Vanamagan made me fall in love with acting
...says Sayyeshaa, who’s making her debut in Tamil cinema with the Jayam Ravi-starrer
Sayyeshaa, the grand-niece of Bollywood actors Dilip Kumar and Saira Banu, is making her Tamil cinema debut with Vanamagan starring Jayam Ravi, and she’s nervous. “It’s the perfect launchpad for me. I haven’t watched the film yet though. I hope the audience here accepts me as an actress,” she says.
Despite her nervousness, there’s a sense of quiet confidence about her. Perhaps, it has something to do with hailing from a family that has a rich history of being associated with films. Though she has previously been part of Hindi and Telugu cinema, she feels she’s still finding her foot in the industry. “I’m still finding myself. Sometimes, you don’t know if projects work because they’re good or because you’re part of the film. Either way, establishing a connection with the audience is essential,’ she says.
Sayyeshaa doesn’t believe in limiting herself to one genre. “No actor should want that. It’s about being versatile,” she smiles.
She thoroughly enjoyed working with director Vijay. “The best part is his involvement and commitment. He is a great teacher, and all I did was just listen to him. Despite having done so many quality films, he’s very humble. He wants his actors to be terrific performers, and so he tells them exactly what he needs, and how it has to be done. He tries to keep it all simple and natural,” she says.
Sayyeshaa is also in awe of her co-star, Jayam Ravi. “He has put in so much hard work, and it’s apparent. When surrounded by such people, it’s impossible not to be motivated to do good work,” she says.
In Vanamagan, the actress will be playing an urban character that is in stark contrast to Ravi’s character of a tribal man. “I also got to perform some stunts, something I’ve never done in my earlier films. I got to travel to Vietnam and Thailand too, and shoot at some breathtaking locations,” she adds.
Dancing is the actress’ first love, and quite fittingly, her introduction song in the film was choreographed by Prabhudheva. “He had watched one of my dance videos and liked it. There was a challenging step in my song, but I managed to shoot it in a single take and he appreciated me for pulling it off. He later told me that that step was one he had performed for one of his best songs during the 90s!”
She is not new to dancing though. “I’ve been learning it since I was nine, and I am familiar with many forms including Rhumba, Samba, Kathak, Odissi, and Cha-cha,” she smiles.
Sayyeshaa has been roped in for Prabhudheva’s next directorial venture, Karuppu Raja Vellai Raja. “I share screen space with both Karthi and Vishal, who are both excellent actors.” The actress says she was extremely happy when Prabhudheva offered her the film. “It’s a dream come true. We will begin shooting from July. The project marks his comeback as a director in Tamil after six years, and that makes it even more special,” she says.
She’s happy that her first two films are with accomplished directors. “More than trusting myself, I repose faith in my director. Vanamagan helped me realise that pushing the envelope is more important than sticking to conventional films. Though it may seem a risky move, I think it’s a worthy experiment.”
Not only did she learn a lot from being on the sets but she says she also forged a great bond with the entire crew. “We became a family. Vanamagan will be a special film in my career.”
In fact, the film, she says, made her fall in love with acting. “I want to do more films now. And I’m keen that I do more films in Tamil,” she says.