Deccan Chronicle

We try to keep Maria's sprits up

Deccan Chronicle. | DC Correspondent

Published on: March 22, 2022 | Updated on: March 22, 2022

'SK20' director Anudeep talks about the film's Ukrainian lead actress

Ukrainian actress Maria Riaboshapka. (By Arrangement)

Ukrainian actress Maria Riaboshapka. (By Arrangement)

The announcement by makers of Sivakarthikeyan’s next film, SK20, that they had roped in Ukrainian actress Maria Riaboshapka as the female lead has generated a lot of interest.

Maria plays an English language trainer in the laugh riot.

Given the current Ukraine-Russia war situation, the question being asked is, how did Maria come on board the film?

Director Anudeep tells us that the film is set in Puducherry and London. As such, he required a foreigner to act in the film. He says he picked Maria after watching her videos and her web series Special Ops. He auditioned her online, and when he narrated the script on Zoom, she loved it.

"There’s innocence in her face and I believe that her casting brings a fresh appeal. Since she’s a foreigner, we felt that Maria would be apt for the part," he says.

Actor Sivakarthikeyan

Maria reached Hyderabad from Ukraine 10 days before war broke out in her country. Shooting for the film had already begun when the war started. Naturally, Maria, whose family is in Ukraine, was upset and terrified. "We tried to keep up her spirits and keep her motivated. We have been keeping her engaged by making her practice dance, dialogues and scene rehearsals, etc.," reveals the director.

Maria had attended a workshop for a week to better understand her character.

"We are currently shooting in Chennai and shall shoot a couple of songs in Hyderabad in May," says the director, adding that 50 per cent of the shooting is done.

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