Shanvi played two roles in 'Geetha' and she speaks about dubbing for herself in Kannada and the upcoming film 'Avane Srimannarayana'.

Varanasi girl to Sandalwood heroine Actor Shanvi on learning Kannada Geetha and more
Flix Interview Tuesday, October 01, 2019 - 16:04

Her hometown maybe Varanasi, but a part of her is always yearning for Bengaluru. Now that she’s a star in the Kannada film industry and can also speak the language fluently, actor Shanvi Srivastava finds herself at home in the city.

The actor, whose film Geetha just hit the screens, is excited about the two characters Aarthi and Priya that she’s portrayed in the film. Starring Ganesh and three heroines including Shanvi, Geetha, directed by Vijay Nagendra and produced by Shilpa Ganesh and Syed Salaam, released on September 27. For the first time in a Kannada film, the Gokak movement, which was about language rights, has been used as the backdrop and Shanvi has played two roles in the film.

 In a candid chat with TNM, Shanvi gets talking about Geetha, her tryst with Kannada and more.

This is the first time you’re dubbing in Kannada. How was the experience?

The first movie I dubbed for is for Avane Srimannarayana, but Geetha has released first. It was tough to dub for the role I play in the past because of the dialect. The contemporary role was easy to play because someone in the corporate world nowadays probably won’t have the pure, old Kannada accent anymore. But the experience was superb. Reliving your character in voice is a nice feeling.

How was it working with Ganesh, Prayaga Martin and Parvathy Arun?

It is always a pleasure working with Ganesh sir because I get to learn a lot from him. He doesn’t make an effort to teach, but he’s very observant. He goes deep into the character and emotions. He was so good at dubbing too. The other two women actors are very sweet. They’re from Kerala. I used to see myself in them – the person I was four years ago. I was trying to comfort them a bit and help them by saying “Don’t concentrate too much on the pronunciation, otherwise you’ll lose expression.”

Any memorable shooting experience from Geetha?

There was this scene where Ganesh sir is depressed, and I have to console him. He was deeply involved in the scene and I had to console him, but then I forgot my dialogue and started repeating his name again and again. He burst out laughing! After that happened, he just kept pulling my leg throughout. This one time, I had to shoot in a rainy place. I was wearing a long gown which had a 10ft train behind it and I was completely drenched. The gown got dirty and I had to walk around and do swirls in the wet gown.

After entering the Kannada industry, how long did you take to become fluent in the language?

When I’m talking casually to anyone, it is easy for me to converse, but when it comes to certain conversations where I have to use difficult words, I just don’t seem to find the right word to put out what I want to say. So, it’s still tough for me as Hindi and Kannada are completely different and none of the words match. Forget the words, even the letters are different! It’s still difficult, but I’ll get there soon.

When you come down here, do you speak in Kannada?

Yes, but the problem is when I go back to Mumbai, everybody talks in Hindi, so my thinking starts working according to the Hindi language and as soon as I come here, my thinking starts getting twisted because I have to use Kannada. I’m dubbing in Kannada because of my fans. I used to get a lot of messages after my live streams on social media asking me to dub, so I’m glad I did. I’ve been working in the south for a long time now, so even my English now has a south Indian accent. The environment and the people around me have influenced me a lot.

Coming to Avane Srimannarayana, when is that up for release?

I think it’s going release in December. I feel a different level of excitement about this film. It’s the first time that I’m getting a five-language release and the budget of this movie is three to four times the usual budget of my other films. So, everything is grand in Avane Srimannarayana and hence, the expectations are high. I’m nervous about this project – it’s the kind I’ve never felt before.

In the future, what kind of films do you want to do?

I want to get closer to the audience because this is where I have the career I want. I’m making an effort to relate to them by dubbing. I’m interested in characters which have a village background.  A proper typical village girl is a character I want to play.

How often do you come to Bengaluru? Right now, you’re based in Mumbai, any plans of moving here?

I can’t move here because my family is back there in Mumbai and I can’t live without my family. They’re not going to leave everything behind and come here either, or else I would’ve shifted a long time ago!

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