Rupa Manjari who shot to fame with the Tamil song Makkayala Makkayala and was appreciated for her comic timing in the blockbuster Yaamirukka Bayame, is once again in the news for playing a Sri Lankan Tamil refugee in the film Sivappu. She speaks to DC about her experiences working in rough terrain for the film and her upcoming projects in Tamil and Malayalam.
Despite being fluent in Tamil, we hear that you have not dubbed for the film Sivappu?
“I wish I had dubbed for my character. I essayed a Sri Lankan Tamil who lands up in Tamil Nadu as a refugee and gets a job in a construction site. Since it had Lankan Tamil dialect, director Sathya Siva felt it needed to be more natural. So, I couldn’t dub. He had arranged a Sri Lankan lady from one of the camps to assist me during the shoot. She helped me a lot to emote.”
Having acted as a refugee, Rupa says that the real life stories that the Lankan lady shared were disturbing. “I have read about the plight of refugees. But when I got to know from her the horrifying tales she underwent, I was petrified. Some of the scenes from the film like my character getting scared whenever I hear the sound of a helicopter, was inspired from that lady’s life.”
Asked about how it was working in the rough construction terrain, she says, “It was tough. The whole film has been shot in real locations where multi storied construction was going on in Vizag and Tuticorin. Both the places were very hot, humid and dusty. Some scenes required me to go without slippers. At the end of the day’s work, there would be dirt all over me. As soon as I reach the hotel, the first thing I do is to shower at least for an hour.”
Are you open to skin show, which is the order of the day even with A-Lister actresses?
“So far I have done urban girl characters. Though I love to do glam roles, I have my limits. I have never seen top actresses like Trisha in any revealing costumes so far. I can handle any kind of attire, as long as it is within my comfort level.” Why this gap between films? “I have been choosy, and have been doing Malayalam films in between. After Yaamirukka Bayame, I got at least a dozen films in the horror genre. I didn’t want to be typecast. I want to do good films. Numbers don’t matter to me, only quality does.”