While many directors stick to the regular commercial formula, Krish looks for innovative subjects. And the period film Kanche, with the World War II backdrop, is one of them.
Talking about her experience in the film, Pragya Jaiswal, the female lead opposite Varun Tej, says, “It was a fantastic journey and all of us worked hard for the film. We shot in some exciting locations and it really was wonderful for me; I can’t wait to see the film. I’m very excited.”
“I play Sitha Devi, she is from a royal family. The costumes are beautiful and it was a lot of fun doing the character,” adds Pragya.
Talking about her character she says that she is strong and modern, for that era. “Krish had done a lot of research at the pre-production level and communicated the same to me. He has written the character based on Maharani Gayatri Devi,” she says.
Pragya did her own research too by watching old films. “Krish told me not to watch Telugu films and not to bother about the language. He wanted me to watch old English and Hindi films to get a glimpse of the characters,” she says.
“In the old films, I observed that some characters spoke more with their looks. Look at Madhubala, in some of her films, her expressions have so much meaning. My character needed to focus more on expressions than acting. But in the end, I surrendered to Krish’s vision and followed his guidelines,” she says.
“After the shooting started, I joined Kathak classes. It really helped me to get my character right. It taught me discipline, focus etc.,” adds Pragya.
Though it’s a period film, Pragya says they did not have rehearsals or workshops. “I used to get my lines one day before,” she says.
Interestingly, Pragya had also auditioned for the Hindi film Gabbar opposite Akshay Kumar. “Initially they wanted to take a fresh face, but later they decided to go with an established actress,” she adds.
She says that she got to know how big her co-star Varun Tej’s family was (Chiranjeevi’s family) after they started shooting. “I knew they were big, but I got to know that they were very big after the shooting started,” she says.
Talking about an incident while shooting at Tatipaka village in Godavari district, where many locals turned up, she says, “I was supposed to slap Varun in a scene and the fans were shouting ‘don’t slap’. I was scared to do the scene,” she says.
“We (Varun Tej and her) met at the first scene of our shooting. In that scene we were supposed to be introduced to each other and that’s how we really met,” she laughs.
Kanche is Pragya’s second Telugu film, she had made her debut with a small film, Mirchilanti Kurradu, opposite small time actor Abhijeeth.
“When I got that offer, I didn’t know much about the industry. I didn’t prepare much for the film. But it helped me perform better in Kanche,” says the actress.
The model-turned-actress is now getting offers from Hindi and Telugu industries both.