Gantumoote, story of any high school girl: Teju Belawad

Teju Belawadi

Teju Belawadi comes from a theatre family and acting is not new to her. Films were not something she planned to be a part of but she was excited when she was offered the role of Meera in Roopa Rao’s Gantumoote, which released this Friday. 

Teju worked in theatre for a long while. Roopa Rao saw her performance in the play ‘The Boiled Beans on Toast’, and liked it. She says, “I played a woman in her late 30s in the play, and Roopa was impressed by my acting. She messaged me that she had written a high-school drama with a female protagonist and wanted me to do the role. I was shocked as this is not how filmmakers call one for a film audition. I was floored by her confidence.”

Teju realised soon that Roopa is a good orator. “She tells a story as if it is her own and when you listen to it, you feel connected to the tale too,” she says. 

The artiste had decided that she would never work in films. “I don’t like the kind of films that women get offered in our industry. But when you see this film, you will realise that more than 90 percent of the film is about Meera.”

Gantumoote, according to Teju is the “drama any girl in her high school days goes through”.

“This is the kind of tale which talks about a girl exploring herself, having conversations about things around her and not about things that are happening to her, first love, educational pressures, experiences of conflicts between her responsibility to her parents and her teachers, being judged as well as being supported by her friends and more,” she says. 

Her character, Meera is “an only child and an obedient girl”.

Teju says, “Meera’s only way of expressing herself is through her diary. She is a good student, the kind who doesn’t want to disappoint her parents or teachers. She is also fascinated by Salman Khan.”

Teju loves acting and never wants to give up theatre. “The movie was totally unexpected. Roopa is an amazing director and she walked me through the journey. Acting for camera is very different compared to being on stage. In the theatre, you know how the audience is receiving you instantly,” she says.  

‘My father was surprised’   

Teju’s family is a close-knit one and everyone discusses everything. Thus, telling her father, well-known actor, television and media personality Prakash Belawadi, about taking up this project was a big moment. 

She says, “It was the first time that I took a big decision without consulting my family. My father was quite surprised when I told him about the film. He was apprehensive about it but after meeting Roopa, he was convinced.”

Prakash who watched the film at a preview appreciated her performance in the film. “He is not the kind who appreciates something easily. Thankfully, he loved the film,” she says.

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