Surabhi Santosh: I’m looking at 2nd Half as a comeback
The actor tells us how her character is the soul of the film, which also stars Niranjan and Priyanka Upendra
For an outsider, who doesn’t come from a film background, trying to make it big in the film industry can be quite a daunting task. But Surabhi Santosh, who is making a ‘comeback’ with 2nd Half, is working doubly hard to prove herself, especially since she has bagged a character that she feels is the soul of the film.
While her first two projects-- Dushtaa and Jatayu--happened in quick succession, Surabhi's third film, 2nd Half, took a while. “It took longer than I thought,” admits Surabhi, who claims she is a "proud Kannadiga" although her roots are in Kerala.
The young actor considers this film, directed by Yogi Devagange, as a ‘comeback’ to the Kannada film industry. “I started my career here, but had to take a break in between. When I wanted to get back to Kannada films, I made sure to choose the right project. The opportunities which came by weren’t exciting, so I decided to be patient and wait. And luckily, 2nd Half happened,” says Surabhi, who is excited and grateful for having been chosen for the role without an audition. “Yogi (director) who just met me once, told me that I was finalised for the project,” she adds.
“There is more to the character of Sharanya than just being the love interest of Niranjan (the film's hero),” says Surabhi, adding, “There is romance, but there is a lot of mystery that surrounds my character. And in fact, in the film, Priyanka Upendra (who plays a lady constable) is constantly in search of me. In that way, I become the soul of 2nd Half. The story as such is unique and shot well.”
Surabhi makes a special mention of a song sequence with Niranjan. “For a particular track, both of us had to think out of the box. The director just left us at the location and told us we had to come up with our own creativity. The whole sequence has come out quite naturally, just the way the director wanted it,” she adds.
Working with Niranjan and Priyanka Upendra
About her co-star Niranjan, who is making his debut with the film, she says, “All eyes are on him. Being a superstar’s (Upendra’s) nephew, there are a lot of expectation from him. The pressure is high, but he is handling it well. I’ve seen him transform as an actor. When we started shooting the film, he was very raw. But over the course of the shoot, he has changed in terms of his looks and physique; he is now more muscular.” She adds that the actor is working with a vision and is “on the right track. He wants to make a name for himself independent of his uncle. He doesn’t want to take Upendra’s tag for granted. He is aware that he is lucky to have the star’s backing, but also realises that hard work matters.”
Though Surabhi doesn’t have too many scenes with Priyanka Upendra, she was happy to spend some time with her on the sets. “Priyanka’s professionalism is something I want to inculcate. I remember how she pushed herself to learn to ride a luna for the film, and has pulled it off so well. For her stature, she is grounded, which is rare,” she says.
‘I always dreamt of being an actor’
An established actor in Malayalam, with six films to her credit, Surabhi seems to be equally at ease in the Kannada industry. “Being in films was something I dreamt about even as a child. As I was growing up, I realised that it is a different world for those who don’t come from a film background. I’m an outsider trying to make a name…which is quite a big deal. Now that I have got a platform, I want to give my best. Career-wise, it is one of the best fields, provided you handle it well and have the right kind of support. The latter is a real confidence-booster,” she asserts.
Surabhi has a bilingual film, Kinnavali, made in Tamil and Malayalam, coming up for release in July. Meanwhile, another Malayalam project of hers will soon be finalised and might go on floors in mid-June.