June 11, 2012 Y. Sunitha Chowdhary
Most heroines have declared their phobia for cockroaches but Lavanya Tripathi, the debutant of Andala Rakshasi proclaims she has no qualms; She is scared only of leeches and how!
"While shooting at Munnar, I actually ran and sat in the jeep when I saw one leech crawling onto the cinematographer's leg but little did I realise that one was already on me. I cried like a baby. The place was infested with earthworms and crabs," says Lavanya who hails from Uttar Pradesh but had lived all her life in Dehradun. Her passion for acting brought her to Hyderabad. She had earlier worked in Mumbai and did a lot of commercials and shoots, and got this film directed by Hanu by chance.
"I was not actually trying but since the offer came I took it up. My manager was hunting for a girl for Hanu Raghavapudi's film. I was without make-up when I met the director and he wanted someone who looked exactly like me, in the film he wanted the heroine to be without any lip stick or even hair-do. He clicked a lot of pictures and okayed me the next day. I finally became his Andala Rakshasi and yes..every girl is a rakshasi not just me," says Lavanya who hates multi-tasking.
She is selective and methodical. When she was modelling she never thought of movies as she felt she was young, raw and more suited for the commercial but later realised that she was beginning to look a bit matured and was giving it, acting as a career, a thought.
An Economic Honours graduate from Mumbai, her dad is a lawyer and hoped to see her follow his profession. She avers, "Even now after I got into films, he keeps asking me to get back to academics, he hasn't given up on me..he hopes to see me as a lawyer some day though I think that will not happen. Mom is extremely supportive. My siblings are preparing for civil services."
This isn't her first visit to Hyderabad, she came here for the Maruti Alto commercial and stayed at the Film City. She remarks the Film City and the Shamshabad Airport are the most beautiful places in Hyderabad.
On her character that is set against a 1992 backdrop she says, "I always wanted to be launched in a movie like this, the character has a lot of dignity, respect. People will like it for sure, she is a very simple girl, from a small place, a child woman and her name is Mithuna. You will see many shades in her character and enjoy watching her grow.
I got a Hindi film offer around the same time and was in a dilemma about choosing the right project. I was sure I wouldn't miss the Hindi film. The director Hanu who met me in Mumbai couldn't speak good Hindi or English at that time..but his narration brought out the essence, emotion and I cried while listening to it.
It was so easy to get into Mithuna's shoes. I could see the passion and sincerity in his narration. I am so much like Mithuna, if I hadn't ventured out of Dehradun I would have been a replica of her, but now I have a considerable exposure travelled become smarter than her now."
So Hindi films can now wait as Lavanya Tripathi has no intentions of looking towards the North. Andala Rakshasi is a triangular love story and Chinmayi has done a fabulous job dubbing for her and making her look beautiful. Lavanya concurs and keeps her fingers crossed for the summer release.