‘I love to laugh and make others laugh’
..says actress Vinaya Prasad who is turning director with Lakshmi Narayanara Prapanchane Bere
After 60 odd films and an immensely successful TV series, all in a career spanning a little more than two decades, Vinaya Prasad now turns a director. The South Indian actress’ directorial debut Lakshmi Narayanara Prapanchane Bere will be released this week, and in a conversation with CE, she shares how she came to wield the megaphone for a script written by her husband and ad filmmaker Jyothi Prakash Atre. She shares with us how it is to sit on a director’s chair, and admits that it is a bit of family time as well.
Why direction after two decades in the industry?
This has been my ambition for the last 15 years, but personal life and my career in acting kept me busy. Moreover, I have a background in acting and cannot haphazardly pick subjects to make a film. Basically I wanted the story and screenplay to work. I wanted a story that could contribute to a more peaceful society, and the film had to be a good entertainer, all of this came together in Lakshmi Narayanara Prapanchane Bere.
My husband Jyothi Prakash is the heart of this project, he has came up with its story and screenplay in Hindi, and then it was adapted to Kannada by me. I handled direction and production… it was time consuming.
What was the biggest challenge?
Anything new will always be a challenge but, thankfully, the rapport I have built with people over the last 26 years helped me get along with everyone. Moreover, we had a set plan for this project, and thankfully we were able to stick to it.
As an actress, you have done meaty and serious roles. Why did you decide on a comedy entertainer?
Comedy can be a relief and can help handle any difficult situation in life. A person with a sense of humour can solve every trouble, and in no time. Though I am better known for my sober and drama-based roles, I actually started my career with a comedy entertainer Ganeshna Maduve. But over the years, I was given more solemn roles, and comedy does not suit women after a certain age. Having said that, I have a sense of humour and always enjoy a good laugh, and ensure that others laugh with me as well.
Please define the parapancha of Lakshmi Narayana..?
Lakshmi Narayaranara.. is not slapstick. It brings out humour through its characters. Every comical gesture in the movie will have a reason for being there, and the drama will be well etched out. I cannot compare this to films like Ganeshana Maduve, but people who have enjoyed that will enjoy this movie too.
Off late, I have seen that the audience are open to different kinds of subjects, this gave me the courage to try something new. The film, distributed by Jack Manju, features me in the lead and has Manjunath Hegde playing my husband’s role. Jyothi Prakash and my daughter Prathama Prasad, too, portray lovely characters.
So the movie is a family affair?
Professional also become personal because all three of us are passionate about cinema. It was not confined to watching a movie and discussing it. Jyothi Prakash is a creative person, having put 35 good years in the ad industry. We have realised that the while watching films we agree on the same things. Cinema brings us together and we can speak hours together about it. My daughter too is passionate about it and is a good critic.
Another directorial in the offing?
My second venture as a director will depend on the response my first movie gets. Today’s producers mostly stick to a set success formula, and we don’t believe in it. I would like to be a trendsetter. I would love to keep working as a director, but it will only happen if the audience respond encouragingly.