Southern actress Vedhika C. Kumar will soon be seen in Tamil period-drama "Paradesi", directed by Bala Pazhanisaamy, and she feels that the hypnotizing aura of the filmmaker brings out exactly what he wants from his actors.
"Bala sir is very passionate in his work and working with him is certainly inspiring. He carries a hypnotizing aura so fascinating that it will literally charm one and all to do what exactly he wants," Vedhika told IANS.
She says he is courageous to cast someone as unusual as her in one of the lead roles in the film.
"I should wholeheartedly thank him for giving me this opportunity. However, what surprises me is that on what criteria did he cast me. I believe he is very courageous to cast someone as unusual as me in a period film playing the lead role," she said.
Vedhika plays a 17-year old Tamil village girl in "Paradesi", which is about the suffering of tea plantation workers in southern India. It is based on the Tamil version of English novel "Red Tea" by Paul Harris Daniel.
She says that convincing herself to play the role of a village girl was her biggest challenge, but believing in the director helped her.
"To convince myself that I could play a village girl of pre-independent India was my biggest challenge. I asked myself how could someone as fair-skinned as me would even suit the role of a village belle, but I believed in Bala's faith and it certainly helped me," she added.
How did you prepare for your role?
"While I did exactly as I was told by my director. I also took out time to do some research on the looks of women in late 1930s in south India. Bala sir is very particular about the looks of his characters and since it was a period film, he was extra careful," Vedhika added.
The actress, who holds a degree in Business Administration from Britain, says the film is the output of good teamwork.
"There was no 'I' concept in the film. Since it is a period drama and we had to simultaneously work with over 100 junior artists, we had to work as a team," she added.
Vedhika is cast opposite Atharva Murali and Dhansika in the film, which was shot over 85 days in places such as Sivagangai, Salur, Mana Madurai, Munnar and Theni.
What did you learn from Bala while filming?
"The importance he gives to the setting and the look of the characters in the film is praiseworthy and that is something I'll always remember," she added.
"Paradesi", which is releasing worldwide Dec 21, has music by G.V Prakash Kumar and Chezhiyan. It also stars Jerry, Uma Riyaz Khan, Udhay Karthick and Riythvika in important roles.