RGV thought I resembled yesteryear artistes: Irra Mor
The actor, who debuts with Bhairava Geetha, talks to us about her journey, how she landed the role and her experience of working on the film
One fine day, Irra Mor (the female lead in Bhairava Geetha) decided that it was time to put her 9-5 job behind her to chase her calling.
Irra feels she's living a dream. "My father is a very strict person, and our entire family is highly qualified. He is a lawyer, my mum a professor, my sister a doctor and my brother a techie. So acting was something that was never planned," says the actor, who is looking forward to the release of her first outing shortly in Kannada and Telugu.
Soon after graduation, when she was in Bengaluru for two to three months looking for jobs with her brother, she discussed the possibility of going to Mumbai. "Soon after, I landed in Mumbai and instead of a mainstream job, I ended up joining Ideal Drama Entertainment Company - a theatre group with a mentor in Mujeeb Khan. That was where it all began," she says.
Irra still recalls how, despite clearing the exams for the Navy, her family, keen that she pursue engineering, hid the acceptance letter. "They wanted me to be an engineer, get into a job and get married."
Every newcomer with no backing fears entering the film industry. But not Irra, who says she doesn't even know the meaning of the word. "We are from a Jat family, so there's nothing called fear in our vocabulary. My only confusion was where to start, or whom to contact. Thankfully, my background in theatre helped." And with the contacts she made through her stints in commercials, she was able to find her way.
The Mumbai-based actor who has chosen a South Indian film to make her debut, says that cinema is cinema irrespective of region. "There are so many films being made in every region. As a newcomer, I was focusing on the film rather than the language. Of course, I was also keen to work with a good production house. That's when I connected with Ram Gopal Varma sir, who suggested Bhairava Geetha. I was given a good package - a good story, a strong role, an excellent team. What more does one need for a good start?"
RGV, who is known to spot talent, felt that Irra's looks resembled those of yesteryear artistes. "He felt that I had the classical face, and expressive eyes. But the audition was the clinching factor," says Irra, who watched all of RGV's films before she met the filmmaker.
In Bhairava Geetha, Irra will share screen space with Dhananjay, a known face in Kannada. With director Siddhartha Thatholu making his directorial debut, a majority of the team are newcomers. "But that thought never crossed our minds. We were all like family."
Talking about her character in the film, she says, "Geetha is well educated and hails from London. When she comes back home, and sees all these happenings, she rebels even against her father. Though I have some of Geetha's values, I am far away when it comes to the film's attire. I can never come close. Having said that, nowadays films are focused on performance. They don't run on the glam factor. This is just cinema's evolution. Today's audience are tuned into the nuances and don't typecast actors anymore."
So, what about the liplock scene? "It all depends on whether it is really needed or if it is done just to promote the film. In Bhairava Geetha's case, there is this exchange of expression in love, which is why it was necessary. Personally, I was really not comfortable. I had to do it in front of hundreds of people on the sets. But I just looked at it professionally," she says.
As a newcomer, the biggest challenge was the language. "Since I come from a theatre background, facing the camera wasn't hard. Only when I wasn't prepared with the dialogues and scenes, did I get nervous. It's all a learning process."