Last month Darshana Banik, Bengali actress who’s acted in the Telugu, Tamil and Hindi film industries, was shooting for a Bengali film in Kolkata, when she got a call regarding casting for a Telugu film. When she enquired about the film, she learnt that it was for Bangarraju, which stars Nagarjuna.
“I was excited, when I heard it was for Nag sir’s film because he is someone who I look up to,” recalls Darshana, who joined the Hyderabad sets of the social-fantasy drama last week.
From a fan to a co-star
Darshana sees the opportunity to share the screen with Nag as an honour. “And this early in my career, I did not expect that I’d get to work with him,” she says, adding, she’ll be seen in the role of Apsara in the Kalyan-Krishna directorial.
The actress believes she has much to learn from Nag.
“He’s so chilled on the sets and his ability to switch on and off the camera is something I should pick up. Moreover, he seems to love what he does,” she says. What Darshana also remembers of her time with Nagarjuna on the sets was how she bonded with the actor on food. In fact, most of their on-the-set conversations were about Bengali food and culture.
“He told me he’s a foodie and a fish lover, and loves Bengali food; he likes the hilsa fish,” she says, adding that besides, food, cinema and fitness, the duo also bonded over diction and the correct pauses while acting.
As for her role in the upcoming film, Darshana reveals she had to cut down a few kilos to look her part. “Although I can’t talk much about my role, I can say it is a challenging role as it demands a lot physically and psychologically too,” she tells us.
Seeking cultural connections
Darshana has been to Hyderabad a few times and is surely falling in love with the city’s vibe. She claims she embraces the South Indian culture, and of course the yummy food, after having worked here enough.
And there’s certainly one special thing she wants to do after her schedule. “After my last schedule, I want to have a complete South Indian thali,” says the actress with a chuckle, adding that she is also slowly but steadily understanding Telugu.”
With her exposure in multiple film industries, Darshana says it’s been a great journey. “I want to work in every industry, understand and experience various cultures,” she says. But there’s more to her desire to act in as many regional movies than just understanding and adapting to those cultures. Nothing can teach you better in life than travelling. It keeps you rooted and makes you understand the culturals landscape of the regions.