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Krithi Shetty Interview – Manamey

The Uppena actress spills the beans about Manamey in a candid chat with Srivathsan Nadadhur

Krithi Shetty, who’ll be seen in a Telugu film Manamey (that releases on June 7), nearly a year after Custody, is thrilled to be back in Hyderabad. While the actress promotes the Sharwanand starrer in the city during the day, she has a return flight to catch to Chennai to wrap up her upcoming project with Karthi. “I’ve been given an exception today because the shoot was pushed,” she smiles.

Between Custody and Manamey, the actress has also wrapped her M.A. in psychology. As she gets the ‘why a long break’ question more often than not, Krithi shares, “I see my career in Telugu cinema as a responsibility because I tasted success first here. I would want to entertain the audiences in different roles and not repeat myself.”

“While I chose my first set of projects for different reasons, I’ve become more selective now.” Manamey is a tale of Vikram, Subhadra and a mystery child. Unlike the conventional ‘heroine’ roles in her previous commercial outings, Subhadra is a strict, at times fussy, woman who sticks to her word in the film. What connects the trio together? “You need to watch the film to find out.”

Krithi wasn’t sure if she was overdoing the ‘fussy’ dimension in Subhadra and it took assurance from the director Sriram Aditya to calm her nerves. In addition, acting on a set with an infant can get tricky. “On the very first day of my shoot, when my costume irked Vicky as I held him in my arms, Sharwa went out of the way to distract the child and I felt it was a gentlemanly gesture. He didn’t need to do that and he could’ve let Sriram take over.”

What was it like to play a ‘motherly’ figure on the screen without a prior understanding of the experience? “I think it’s an actor’s responsibility to step into the shoes of a character and react accordingly. They need to have emotional intelligence to play the part, even if they haven’t experienced a similar situation in real life. I guess I did justice.”

Having watched a preview of Manamey only yesterday, she is all praise for Sharwanand, the actor too. “He’s so cool and casual on set and doesn’t let anyone feel he’s acting. He is not camera-conscious and makes the job look effortless – he has nailed every scene. Perhaps, that comes out of experience.” The film is a thorough entertainer with truckloads of comedy, she assures.

A major portion of Manamey was shot in London and the crew faced several challenges with lighting. “By the time, we opened the window and finished a shot, the climate would change. The team would struggle to recreate similar lighting and ensure consistency.”

For someone in her early 20s, Krithi has experienced various hues of showbiz already – early fame followed by a series of failures, a career across multiple industries. “When a journalist post Bangarraju’s release credited me for the film’s success, I remember telling her that I didn’t have anything to do with it. It was destiny. I am only in control of what I do with my role.”

“Both on my good days and bad days, I’ve realised that I react to a film’s result similarly. I have no control over it. When you experience a wide range of  emotions in your younger years in the industry, you mature as a person quickly.” Does she claim herself to be wiser beyond her age? “I think so. I might not be the right person to answer the question.”

A section of audiences still believe that Krithi’s mettle as a performer hasn’t been tested fully after Uppena. “Though you might take up a project for a certain reason, your performance is largely in the hands of a director. It’s about how he/she nudges me in a role. Even within commercial limitations, I see what best I can do to make it worthwhile.”

As someone making a mark in Tamil and Malayalam industries, does she feel like an experienced actress or a debutant? “I would say the latter. I still need to win over a new section of the audience with my performance.” She’s yet to land her dream role – of playing a princess in a fantasy world but wants to prep herself for a possible action film shortly.

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