Sobhita Dhulipala has played a hostage in the June 3rd release 'Major'. Headlined by Adivi Sesh, the biographical action film is going to be released in Telugu, Hindi and Malayalam.
In this interview, the 'Goodachari' actress talks about the film, working with Sesh, her upcoming movies, and more.
But for the pandemic, I wouldn't have had a wide gap (between previous and current projects) in Telugu. I observed Adivi Sesh's interest in the subject of Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan when I was working with him on 'Goodachari'. He shared a bit of information with me about his project. I wished him all the best. I had no idea that I would become a part of 'Major' eventually.
In 'Major', Pramoda is the name of my character. The character is inspired by a real-life person.
The film chronicles the entire life of Sandeep Unnikrishnan, right from his childhood. The Mumbai 26/11 attacks and his life story are narrated in a non-linear fashion. Once the Major enters the Taj hotel to save hostages, the actual drama takes off. I am one of the hostages in the hotel. How do you react when people are being killed in the hotel, bombs go off, etc.? The reactions of my character are wide-ranging. Emotionally, it is a weighty character, more so because it is a real-life character. Because it is based on a real-life person, there is grace to it.
I had no reference point for the character. After all, I have not played a fictional character. The actor has to look unprepared. When the terror attack starts all of a sudden, she is clueless. As an actor, I had to put in my heart and soul to bring out the experiences undergone by a real-life person. I have shown zero pretense. I didn't use glycerine even once. I felt a range of emotions when I put myself in the shoes of someone who went through trauma and terror for 36 hours.
Major Sandeep was a colourful personality. He used to love action movies. Girls would have a crush on him. To make the film more believable, such elements were cut off because the audience might assume that we took creative liberties with him.
'Major' narrates a great tragedy but its focus is on how Major Sandeep lived his life. The film gives you hope. You don't grow sympathetic at the end of the film. His parents are very sensitive about how the film is narrated. We have made the film in such a way that they are proud. Major Sandeep once stripped himself of every single rupee to help out a stranger on a train. For two days, he had nothing to eat. He sought nobody's help only because he was proud of being an army man!
We have shot a Round Table with Mahesh Babu sir to promote 'Major'. He is one of the producers of 'Major'. We felt motivated that he has participated in a Round Table discussion for the first time ever.
Adivi Sesh has had an amazing journey. 'Kshanam' was made on a budget of Rs 1.5 Cr. Just a set erected for 'Major' cost the producers that much. Sesh believes in hard work and that's why he has grown over the years.
Director Sashikiran Tikka has his feet always on the ground. He believes in his intuitive and creative thinking. He is an emotional man and that's why I feel he has handled 'Major' so well. He is the heart-beat of the story.
'Major' is a natural human drama, given its poignant backdrop.
I would love to do Telugu films. There is a closeness to home when I do a Telugu movie. I have got to do non-Telugu southern movies, 'Kurup' being one. Mani Ratnam sir's 'Ponniyin Selvan' is another one. It will be released in multiple languages. I am happy to have done this film because I am a fan of historical movies. The movie has got an ensemble cast and the audience are going to enjoy it. Jayam Ravi has played the titular character. The first part will be released this year. I have been shown as an intense person in films. 'Ponniyin Selvan' has me in a happy role. I am so glad I have finally played such a role.
It has been a great journey as an actor. I have been to film festivals and have got to portray a variety of roles in different languages.