As someone who stepped into showbiz, quitting the lucrative IT industry more than a decade ago, it has taken a lot for Kalpika Ganesh to survive.
“10 years! Oh, time just flies! My debut film was Prayanam (2009) and since then I have grown as a person and learnt a lot as an actress,” says Kalpika, who has played the heroine’s sidekick in several films.
“After one point of time (2009-2013), I felt I had had enough of these sidekick roles, and I have been constantly turning down such offers,” she reveals, adding that she didn’t feel low but was trying to figure out what works for her.
“Last year, when director Praneeth Yaron narrated the script of Sita on the Road to me, I thought it was a breakthrough role, something I had been looking for for a long time,” the actress shares.
She plays a choreographer in what could be the country’s first female-centric road film. It is about five women from different walks of life who go soul searching and find their true selves.
“The best part of the role is that it was kept raw and natural. It’s a change from my earlier films”, she says. Interestingly, Kalpika had to learn to smoke and ride a Bullet for her part. “Riding a bullet barefoot on the highways gave me a high; I travelled almost 1500 kms on the bike for the film. It was surreal,” she reveals. Talking of her tryst with tobacco, she says, “I was someone who could not stand smoking, but gave even that a shot for the love of my character.”
According to Kalpika, the role brought out her rebellious side. “I was initially like this - bold, adventurous and rebellious, determined to get into films. But since I was offered girl-next-door roles, perhaps this side of mine was untapped. With his role, I find reconnecting with myself,” says the actress. “The transition from girl-next-door to a strong girl on screen was so satisfying that it opened me up as a person,” she reflects.
Kalpika had to wear just one costume throughout the film.
“A day before my shooting, I would wash my outfit; I am sensitive when it comes to hygiene,” she shares, adding that she did not have the luxury of caravans on the sets.