Bangalore: Deepa Sannidhi burst into Kannada movies with the superhit Saarathi (2011) and followed it up with the equally successful Paramathma starring Puneet Rajkumar. That’s all it took for Deepa, who was then Rahasya, an aspiring architect, to switch careers (and names). The actress has now taken the next step, crossed borders, and will star in her first Tamil film Enakkul Oruvan a remake of the Kannada hit Lucia.
“I’m frantically listening to RJs and VJs every opportunity I get to learn Tamil. I don’t like my lines being prompted, so I’m working on the little Tamil I’ve picked up in Bangalore,” she says. “In Enakkul Oruvan, I play the dual role of a traditional girl and a modern woman. I get my lines well in advance, so I can prepare well for the shot. Having signed up for one more film in Tamil, Yatchan, learning the language has become top priority now.” With every new film presenting an opportunity to learn, Deepa says lessons from cinema have spilled over to life as well. “In the beginning, acting was all about trusting the director and delivering what he wanted. But with each new film, you realise there’s something more than just looking good. It’s not like an exam where one can just mug up and perform. Here, most of the learning happens outside the sets,” says Deepa. Having grown up in the beautiful Chikmagalur coffee plantations, Deepa had no exposure to cinema and had to learn the ropes from scratch. “It was a shock for my school friends to see me in this career. I was considered a timid bookworm who kept to herself, but I always loved to do things I believed I couldn’t. Cinema was one such thing and it has opened me up as a person. At the same time, it is an unusual profession where one has to keep one’s eyes open and this has definitely made me a tougher person,” she adds.
Of all the things about working in films, she says it is dealing with the media that she finds the most challenging. “Of course, the gossip and rumours were something I learnt to deal with early on. But it was the misquoting I still find very hurtful. I’ve been attributed as saying things I never have, to the point where I prefer an article that openly insults my acting skills rather than one that misconstrues my opinions,” she says.