Driven by the love of cinema: Kalpika Ganesh
Kalpika Ganesh makes an impression with ‘Padi Padi Leche Manasu’ and has a bunch of films to look forward to
It has been a long time since Hyderabad girl Kalpika Ganesh stopped working in mainstream films. She began working in independent cinema, including the direction department and has also directed a five-minute short film called Perfect Copy.
One fine day, she was offered a part in Padi Padi Leche Manasu. She wanted to act only if she was given something substantial and it was the role of Sai Pallavi’s friend, who’s also a doctor. In a happy space now, Kalpika recollects, “I got a role where I had the scope to act. Seetamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu (2012) was my last film. I am now doing a few films in lead roles.”
She defends the director (Hanu Raghavapudi) when we ask if some of her portions were chopped in Padi Padi Leche Manasu. She takes the compliments for her dubbing work in Telugu with all humility. “Not just mine, a lot of people’s parts have been cut, it is a part of filmmaking. My important scenes have been retained, because I was driving the story forward in the second half. Hanu Raghavpudi is a poetic filmmaker and I always wanted to be a part of his film. It is impossible for us to approach Mani Ratnam and ask him for a role, so I am happy working with someone who is a big fan of Mani Ratnam.”
Hanu was earlier an associate director for Prayanam and Kalpika has known him for a long time. She was not familiar with Telugu and he helped her with the dubbing. For this film he was looking at Mumbai actors but finally chose her. She adds, “I am a Mysore Iyengar, I speak Hindi at home. Now I have picked up Telugu because I am constantly moving around film people who talk the language.”
In the movie, Kalpika looks fresh, toned and stands tall. She is 5ft 7 inches. She laughs, “I am getting in shape now, during Prayanam I didn’t bother to look at myself in the mirror.” Kalpika was born and brought up in Hyderabad and was inclined towards direction after having assisted director Prasanth Varma for a few ad commercials. “My short film was an outcome of this desire,” she adds.
She shares some information about her up and coming projects, “I knew things are changing in the industry and newcomers will have a good chance to make a mark. I wanted to break the stereotype that if you play a friend, you will always be cast as a friend. Debbaku Tha Dongala Mutha, Sita On The Road and My Dear Marthandam have me in different roles. In My Dear Marthandam that is releasing on December 29, comedian Prudhvi Raj plays the protagonist, I and Rakendu Mouli are the lead pair. I am also a part of two web series. Ma Vintha Gaadha Vinuma and Ekam.” Kalpika discloses that My Dear Marthandam is all about law — a character who doesn’t understand law ends up cracking the entire case. Prudhvi Raj plays her uncle called Marthandam.
Since mainstream commercial cinema has a huge reach and Telugu actors are getting reasonably good opportunities, she hopes to take up prominent roles; else, she’s content doing independent cinema.