Lavanya Tripathi is back, determined to make us laugh

The charming Midhuna of Andhala Rakshasi (AR) is returning to the screen a good 16 months later, promising to show off her comic timing. “I cannot switch from one character I have played to another immediately. For a month after I shot for AR, I continued to dress in colourful salwar suits like Midhuna. It took me a while to get back to being my own self. Soon after, I got a few offers but I didn’t want to do similar roles,” Lavanya Tripathi tells us, while in town for the audio launch of her second film, Doosukeltha co-starring Vishnu Manchu and directed by Vishnu Potla.

Lavanya had completed AR, basked in its warm response, and returned to her abode in Mumbai when the Doosukeltha team contacted her. “It’s a huge project and I think I’m lucky to work with established actors like Vishnu, Brahmanandam and Kota Srinivasa Rao. Doosukeltha is a light-hearted comedy. I’ve never been the one to crack up at slapstick comedy. The fun in this film is all situational,” she says. Lavanya was required to shoot for 75 days. “I prefer working on one or two films at a time. I am looking forward to Doosukeltha’s release on October 11 and my first Tamil film Bramman with Sasikumar is also coming up.” She isn’t allowed to divulge details of Bramman and maintains, “Santhanam is also part of the cast; so it won’t be a serious film like the previous Sasikumar starrers.”

Lavanya grew up in Dehradun before moving to Mumbai. Her father is a lawyer and she studied economics before taking up modelling and tried her luck with acting in a television serial. “I was really bad in that serial. I didn’t know to act,” she admits. She refuses to reveal the name of the serial but says she learnt to face criticism: “I have matured with time,” she says.

She considers AR her learning ground for Telugu cinema. “I came a month earlier and learnt Telugu. Now when I am given the lines I can understand my dialogues. No one can take me for a ride.” In Doosukeltha, Lavanya plays a doctor. “I do my homework for each film. I worked on the body language and wanted to get it right.”

In the months between AR and Doosukeltha, she watched movies — Hindi and regional and says she had a blast watching Panjaa and Gabbar Singh. “I also watched Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu all by myself in Mumbai,” she adds.

There was a time her father egged her on to pursue higher studies. Not any more. “I am sure of what I want to do. I want to act, not be an accountant,” she signs off.