Pooja Devariya's Sandalwood debut with Senna Hegde

Pooja Devariya

Kollywood actor Pooja Devariya is excited that Senna Hegde’s film ‘Katheyondu Shuruvagide’ will pave her entry into Sandalwood. Known for her roles in Tamil films like ‘Iraivi’, ‘Kuttrame Thandanai’ and ‘Aandavan Kattalai’, she talks to Tini Sara Anien about how her upcoming Kannada film was quite a challenge.

How did the film come your way?

I had watched some Sandalwood films like ‘Lucia’, ‘Ulidavaru Kandanthe’ and ‘Godhi Banna Sadharana Mykattu’ and was impressed by them. I met Rakshit Shetty at an event two years ago and expressed my interest in doing a Kannada film; it finally happened last year.

Tell us a bit about ‘Katheyondu Shuruvagide’...

I play Tanya, a visitor to a resort which is owned by Tarun (Diganth). The romantic drama, spread over four days, is a soul-searching yet light movie. There are long takes with a lot of real conversations in the film. It is a ‘come-sit-and-experience’ kind of movie.     

What is unique about this role?

I have always tried to do roles which are realistic. Tanya is someone you would have met in your own life and many women in their 20s or 30s would be able to relate to her. 

A hurdle you faced when working on the film...

Though my mother is a Kannadiga, I was raised in Chennai and wasn’t fluent in Kannada; I could just get the basics right. When Senna called me and told me about the story, he asked me, ‘You’re fluent in Kannada, right?’. I said ‘yes’ and requested him to send me my lines a day in advance.

After that, I rushed to my maternal grandmother and told her that she had 24 hours to make me sound like a convincing Kannadiga. 

What made you lie?

I had checked up Senna’s profile online. I also have a lot of faith in projects that Rakshit Shetty and Pushkara Mallikarjunaiah are associated with and didn’t want to miss out on the chance.

How often would you practise your lines?

I requested Senna to assign someone to rehearse my lines with me. I would go about the sets conversing in Kannada with everyone. There have been times when I would be pronouncing words wrong in very intense scenes and Senna and Diganth would laugh their heads off. I used to rehearse my lines for two hours as I didn’t want to go wrong with the diction. However, the whole process was quite enjoyable. 

How do you feel Sandalwood is perceived by outsiders?

With movies like ‘Thithi’ coming out, the industry is out there on the international map. With a lot of immigrants making a name for themselves in the industry, new perspectives and interesting interactions can be seen.

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Pooja Devariya's Sandalwood debut with Senna Hegde

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