Keerthy Suresh is enjoying the bliss of her success in her recently released film Mahanati, a biopic on yesteryear legendary actress Savithri, which released to a phenomenal response, making her the paparazzi’s poster girl.
“I’m overwhelmed with the love that’s been pouring in. Many people are texting me that they will now watch Savithri garu’s old classics. Considering the fact that I initially refused the project, and that I was apprehensive about living up to the legend’s image, it’s been an emotional journey; I feel blessed that I got this opportunity. When Vijaya Chamundi, Savithri’s daughter, said ‘if I ever want the warmth of my mother I will come to you’, I was touched. So if I look back, getting into the role wasn’t easy and coming out of it is even more difficult”, she shares.
Apart from watching Savithri’s films, and going through the references, Keerthy had to put in a lot of effort to look the part.
“It took 8-10 trials to achieve the look of Savithri. I used prosthetics to look chubby; I needed to sit for four hours for the makeup; I had liquids during that time because I couldn’t open my mouth and chew. I did that for around 10 days. I also put cotton in my mouth so that my cheeks look chubby. I had to spit it every 10 minutes because cotton soaks and it was difficult to mouth dialogues,” she reveals, adding that she had neither put on weight nor lost it for the role.
“I sported around 120 costumes in the film. The padding which I wore and the heavy jewellery too made me look chubby.” The toughest part for Keerthy was to recreate the iconic song Ahana Pellianta from the movie Maayabazar.
“We shot for three days and I was tensed throughout as I had to bring out several expressions through the song”. She also adds that dubbing her lines was a litmus test.
“I dubbed for 11 days and worked hard to get the pronunciation and diction right, as director Nag Ashwin was particular (smiles).”
But for someone who is so young and new, with just 10 films, how did things work out so well. “I guess it was Nag Ashwin’s conviction that I can pull off the role, which drove the film to success. Apparently, he saw one of my songs in Thodari (Rail in Telugu) and felt that my innocent looks would be apt for the role. Also, it has been a learning experience for me with every project. I thank my filmmakers for writing such beautiful roles and the audience for accepting me.”
Having acted in Malayalam, Tamil and tasting super success with Mahanti in Telugu, she states, “Getting to work in multiple languages at an early stage is a blessing. Today cinema is breaking the barriers of region and I am extremely pleased to be part of such a transition.”