Abhinaya’s celluloid comeback to Kannada cinema

The actor returns to the big screen after a decade with the film 'Crush'

Anubhava rocked the Kannada film industry in the ‘80s. The film, directed by the late Kashinath, dealt with the relationship of a man and his teenage wife. Kashinath acted in the film as the protagonist and also introduced a young talent, Abhinaya, in the lead role.

Abhinaya, who was a class six student then, recalls,“I had no clue about my role. I was 13 when I was approached for the role. All I know is that my mother would explain the scene and Kashinath would teach me how to emote and I would just follow his instructions.”

Abhinaya’s celluloid comeback to Kannada cinema

The film, when released, went on to be a massive hit. In fact, Kashinath even directed the film in Hindi titled Anubhav starring Shekhar Suman. The same film was later dubbed in Malayalam as Aadhyate Anubhavam and in Telugu as Anubhavam.

Along with the film, Abhinaya also won accolades for her portrayal of Gauri, who is oblivious to the needs of her husband. In fact, she even won the Karnataka State Award in the best actress category.

Of her first meeting with Kashinath, she says, “He first just looked at me, then asked what I did. I replied, ‘Nothing’. He asked me a few questions, gave me a few dialogues. I had to enact a scene where I fight with my younger brother. It was easy as I was good at fighting with my sibling.”

The rest, as they say, is history.

Abhinaya’s celluloid comeback to Kannada cinema

“Working with Kashinath was like being in an acting school. When the shoot was not on, we children would create a racket on the sets and never has he shouted at us; even if he was in the middle of a discussion! In fact, he pampered us on the sets,” shares the actor, who went on to be cast as the hero’s or heroine’s sister in most films.

“I got bored. I think I entered the industry at an odd age. Though I started off as a child artiste, after Anubhava, I was not old enough to play the lead in other films,” says Abhinaya, who has shared the screen with legends like the late Dr Rajkumar, the late Vishnuvardhan and the late Prabhakar along with Raghavendra Rajkumar, Shivarajkumar and Puneeth Rajkumar, in films like Bhagyavantha, Devetha Manushya, Shiva Mechida Kannappa and Benkiya Bale.

Abhinaya’s celluloid comeback to Kannada cinema

While she took a break from movies, the small screen lured her. “I was getting substantial roles. Those days DD had just 13 episodes and there were a lot of roles I could experiment with.” Though she has acted in numerous serials, Nagu Naguta Nali and Baduku are close to her heart. She also has a word of praise of Agni Sakshi, where she was recently seen in a negative role. “This serial has been on air for almost five years now! I asked the director, when they planned to end it and he laughed saying, ‘When the audience tire of it’,” laughs Abhinaya, who returns to the big screen with the Kannada movie Crush.

The film is directed by a debutant, Abhishek. “My character has two shades. I play a young mother, who ages on screen, so it will be challenging. I loved the story, which has a newness to it. I have a small role, but it is powerful. Of course, it is a welcome change to be back on screen after so many years.”

“Being back on the big screen is great,” she says, “So much has changed. New areas are being explored. I also look forward to essaying negative roles too. I am an artiste and would love to portray new characters on screen. Hope someone will offer me the role of a female don.”

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Printable version | Jul 6, 2020 1:41:45 PM |

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