Pranavi Manukonda, who is currently in the final year of her Degree, is both thrilled and jittery ahead of the theatrical release of her debut movie 'Slum Dog Husband'. She will be seen as Sanjay Rao's love interest in the comedy entertainer meant for the family audience.
"I and Sanjay approached our roles in a realistic way. It was entirely comfortable," Pranavi says. She adds that the July 29th release is a blend of comedy and emotions.
Acting has been my passion since my childhood. Every time I watch a movie, I would imitate some or the other actor from the movie standing in front of a mirror. 'Arundhati' has been the biggest influence on me. My parents encouraged me and started taking me to auditions. 'Routine Love Story' and 'Uyyala Jampala' had me as a child artist. 'Tripura', 'Savitri' and 'Brahmotsavam' followed'. It is 'Uyyala Jampala' that fetched me a Nandi Award in the Best Child Artist category. That film was my shot at fame.
I started doing TV serials as well. But I decided to take a break from TV because people advised me against pursuing TV if I wanted to land roles in movies. I took a break for 1.5 years and started listening to feature film scripts. Most of them didn't give me the opportunity to prove my acting talent. I played Kalyanram's sister in 'Amigos'.
I was always conscious about getting my first move right. 'Slum Dog Husband' is my first movie as a lead actress. I auditioned for the role and didn't know whether I would land the part. The director himself took the audition. Before me, half a dozen girls were auditioned. They found me most suitable and Telugu-ish.
The very title of the movie sounded so unique. And the script-reading was even more fun. I and my mother read the script together and we were in splits throughout. There is not a single boring element. At the same time, the film is rich in emotions. Mounika is my name here. My character is as unique as the title and the film's premise of the male lead getting married off to a dog. The arc of my character keeps undergoing alternations. I felt this is the kind of performance-oriented role I should debut with in cinema.
I command a following of more than 1.4 million followers on Instagram. When I started making posts, I never expected to be overwhelmed with such love and support. With people following me in thousands, I started making posts regularly.
TV and cinema are different in terms of the acting bandwidth expected of the actors. TV serials demand melodramatic performances. In films, you are better off being subtle. I am not a trained artist. I took the plunge and experienced the two fields merely out of passion. It is always nervous to act in scenes featuring big names. It's like an adventure.
I am a native Telugu person and no matter how much non-Telugus try, nativity can't be brought out on the screen by them. Dedication and talent will take you a long way. I am open to glamorous roles if the character is important.