The Oru Vadakkan Selfie actress is excited about her film with director Gautham Menon. Manjima Mohan, 23, is the leading lady in Gautham Menon's films Sahasam Swasaga Sagipo and Acham Enbathu Madamaiyada, a bilingual. Starring Naga Chaitanya in the Telugu version and Simbu in the Tamil version, this film is set to hit theatres on November 11. In an exclusive chat with International Business Times India, Manjima Mohan opens up about her co-stars, the director and the whole movie experience.
International Business Times: Your first big film and a bilingual to boot.
Yes, I am very excited. Till the censor happened, I couldn't believe that the film is actually coming out. At the same time, I am very nervous but I am enjoying the moment.
IBT: Director Gautham Menon, Simbu and Naga Chaitanya. How was the working experience?
It's like coming out of acting school. There are two different actors who are experienced and established. For me it was advantage because got to learn a new language (Telugu), work with two senior actors and especially director Gautham Menon who taught me lot of things professionally and personally.
IBT: Gautham is a director who a lot of actors want to work with.
Firstly, it's purely a blessing as people want to get launched by him. I got the opportunity and I think I made of use of it. Like I said Iearnt a lot from him. He spoilt me so much that now when I work with other directors, it's taking me time to adjust. (Laughs) Gautham Menon gives a lot of space to actor and lets you be.
IBT: Was it difficult working on the Tamil and Telugu version simultaneously?
It was a bit difficult because of the dialogues as Telugu was new to me. But I got used to it as Nandin (an assistant director) used to go through the lines with me. During the travel scenes it was tough as I was constantly on the bike. It would either be Simbu or Naga Chaitanya but I had to shoot constantly from morning to evening. It was hectic and sometimes you can see the effect of my face. But the bilingual experience was good.
IBT: Have you dubbed for both the films yourself?
I dubbed for myself in Tamil but in Telugu it's Chinmayi who has dubbed for me.
IBT: Your first Tamil film and you've dubbed for yourself!
I didn't want to dub for myself initially but Gautham sir insisted. He sat with me through the entire dubbing, correcting me word by word when required. He was particular about the accent because sometimes my Malayalam accent would creep in. (Laughs) He was particular about the tone in which I delivered the lines.
IBT: Simbu and Naga Chaitanya are different as people and actors, isn't it?
Simbu is a natural actor and it's very effortless for him. He'll come on set, go through the scene, have a look around and say 'Ready brother?' He'll finish the scene in one take! Even if it's an emotional scene, he'll just cry and two minutes later he'll be laughing. He can switch very easily. I've wondered how he does it. I think he's a nice, genuine human being. It was a great experience working with him.
Naga Chaitanya is so much fun to work with. He's very sweet, down-to-earth and though he comes from such a famous family, he doesn't have any airs about him. He's very hard working and he's performed well in this film. I remember he was scared about dancing for the song Showkali but he has danced really well. You'll see a different Chay in the movie.
IBT: How good are your dancing skills?
I am a trained Bharatanatyam dancer but I still haven't got the opportunity to dance on screen. (Laughs) that can be my New Year resolution – to get to dance on-screen!
IBT: Did you do any action in this film?
There were no fight scenes, but yes I did have to jump off a building and things like that. We had to do it ourselves as Gautham was particular about it. I was excited about jumping off the terrace but then when you look down it's scary. And I had to do all the scenes several times!
IBT: At some point, did you get tired of doing every scene twice?
I've cursed them! I've cursed Chay and Simbu because I was out in the sun the whole day but they would get breaks. The team really helped me and took care of me.
IBT: What was the most difficult part of the film?
It was the romance. I'm not a very romantic person and Gautham's romance is not run-of-the-mill. You have to use your eyes and focus on how you deliver the dialogues.
IBT: Now the film is releasing on November 11.
For me, two movies are releasing on the same day. I am going to have people talking about me for the Telugu film and the Tamil film. I am curious to know what's going to happen and how well I'm going to be accepted. So far I am happy with the response to the songs and trailers. When the public tells me I've done a good job, I'll be satisfied. I'll be watching the film in Chennai with friends and people from the unit.