Dayana Erappa
Dayana ErappaFacebook/Dayana.Erappa

Mani Ratnam has roped in Miss India 2011 contestant Dayana Erappa to play a crucial role in his upcoming Hindi film Nawab, which is simultaneously made in Tamil as Chekka Chivantha Vaanam.

Dayana Erappa, who was born in Coorg and brought up in Bangalore, wanted to join the armed forces but ended up becoming a model after her principal encouraged her to pursue modeling. She was trained under fashion guru Prasad Bidappa from Bangalore. Then, she moved to Mumbai to take part in Miss India in 2011. Now, she is all set to make her acting debut with the bilingual movie.

The model is all thrilled to be a part of Nawab. "I was called for an audition by Mani Ratnam's team. Initially, I thought it was a prank call, but later, I realized that it was genuine and sent my pictures. I even gave two rounds of auditions. But after a couple of months, the team called and told me that I was on board. I just couldn't believe it," Dayana Erappa told Deccan Chronicle.

The Miss India contestant feels that getting the chance to work with Mani Ratnam is a dream-come-true moment for her. "I never thought I'd get into films; so the offer means a lot to me. It would be a dream debut and I could not have asked for more," added Dayana Erappa.

Like every other newbie, Dayana Erappa was also a bit nervous about meeting Mani Ratnam, but the latter kept her at ease by lauding her performance in the audition. Now she is busy preparing for her debut role in Nawab. "I am currently doing workshops with theatre actors to get my expressions right. I have several Tamil films in mind that I will watch to get the role right," she told Deccan Chronicle.

Chekka Chivantha Vaanam is an action-thriller, which is co-written, directed and co-produced by Mani Ratnam under the banners Madras Talkies and Lyca Productions. The film features an ensemble cast of Arvind Swami, Silambarasan, Vijay Sethupathi, Arun Vijay, Jyothika, Aditi Rao Hydari and Aishwarya Rajesh.