Yajna Shetty: I hope viewers begin celebrating cinema again with Act-1978
The actor, who plays the protagonist in Mansore’s upcoming hostage thriller, talks about her upcoming film, which is set for release on November 20
ACT-1978 will be the first fresh Kannada film to get a theatrical release post the lockdown, and actor Yajna Shetty hopes that the hostage thriller directed by Mansore will bring people back to theatres.
Right from the first look of the film, which featured the actor as a pregnant woman doubling up as a human bomb, Yajna has been impressive. The actor says she was approached by Mansore for the project when she was not ready to sign any film for some time owing to her personal commitments. However, she could not refuse it after listening to the narration by the director. “When he approached me, I expressed my inability to take up the project, but he insisted that I listen to the story once. The story was very interesting and intriguing. There is no way I would not have done it, so I decided to sign it and manage the dates,” says Yajna, adding, “The team scheduled the entire shooting according to my convenience. I am glad to be a part of an amazing story.”
Yajna, who is presently in Mumbai after her marriage, says the film’s content is the main draw for the audience, and that has been made clear by the poster. “People said it looks very different and is something to watch out for. Even if I were an audience member, the poster would have pushed me to watch it on the silver screen,” she says.
While she is wary of getting trapped in a comfort zone, Yajna finds herself typecast in a positive way. “After I did Eddelu Manjunatha, everyone thought I was good at expressing emotions. I was tagged as ‘no make-up actor’ and a ‘one-take artiste’. In a way, it turned out to be a blessing. Filmmakers as well as the audience thought of me as a serious actor, and they had the confidence that I could pull off any difficult role. Even Mansore felt I could shoulder this character in entirety, and he was keen to cast me.”
Yajna asserts that such characters will remain longer in the viewer's mind when compared to roles in commercial subjects. “When you go down memory lane, you feel proud that you have chosen such subjects and roles that are difficult to perform. ACT-1978 is a film that is close to reality and I hope that I live up to everyone’s expectations,” she says.
Mansore, she feels, comes across as a director with sensibility, especially in the way he handles the subject and executes it. “He is a man of few words, but he makes sure the shot is taken the way he visualises it,” she says, pointing out that the script is the hero in the film. “I also feel that the makers have roped in a suitable cast, including the roles of hostages, police and politicians, which are all played by well-known artistes. ACT-1978 is about one person’s struggle which many people will relate to. There is not a single person who has not stepped in a government office, and the film will have the audience thinking about how our system runs.”
After the break from cinema post her marriage and the lockdown, Yajna hopes that good stories come her way now. “I am not a heroine who runs behind numbers to stay in the film industry, and I have the patience to wait to be a part of a good project. At present, I am looking forward to the audience’s reaction to ACT-1978,” she signs off.