Mahanati actor Keerthy Suresh on playing Savirtri: I'm glad I convinced her daughter with my portrayal

Raja Sekar

May,11 2018 08:46:38 IST

Keerthy Suresh is on cloud nine, Mahanati is turning out to be her career's best film and appreciations are pouring in for the actress. “I watched the special screening before the release day and also got the chance to watch the first-day-first-show in Hyderabad. The response was phenomenal but to be honest, I was little skeptical when Nag Ashwin approached me to play Savitri’s role because never ever dreamt of portraying the character of a legendary actress. But today, everyone is appreciating my performance and I’m running out of words," says the Bairavaa actress to Firstpost.

Keerthy Suresh in a still from Mahanati. Image via Twitter

Keerthy Suresh in a
still from Mahanati. Image via Twitter

No only Keerthy, Savitri’s daughter Vijaya Chamundeswari also had her own doubts. “Vijaya Chamundeswari initially thought I would be able to justify Savitri’s character.  But after watching the film, she texted, “If I ever need the warmth of my mom, will come to you Keerthy,” and told me that she wasn’t sure how an upcoming actress like me would portray her mom who is a veteran performer," says the actress and calls it as the best feedback she ever received for Mahanati. “I convinced Savitri amma’s own daughter with my performance in the film, what more I need?," smiles the actress.

Keerthy closely worked with the film’s cinematographer Dani Sanchez-Lopez, and constantly asked him to show her chubby and lean in various portions. “I didn’t lose or gain weight for the film because it’s impossible to show such drastic transformation so I had to concentrate on little things like lighting, prosthetic makeup, hairstyle and costumes to showcase the difference. Probably, Mahanati is the only film in which I felt happy on watching scenes where I looked chubby," laughs Keerthy.

We also  talked to Keerthy about SS Rajamouli's tweet on Mahanati and her performance in the film, an excited Keerthy says “I don’t know what to reply to an unexpected praise from a legendary director like him, can't believe my eyes. In my career, I never felt this happy, truly moved with all these appreciations”.

It is very rare to see all the actors in a multi-starrer come together and promote the film in South but Mahanati is an exception, especially in the case of Samantha Akkineni, who is not playing the titular role, but chose to gracefully accept the offer. “Even before me, Samantha was on board for Mahanati. If I was in her position, wouldn’t have accepted this role. It shows her magnanimity. Similarly, Dulquer Salmaan was bold enough to act in Gemini Ganesan’s role which had a lot of grey shades. Everyone will fall in love with Dulquer in the film, he owned the screen," says Keerthy.

Keerthy says random messages from normal audiences doubled her happiness. The actress initially thought whether the sad part of Savitri’s life should pass on to the next generation through her but audience’s response has changed her mindset. “Nandini Reddy, a famous Telugu director, told me that she only knew Savitri as an actress and not aware of her personal life, she became very emotional and a lot of youngsters are texting me saying they never watched Savitri’s movies but after Mahanati, they are going to see all her old classics. What we portrayed today actually made audiences emotional. No one said we wrongly projected her life”.

Keerthy says after Mahanati, she wants to find a balance between performance-oriented roles and commercial cinema. There is a scene in Mahanati in which Savitri recalls Sivaji Ganesan’s advice “One shouldn’t always sign films for people, sometimes we have to do films for the actor inside.” Keerthy feels it is an apt line for her current state of mind.

Updated Date: May 11, 2018 08:46 AM