Lavanya Tripathi: I didn't plan to work in remakes
The actor talks about playing a hockey player in A1 Express, fighting against cyber-bullying, and the need for stringent laws to prevent attacks against women
Lavanya Tripathi's performance in Arjun Suravaram is winning her accolades and the actor is delighted that the industry is looking at her differently post the film's success. "My efforts have paid off and I am happy people loved my character. I am glad that the success of Arjun Suravaram has changed things for good. Now people look at me differently. But I’ve managed to remain the same because this is the person the audiences liked."
Meanwhile, she is working in the first hockey-based movie in Telugu cinema, A1 Express. "I am playing a tomboyish hockey player, who wears her attitude on her sleeve. I know my role will require a lot of energy and effort as I have to learn the sport. In the film, I will be seen riding Yamaha RX 100. So, I am also taking bike-riding lessons and gaining some decent muscle mass to look the part," reveals Lavanya.
For someone who started her career playing a submissive character in Andhala Rakshasi, portraying a tomboyish role in A1 Express is quite the U-turn. "As an actor, you have to work in several films to understand what you are good at. I always yearn for roles that have convincing character arcs and show my range as an actor. I like this transition and will ensure that you get to see me portraying such exciting roles in the days to come."
Incidentally, Arjun Suravaram and A1 Express are remakes of Tamil films Kanithan and Natpe Thunai, respectively. "It was not a calculated decision to do remakes. I found both these films interesting and original. I watched Natpe Thunai at a time when I didn’t know I would be doing its remake. The story is really good and my character is not only relatable but also challenging, both physically and mentally. Usually, female actors don’t often get performance-oriented roles within a commercial format, so I’m really excited about this film."
Interestingly, Lavanya, who was born in Ayodhya and raised in Dehradun, hasn't made her Bollywood debut yet. "I am not good at multitasking and like to take it one step at a time. My work in Telugu and Tamil continues to keep me busy. So much so that I have no time to think about anything else. I believe I have made steady progress over the years and have played all the roles to the best of my ability. I have no regrets about missing films," she says.
Lavanya hopes that the next year will be eventful for her. "Besides A1 Express, I have also signed a crime-thriller opposite Atharvaa in Tamil. I will be shooting for these films simultaneously, from January. I am excited to start the New Year on a high."
The actor has strong feelings about social media bullying. "People love negativity and likes to pass some uncharitable or derogatory remarks on celebrities, especially female actors. I usually block them and at times, I give it back strongly. There were instances where I threatened to file a case against these trolls and I find it’s only the way for women to confront cyber-bullying."
As the conversation veers towards crime against women, Lavanya stresses the need for stringent laws. "The need of the hour is to make strong laws so that the perpetrators of crimes like rape/acid attacks against women are meted out stringent punishments. The government and judiciary system should introduce tougher laws and apply the rigour of law equally to rich and poor."