance drama girl’ herself. “I would love to work in a Sanjay Leela Bhansali movie,” she says.

Bhavna has acted in more than 100 commercials and she feels that commercials are the best way to get exposure and for the face to be recognised. “For most, this is the best way to get exposure. For me, it was the other way round — I acted in my first film after which I got advertisement offers. But this is the best way to get trained in acting. Doing advertisements is a good learning experience as one gets more practical knowledge,” narrates Bhavna.

When one has a background in dancing, it is much easier to dance in films, says Bhavna. “I’ve trained in Odissi and also in contemporary dance, and that has helped a lot in my performance in films. When one has trained in dance, one will get a natural flair for the camera. Most non-dancers are stiff before the camera, and dance helps an actor by leaps and bound,” says Bhavna.

Ask Bhavna if she were offered an item number would she go for it, and she replies quickly, “It depends on a few factors — if I’m comfortable with whom I’m working, then surely yes. Also, if they pay me bags of money, and the number is under a huge banner, then why not?” says Bhavna.

Bhavna has done a couple of movies with Priyadarshan and says that apart from being a great director, he’s also a good human being. “I learnt the value of friendship and family life from him,” she says. While Bhavna’s busy with theatre productions, she’s currently not into films. “There is a project with Priyan Sir, but it has been postponed for a few months,” she says.

Ask Bhavna about her fitness mantra, and she quickly says that she eats as much as she pleases to and is not a gym or yoga person. “But I dance, which really helps. Where words don’t express, dance expresses my feelings,” she wraps up.

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