‘Legacy can become baggage’: 'Lifeu Ishtene' actor Samyukta Hornad

Since her debut, the Kannada star, who comes from a film family, has sought strong-willed characters to play

The 2011 film Lifeu Ishtene, directed by Pawan Kumar, was a comedy revolving around the complexities of relationships. Not only was the story unusual for its time (when remakes and family dramas dominated the Kannada industry), but the film also marked the debut of Samyukta Hornad who played the lead opposite Diganth.

With her dusky complexion, natural looks and curly locks, Samyukta came as a breath of fresh air.

She also has a huge legacy to live up to as she is the granddaughter of theatre and film actor Bhargavi and the late make-up artist Narayana (better known as make up Nani), she is Sudha Belawadi’s daughter and Prakash Belawadi’s niece.

From her debut film where she plays an aspiring journalist to her current project, Hondisi Bareyiri, where she plays an activist and upcoming film, Omlette, where she plays an ambitious woman, Samyukta has made it a point to play strong-willed characters.

She shared the screen with Prakash Raj in trilingual film, Un Samayal Arayi apart from acting in films such as Jigarthanda, Maarikondavaru (a remake of Hindi film Ankur), Dayavittu Gamanisi, Arishadvarga, MMCH Kaafi Thota, and Sarkari Kelasa Devara Kelasa.

Currently shooting for a Telugu web series in Hyderabad, Samyukta speaks to MetroPlus over the phone.

Edited excerpts:

What is the project you are working on in Hyderabad?

I cannot say much. But it is my second web series in Telugu. I play a dark character which I am enjoying. It is a great team.

You always choose roles that are unconventional. Is that intentional?

I have grown up watching Smita Patil and Shabana Azmi’s films. I still talk about their work. I too want to be remembered like that 10 years down the line. So with a little patience, I waited and slowly roles that I wanted started coming my way.

In fact, when I was offered the role (that Shabana plays) in Marikondavaru, I dropped everything and rushed to the set. I think my decision to choose a role comes from a funny place where I want the character to have the right impact on women. That is what has driven me till date. Yet, I want to do all kinds of roles but at the end the girl, should have a purpose or justification for her actions in the story.

You come from a family of theatre stalwarts. Does that put pressure on you as an artiste?

As each is a legend in his or her own way, I need to be more responsible as an actor. Also I believe I am what I am, not because of my upbringing but also because of who I am. Sometimes the legacy also becomes baggage.

‘Legacy can become baggage’: 'Lifeu Ishtene' actor Samyukta Hornad

Did you learn the art of make-up from your grandfather?

No... I am terrible at make-up. But I was a model for him since I was five or six. He would transform my face to anything and I would be fascinated with it. I also feel privileged to have that kind of exposure. My grandmother was my first director. One day she just put me on stage and became my director. I also used to cue actors on stage. It was a gradual learning process.

Tell us about your role in Omelette.

Everyone is chasing something and we are in a race. There is pressure to win something. And this girl is aggressively chasing her career, is never satisfied and does not care for relationships, with parents, colleagues and friends. The film is a story about self-discovery making you wonder if she ever learns to love herself.

How was it to work with Prakash Raj?

A wonderful experience. When he saw my début film and called for a meeting, I went with make-up and had even straightened my hair. He rejected me. I returned home and put up a sad photo of myself as my DP. He asked me if I was the same girl. I was called back. They washed my face and hair and I got the role. It took me five more years to be myself. I am not sure how much of the ladder I can climb but I know that what I am doing is satisfying.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 12:33:09 AM |

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