Bengaluru, Aug 7 (PTI) Kannada actor Shanvi Srivastava says she was never an "action film kind of girl" but could not say no to "Baang", which is slated for release on August 18.
"Before this film, I never used to watch action films... Every girl would want to imagine themselves looking like that. Having that power, having that kind of authority…," Shanvi told PTI over Zoom.
Once she decided to take up the role, the actor says she went through a slew of films to get a grip on her character.
"I play one of the gangsters in 'Baang', a glamorous one at that. It took one month time (to be convinced). I saw the footage of the film they had shot before meeting me. The kind of sequences they had, the way she handles the gun, the sword… I couldn’t say no," said Shanvi.
Born and brought up in Varanasi, the actor moved to Mumbai with her mom and sister to pursue a career in acting. Her debut Telugu film, "Lovely" happened “just like that", she said.
"They wanted a college going, simple looking girl and I got the part without really any effort," she said.
Kannada debut in "Chandralekha" too happened quite serendipitously.
"Because the girl they originally chose looked similar to me. Her dates were not available so I got the part," she said.
She may have lucked out in getting breaks, but the decision to venture into Kannada films, is a conscious one, the actor said.
At present, between promoting her "Baang" in Karnataka and other southern states, she is shooting for her debut Marathi film, "Raanti", an action, romance drama, according to her.
"It's a typical format film with a lot of good actors, I am actually enjoying shooting for the film. I have done almost 20 films in the south and I am making my debut in Marathi. I like the graph,” she added.
Although she has been doing south films for almost eight years, Tamil films are still eluding her.
“There were a lot of times that I was just about to sign the film – I think maybe about seven times – but somehow it didn’t work out. But I am OK with it. If I am debuting with Marathi now, I think Tamil is just around the corner,” said Shanvi.
Although she jumps between states for her films, she said technically there is not much of a difference. "All of these have one soul, which is cinema. But the working style and working hours vary. Normal shift for the Malayalam film industry, for instance, is from 6am to 9pm,” added Shanvi.
But there are times when the actor believes she is not able to give her best as she does not know the language.
This is why she took the initiative to learn Kannada, she said. “Of course, I make mistakes. If it’s not your mother tongue, languages take a lot of time to get used to. But I can have a good conversation in Kannada now,” she added.
She may have taken action films reluctantly initially, Shanvi is now keen to do another "stylish action film" and her bucket list also includes an “intense romantic film”.
When she gets time Shanvi said she loves to travel. “That is something that makes me learn a lot. About people, cultures, traditions, lifestyles, etc…,” added Shanvi.
Shanvi also feels it's an exciting time to be an actor, as many filmmakers are thinking out of the box. “I believe this transformation is possible because of the audience, because they have opened up for international cinema. Their point of view and their criteria for entertainment have changed,” said Shanvi.
Although many more doors are opening for her these days, she wants to be a part of Kannada industry forever. “I would try not to leave the Kannada industry. I have made a lot of friends and I have learnt a lot from this industry,” she added.