Ananya Nagalla talks about her role in 'Mallesham'

After a tough audition process which landed her the role in Mallesham, the actor is now committed to work hard

July 10, 2019 03:16 pm | Updated July 11, 2019 05:40 pm IST

Directors who are assiduously hunting for a Telugu artiste who can shoot in sync sound, look glamorous and also traditional can stop and take a look at Ananya Nagalla. We have seen her play Priyadarshi’s wife in Mallesham that released a few weeks ago. The Telugu girl from Sattupalli in Khammam district, came to Hyderabad after her schooling and did B.Tech and LLB. While working with Infosys she acted in an in-house short film, followed by another short film made by MR Productions titled Shaadi and she was nominated as the best actress at SIIMA. “I can’t say there was a particular point where I got interested in acting. My interest kept growing and after the attention I got for the short films, I took it seriously and joined an acting institute in Manikonda. Film director Raj came to our acting institute one day to seek assistance from our trainer for finding the right talent for Mallesham . I enacted some bits from hit films and he wasn’t happy,” says Ananya.

Not one to give up, she took leave from office for a month, practised wearing saris and worked on her dialogue delivery. Getting the Telangana dialect right was tough but she took it as a challenge and kept auditioning regularly. She shares, “My sir who was a casting director for Mallesham was auditioning other girls for the same role and I too repeated day in and out; by the end of the process he saw an improvement and roped me in. I learnt the slang and would read the script 30 to 40 times. He was convinced about my sincerity.” Ananya says time has changed and there are ample opportunities for Telugu girls. Her family didn’t approve of her switching careers but at the same time didn’t discourage her either. They were patient enough to wait and watch. Once Mallesham released, everyone was proud of her. Her friends said that they saw Padma (the character’s name), and not Ananya on the screen.

She says it helped that director Raj sent the script a month before he came from the US. Ananya was part of the script from the initial stages and by the end of it she had a grip on her character. It was her first film and adjusting to the filmi environment, being dressed in saris with oiled hair for so many days was not easy, she says. “The shoot was at Pochampally, since I come from a software background, I suddenly found these people’s lingo a little tough and harsh. Their intention was good but the articulation was different. The never-say-die attitude of Mallesham was inspiring, which kept me going,” she adds.

Ananya is certainly aware of the travails of the weavers community, thanks to her experience of shooting for the film. Encouragement from people by wearing handlooms is important though, she feels. Her respect for handloom weavers has gone up after working in the film and seeing their struggles, she says.

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