Pragya Jaiswal awaits the release of 'Akhanda' on December 2. In this interview, the actress talks about her character, working with Nandamuri Balakrishna and director Boyapati Sreenu, her future projects, and more.
When I wanted to become an actor, I just wanted an opportunity to start my career. I am grateful that I am getting to do what I love to do. I love to be in front of the camera. There are ups and downs in every journey.
Working with Balakrishna sir was a brilliant experience. This is his 106th film. Initially, I thought it won't be easy for someone like me who is still new relatively. I had met him a couple of times at award functions. The moment I walked into the set, he made me so comfortable in no time. He has a young and energetic vibe about him. He doesn't intimidate you. Throughout the film, I haven't worked with someone who is so positive and energetic. He has a happy aura. He is a good listener. He is inspiring in every way, the way he treats people, etc.
In 'Akhanda', I have a complete makeover. I have worked very hard. I hope it translated well. You won't find the 'Kanche' Pragya or any other old Pragya in the movie.
After 'Jaya Janaki Nayaka', this is the second time that I have worked with Boyapati sir. He thinks through everything. His casting choices are very thoughtful and meticulous. He knows exactly what he is doing.
After the pandemic, I feel it's a fresh start. I got this film as soon as the pandemic was over. I treated it like my first movie. I went to set like a good student. I listened to the scenes intently. There was some or the other learning every day on set.
Akhanda is a unique character. I haven't seen such a character in any language before. It's a dynamic character. Balakrishna sir has acted on a different level. He shot all day and his energy levels were superhuman.
Action scenes get a little longer to be shot. The number of shooting days was naturally more. Moreover, 'Akhanda' has got huge action blocks.
I have played an IAS officer in the movie. My character is the driving force of the entire film. Despite 'Akhanda' being a commercial film, I have a very significant role to play. If the film works, the character clicks. The story has to be strong for the character to go through. My character has been done in a well-balanced and tasteful manner. There is a good mix of everything.
We have one mass song; it will be coming out soon. I love dancing, which is my passion. I became an actor because of my dancing skills. There is a romantic song titled 'Adiga Adiga', which is already a hit. There is one more song besides the title song.
Boyapati sir is somebody with great vision, clarity, and conviction. He makes sure everyone is doing their best. He makes sure that everyone is happy and excited. He is a fantastic director. There are days when he lets you do your thing and gives you liberty. There are days when he allows his actors to figure it out by themselves. There are days when he expects you to be a good student.
Dwaraka Creations has been doing a great job. It's a comfortable and happy experience.
Balakrishna sir and Boyapati sir are not there on social media. That's why I am promoting 'Akhanda' passionately on social media. I and music director Thaman have both decided to take it personally.