Chennai: “I naturally flipped out when they asked me to face the camera without make-up,” says the Sahithya Jagannathan. For her debut film, the leggy model was cast in the role of an extremely passionate assistant director in the film, and director R. Parthiepan was determined that she remains true to her character.
“I even had to wear shapeless clothes because my character was supposed to be obsessed with thinking about the next original story idea to suggest to her director, instead of dolling herself up,” explains Sahithya. “When I couldn’t reason with them, I tried to sneak in a bit of basic make-up like kajal, lipstick etc., but Parthiepan sir’s eye for detail is almost scary. Just before we were going to shoot, he asked me to go wash my face and come,” she laughs.
Now that she has come to terms with her de-glam image, she considers it to be a boon in disguise. “It’s extremely difficult for a model-turned-actress to shed that eye candy image, and make people notice their acting. Most people expected me to wear frilly dresses and romance a macho hero in the film. But instead, I got to play a solid character without any romantic interest, who works hard to build her career in the film industry,” points out Sahithya.
Toning down her model image isn’t the only way in which she tried to make her character look real. Sahithya had to take guitar lessons as well. “My character has a deep bond her guitar and I had to take guitar lessons to master the title track, which my character Sherly plays in the film.”
Why didn’t she just pretend to strum the instrument like other actors usually do? “Parthiepan sir wanted to keep it as real as possible and wouldnt take no for an answer,” says Sahithya, who is now considering continuing her guitar lessons.
Now that the film is on its way to getting declared a hit, has Sahithya arrived? “It’s overwhelming, and I was touched when an auto wallah called me Sherly yesterday. That is my biggest compliment.” Sahithya says.