After an impressive show in the film Umamaheshwara Ugra Rupasya (UMUR) last year in January, Roopa Koduvayur has signed two films — one each in Tamil and Telugu. In the meanwhile, she has starred along with Satyadev in a music video, Daare Lede, released a couple of days ago as a tribute to frontline warriors who risk their lives during the pandemic.
In the eight-minute video, Roopa, a qualified medical doctor in real life, and Satyadev are seen as Dr Shruthi, a general physician, and Dr Karthik, a pulmonologist, respectively. “We shot the video in three days last week, taking all the safety precautions,” says Roopa, adding that it was an interesting experience.
She finds the emotional depth for a video the same as that in a film, but adds that showcasing various emotions in the more compact video form is challenging. “But once you get the hang of the character you can pull it off. Since I am a doctor too, I could feel the emotion and pulled it off with ease,” she says.
The video, presented by actor Nani, has been widely acclaimed.
Last year in March, when the pandemic hit the country, Roopa was doing her final year as a house surgeon at the Katuri Medical College & Hospital, Guntur. She cared for COVID-19 patients and describes the experience as ‘very challenging.’
“There was a lot of uncertainty about the virus at that time. It was so challenging at times and many of us doctors contracted the infection despite taking all precautions,” she recalls. She further says that there were times when even the doctors lost hope, seeing their patients dying. Admitting that she was scared while treating COVID patients initially, she says, “I have parents back home, so I was afraid that I would place them at risk.”
Despite her fears, Roopa continued her service as a doctor. “The dearth of doctors and the dreadful scenes outside made me understand that this was the need of the hour. We took up this profession to serve people and we knew that in times of crises we need to go to any length,” she says, and reveals that it was more a mental struggle than a physical one.
What she found most challenging was to communicate bad news to patients’ families. After having worked so hard for several days to treat a patient, she says it is very painful to tell the family members that they hadn’t been able to save a life. “The patient’s family members get emotional.
While some understand and appreciate our efforts, others get carried away and assault doctors,” she says, appealing to the public to understand that doctors are risking their lives to treat patients.
While becoming a doctor was her ambition, she is passionate about films. “ I want to enjoy both professions, which is why I have been working hard and managing to strike a balance between the two,” she says.
Soon after she completed her house surgency, Roopa took up a Tamil film. She shot for 20 days and returned to the hospital to attend to her medical profession. She tells us that she did her ‘homework’ well, and acquired the dialect needed for the Tamil film, so she was able to get into the part easily.
During the recent second wave of the pandemic, the actress did not take up medical duties due to prior film commitments, but she attended some classes during shooting breaks. She also admits that it’s tough balancing films and a medical career.
“But I am constantly keeping a tab on emerging technologies and learning.” Even as she plans to continue acting in films, Roopa aims to pursue Oncology as a super specialty....