After winning acclaim for her performance in Bhairava Geetha and D Company, Irra Mor is ecstatic about portraying Konda Surekha in the upcoming film, Konda. The Ram Gopal Varma directorial is a biopic of Congress leader Konda Murali and his wife Konda Surekha (also, a former minister).
"When RGV Sir first sent me the one liner I was intrigued. What I like about my character (Surekha) is that it undergoes a lot of transformation," says the actress.
Irra was inspired by the journey of Surekha — a sportswoman (a little-known fact) who fell in love with and married Konda Murali against her parents’ wishes, became an extremist along with her husband, and eventually a representative of the people.
"I felt the role has a lot of drama and the character arch is brilliant. The ups and downs she has gone through, I thought, makes for an interesting watch," says Irra.
Konda Surekha and Irra Mor
The fact that like Surekha, she too is bold and courageous in real life made it even more fascinating for her. "I could see myself in this role, as my family taught me to stand up and speak for myself if it matters," she says.
But it wasn’t easy for the actress, who has played glamorous roles in her earlier films, to get into the role of a firebrand woman.
"I felt the more I talked to Surekhaji the better I could get into the skin of the character. Constant interactions with her helped me," she reveals. "I spoke to Surekhaji over the phone several times. I met her on the sets too, and she shared stories of how she was tomboy, etc. My chats with her helped me understand her and portray her better," Irra says, "Surekhaji told me that she was a tomboy in college and used to ride a vespa scooter," shares the actress, adding that she could instantly connect with Surekha’s attitude.
As a part of her preparation Irra watched all the videos of Surekha and tried to absorb her body language, how she conducted herself during meetings, the way she talked, etc. The physical transformation for the part too was given importance. Irra made sure that she got things right.
But there are deviations too. Apparently Surekha was particular about three things – putting her hair in a bun, wearing vibrant saris and sporting a nose ring.
"Unfortunately, I couldn’t wear my hair in a bun because it was not going well with my onscreen look," says Irra. She couldn’t wear saris either, because it wasn’t in sync with the on-screen character. The actress also opted out of wearing a nose ring because the idea was not to copy Surekha but to portray her by bringing out the right emotions. "I tried to give my own spin to the character," explains Irra.
It’s been hardly two years since Irra entered films. It was difficult for the Computer Science Engineer from Agra to convince her parents to allow her to opt for a career in acting. She eventually moved to Mumbai, and later did theatre.
"The theatre experience is helping me a lot in terms of employing a clinical approach to acting. In fact, before doing theatre, I couldn’t perform a scene in front of people. But theatre gave me the confidence to do anything in front of a crowd," she reveals, adding that she shot several scenes in Konda in front of a huge crowd.
Although Irra feels she is still taking baby steps in the industry, she is happy about getting the opportunity to work with different directors.
"I am hungry for more work and hopefully, I will have more releases this year," says the actress, who has wrapped up shooting her part.