After having made her debut with Prema Kavali in 2011 and worked in South films for a decade, Esha Chawla has signed a Punjabi movie. The actress is glad that she’s finally making her debut in her mother tongue.
“Although Punjabi is my mother tongue we speak Hindi at home,” Esha shares. “Being part of Tollywood, I can speak Telugu better; in fact, my Telugu is better than my Punjabi,” she quips, adding that her mother is teaching her Punjabi as a part of the prep for the new film. She is scheduled to start shooting for it soon.
Meanwhile, Esha has wrapped up work on a multilingual film directed by Kabir Lal. In the thriller, which also features Kamal Kamaraju, she plays a visually-impaired girl. “It’s my most challenging role yet,” she says, and reveals that the film is a remake of Spanish thriller Julia’s Eyes, told from the perspective of the girl.
Esha Chawla's look from Kabir Lal's film
“When Kabir Sir offered me the role, I thought the film would not go on the floors soon. But he called to say that we would start shooting from the next month, and that’s when I got serious about the prep,” she shares.
Esha found it challenging to play a visually impaired girl. “The emotional arch of the character and her responses to tricky situations in life almost took a toll on me psychologically,” the actress elaborates. “She displays various emotions as she moves on in life,” says the Mr. Pellikoduku star, adding that it is the ‘most interesting character’ she played so far.
“I practised being blindfolded and listening to sounds. Reacting to situations based on sounds was very difficult,” she says. Despite the challenges of playing such a layered character, Esha feels her work with an NGO (Amanya) that works with differently-abled people, enabled her to pick up the nuances of the role quickly. She asserts that her theatre experience also came in handy for the part.
Talking about her experience on the sets, she says, “I didn’t rehearse too many times, as I felt I would lose the originality. I like keeping things natural.” The actress says her takeaway from the experience of playing such a role is ‘keep moving on in life, no matter what’. Kabir Lal is someone who pays great attention to detail, says Esha. “He knows how to bring out the best from the actors. I have learnt several things about filmmaking while working with him” the actress says.
Apparently Esha suffered multiple injuries while playing the visually impaired girl – from grazed knees to scratches and bruises, she experienced it all. "I had a major fall during a chase sequence. My foot got caught in something, and since I was blindfolded, I couldn’t maintain my balance and crashed on to some barbed wire. I was injured and rushed to the hospital, where I was given first aid. But it was worth all the injuries," she smiles, signing off.