Destined to be an actor

Destined to be an actor

I  first spoke to actress Bhavana Rao several years ago to get a byte for a story I was doing then. When she called me recently, I was surprised that she remembered me after all these years.

She was excited about her new movie Gulaabi Street, so we got chatting on her journey to date.

“As a child, most of my brother’s friends were my friends and I never got along with any girls. I was such a tomboy.

It was after I started my classical and Western dancing that I consciously made an effort to be feminine,” says the postgraduate in human resource management.

“Like any other girl, I would watch a movie and imagine that I would also be an actor. It was something that was always at the back of my head but I never thought it would come true since I was from a middle class Brahmin family with no connections in the film industry. But I guess I was destined to be an actor,” the actress says.

It was during a dance performance for a television channel that Bhavana was offered the role of an anchor and her tryst with the camera began. However, soon she landed a role in the 2008 Kannada multi-starrer hit Gaalipata. Ask her how she felt being part of such a big movie on debut and she says, “I had no idea it was going to be so big, I was only doing my job.

I was not really into Kannada cinema and it was only after Mungaru Male that I started watching Kannada movies.”

Despite having a hit debut, Bhavana did not go on a signing spree simply because she was clear that she wanted something bigger than Gaalipata. “I had several offers but nothing interesting. At that time, I got several interesting roles in Tamil films, so I branched out and started working there.”

Currently, Bhavana is all geared up to make her presence felt again and says that the Sandalwood scene has changed for the better now and there are newer and interesting concepts being experimented today.

“I am happy to be a part of this new wave and will have Gaganachukki release this year. Her upcoming movies include Parapancha, where she is paired opposite Diganth under Yogaraj Bhat’s banner. She is also excited about Gulaabi Street, directed by Pradeep Varma, a Dadasaheb Phalke Award winner.

“The movie has three girls — Harshika Poonacha, Shweta Pandit and me. I play the role of an MBBS student. It is my character that gives all the twists and turns in the story.”


For someone who is an accomplished dancer, doing a special appearance song was not an easy move. “My dance in Bahuparaak is a special number and not so much an item song. I don’t like doing special appearances or grooving for special songs. I am careful and reviewed the script to ensure that the song makes sense to the overall movie and there is no element of vulgarity,” she explains.

“It is not that I won’t do glamorous roles, but it is important that it should make sense to the script. In Gulaabi Street for instance, there are some explicit costumes needed as per the script. I was skeptical initially, but my director explained the need for it. Basically, I need to be convinced that the director, cameraman and the whole team are able to shoot the scene aesthetically.”

When asked about her choice of films, Bhavana says, “The first thing I go by is instinct and then I go through the script with the director. I also need to know who the producer is. So, you could say the script and my role are the most important factors for me to go ahead with the film.”

An avid animal lover, she says that she loves dogs and used to visit kennels as well and laments that lack of time to spend with her own dog now. Being a fitness freak, Bhavana regularly works out in the gym whether she is shooting or otherwise. “I also do my dance practice whenever I have the time and I watch movies and love reading biographies. I also like film gossip magazines — just the girly stuff.”

Currently, the actress is also in talks for a couple more Tamil movies, which she will start shooting for after August. She is also keen on exploring movies in other languages.

“I have always felt that language is no barrier and would like to work in Telugu and Malayalam movies if the right role comes by. Also, Bollywood is something everyone wants to do, but I have no plans of going to Mumbai to try my luck. If something works out here, then why not?” Here is wishing her loads of luck.

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