Sai Pallavi: I feel happy that filmmakers are writing characters keeping me in mind
Says the actor as she awaits the release of her upcoming film Virata Parvam on June 17
Sai Pallavi had delivered many hits, but she is eagerly looking forward to the release of her upcoming film Virata Parvam like never before. The story of the Venu Udugula directorial is inspired by real incidents and Sai Pallavi's character in the film is modelled after a Warangal woman named Sarala.
"We went to meet the family of Sarala in Warangal and were deeply touched by their gesture. Sarala's mother received me like her own daughter and her words have moved me to tears. She blessed me wholeheartedly and gifted me a saree. That was the most emotional moment for me and I had no words to share my feelings. I would be happier if Virata Parvam satisfies Sarala's family," says Sai Pallavi.
The last two releases of Sai Pallavi -- Love Story and Shyam Singha Roy -- saw her portraying characters with a serious bend. Asked if she is fond of such roles, the MCA actor says, "I don't think so. My character in Shyam Singha Roy needed to depict aura and grace. It also battled an inner turmoil. As for Virata Parvam, it's the story of our soil. While Shyam Singha Roy has commercial appeal, Virata Parvam has none of it. The character wanted me to stay humble and grounded. Even though our film is inspired by true events, I approached my character as if I was working on a fictional story. Had I thought of it as a real story, I wouldn't have done justice to it and would have become emotionally attached to Vennela, who is like a clean slate."
She continues, "When I went through the script, I was eager to see how real it would be narrated. The soul of Virata Parvam is raw, real and the way director Venu Udugula translated it on screen really thrilled me."
Sai Pallavi says working on Virata Parvam was a great learning experience. "Virata Parvam depicts different kinds of hardships and oppression endured by some people. The film showcases the consequences of these factors. There was a time people lived in fear. The story is fresh and close to my heart. It took me into a new world. Vennela is naïve and is equally determined to achieve what she wants in life. Working on this film with such a talented cast has been a wonderful learning experience and the feeling was very contagious," she reveals.
The Fidaa actor asserts that Rana Daggubati's presence as Ravanna has elevated the scale of the film. "Rana taught me what it feels like to be a part of good cinema and also showed me how a film can be pushed to a higher level. His contribution has been immense," says Pallavi, adding, "I also felt excited to work with Nandita Das, Eshwari Rao and Priyamani. As a team, we got along well and gave our best."
The doctor-turned-actor is all praise for the cinematographers. "Dani Sanchez-Lopez and Divakar Mani embodied our work with authenticity. The way they captured the visuals in the jungle will draw some reactions. Together, they created visual poetry onscreen."
Admittedly, Sai Pallavi likes to be challenged. "I don't want to be stuck with an image. Playing versatile roles always challenges me as an actor. I am enjoying myself, my work and the challenges. As an actor, I need to remain under pressure. Only then, I can feel the pain of a character. I had to stitch a realistic portrayal while playing a raw character like Vennela. There is no room for glamour and it was empowering to portray a character that needed to look natural," she observes.
The 30-year-old actor expresses no qualms to share screen space with top heroes. "I don't think my image will pose a threat to clinch films opposite top stars. I accept the love of the audience and the only thing I am conscious of is about doing meaningful cinema and portraying good characters. I feel happy that filmmakers are writing characters keeping me in mind. Times are changing and we can confidently work in films like Virata Parvam. As long as you are true to your work and do it right, the audience will receive it with open arms," opines Sai Pallavi.
Sai Pallavi's choices so far are varied with a mix of mainstream and niche cinema. "Films are forever. We still remember the works of Sivaji Ganesan and enjoyed watching films done by such stalwarts. None of us could predict if the audience likes or dislikes a film. My only idea is to make films that live forever," shares Sai Pallavi.
Up next Sai Pallavi will be seen in a Tamil film titled Gargi. "It is a wonderful film that caters to all sections. We shot it during the pandemic and like Virata Parvam, the story is close to my heart. I have also signed on for a film opposite Sivakarthikeyan. It is directed by Rajkumar Periasamy and is produced by Kamal Haasan. I am listening to a few scripts in Telugu and am yet to sign my next here," signs off Sai Pallavi.