Filmmaker Gunasekhar’s upcoming film, Shakuntalam, starring Samantha, has been hitting all the right notes ever since the project was announced. While the shooting has been progressing in Hyderabad, we hear there’s a new addition to the cast. Actress Varshini Sounderajan has been roped in for the costume drama.
An excited Varshini will play a significant role in the magnum opus and she’s obviously thrilled to bag such an opportunity. Having been called by the filmmakers in summer for this role, Varshini met Gunasekhar, after which she had a look-test for the role. “And I was on board immediately,” the actress tells us.
While she is restricted in giving out the details about her role, Varshini, who’s already begun shooting for her part, offers that her role in the film has multiple get-ups. “I can tell you that the role is layered and has multiple looks. Working under someone like Gunasekhar garu is a fantastic experience.”
On her first day on the sets, the actress was a bag of nerves especially because she had to share screen with Samantha. “I was nervous because I’ve never worked with stars and excited too because I was going to be working with someone as established as Samantha. Despite the nervousness I was relieved when I finally shot with her,” elaborates the actress, unable to stop raving about Samantha’s humility.
Varshini recalls an incident that took place with Samantha on the sets. “In one scene, I had to kneel down and emote while saying my dialogue. The floor I was kneeling on had stones and I wasn’t comfortable. Even before I could point it out, Samantha observed this and immediately asked for a cloth under my knees so it could cushion my knees and keep me comfortable. I was stunned to see how sweet and caring she is, with no airs despite being such a big star,” adds the actress.
No choosing between TV and cinema
While Varshini has been making quite a mark on television of late, she’d done a handful of films before, including the National Award winning 2014-film Chandamama Kathalu, which was incidentally her debut film. To her credit, the actress has been consciously avoiding taking on films that don’t excite her.
“I’ve been in the industry for a long time, and I am waiting for opportunities that naturally excite me. I want to do roles that are strong and author-backed. Gunasekhar garu’s film has been worth the wait,” the actress says.
Aside from seeking excitement in her roles, Varshini has also been avoiding films owing to her previous television commitments. “I was actually happy with my television stint but my family has been constantly pushing me to take up things beyond television. But I am also glad that I’ve started taking up film offers,” adds the actress.
Another film the actress has shot for is Malli Modalaindi, which co-stars Sumanth. Directed by debutant Keerthi, the film, which is breezy entertainer, has Varshini playing Sumanth’s wife.
While admitting that doing both TV and films has been slightly challenging, Varshini makes it a point to let us know that doing films has become easy for her only because of her television experience. “Both are equally exciting and different, although I feel television needs us to be spontaneous while cinema calls for a lot more preparation,” she states.
Then as we close our interaction, she adds, “Cinema is challenging in its own way, and the preparations and the efforts that go into doing the groundwork for the character is something that excites me a lot.”