A closer look at strong female characters in Grey Games

Gangadhar Salimath’s film Grey Games is based on concept centred on online gaming and stars Jai in his debut and Vijay Raghavendra
Aparna, Shruti Prakash and Bhavana Rao
Aparna, Shruti Prakash and Bhavana Rao

Gangadhar Salimath’s film Grey Games, based on concept centred on online gaming and starring Jai in his debut and Vijay Raghavendra, introduces strong female characters to the cybercrime thriller. While Shruti Prakash plays a film star in Grey Games, Bhavana Rao portrays a police officer for the first time. Aparna, a versatile actor and a popular face on the small screen with Maja Talkies, makes her comeback with Grey Games. The film, which is an Anand Mugad venture, also has Ishita Singh and Aparna Vastarey as part of its principal cast. CE catches up with these actors to discuss Grey Games, their respective characters, and more.

Gangadhar Salimath had a clear vision of my character and the overall story : Aparna

For Aparna, a well-known anchor popular for her stint on the reality show Maja Talkies, returning to acting with Grey Games after a 20-year break was a significant decision. “It is not that I did not want to work; I did receive offers. But the role’s significance mattered to me. Often, I was not fully briefed on what exactly I was supposed to do. I prioritised the importance of my role rather than its duration. Many times, the roles I was offered did not satisfy me, so I was not eager to accept them,” explains Aparna, who plays the mother of the character played by Jai in Grey Games.

“I received a call from a friend about the project, and during our first meeting, I realised that Gangadhar Salimath had a clear vision of my character and the story. There was no hesitation in saying yes. The film’s focus on modern technology and gaming made the role relatable and relevant. I understood the parental concerns depicted in the film,” she adds. “I am usually cautious about the teams I work with due to the unwritten hierarchies and bureaucratic dynamics, which I am not accustomed to. But working with the Grey Games team was a pleasant experience.

Gangadhar’s clear direction and the team’s professionalism made me feel at ease. I quickly tuned into the director’s cues and reactions. It felt like I was working with a familiar team, and everyone made me comfortable.” Aparna looks forward to her next project, Gramayana, starring Vinay Rajkumar as the lead.

I ensure my role contributes to the story and the character arc : Shruti Prakash

Shruti Prakash believes that, as an artist, it is essential to make an impact on screen, even if it is for a short duration. She explains that certain films offer characters that leave a lasting impression, regardless of their screen time. “Being part of Grey Games was primarily because I connected with my character, Shanaya. Many celebrities find it challenging to voice their opinions. It is crucial to acknowledge both the positive and negative aspects of fame, and Shanaya’s complexity connected with me, and I hope it creates the same impact on the audience,” says Shruti.

Despite her character’s brief appearance in the film, Shruti confirms that her role contributes significantly to the story and the character arc. “In films with ensemble casts, understanding the essence of the content is crucial as an artist,” she adds.

Playing a cybercrime officer, I reckon, was a big responsibility : Bhavana Rao

Bhavana Rao, an actor often remembered for her role in Gaalipata, is thrilled to portray a cybercrime officer for the first time. “Having a variety of roles is great. When I was offered the role of a cop, I felt it was a big responsibility. I focused on making my mannerisms and investigative techniques realistic. I was hesitant at first, wondering if I could pull it off, but I hope I did.” Regarding Grey Games as a subject, Bhavana finds it to be a completely different world. “I am used to outdoor games, and we did not play many video games. When I heard the story from the director, I realised that crime exists in this virtual world. The addiction and curiosity of this new genre caught my attention and prompted me to take on the role.”

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