‘RAI’sing up to the occasion

Attention please! A star who sparkled in the Kannada film Dayavittu Gamanisi (meaning attention please) playing a short, but bold character is onto a dream role in Kannada television too. She takes the tale of one the most popular classics by legendary director Puttanna Kanagal forward. Actress Shilpa Rai, who has been in the industry for some time now with several movies to her credit, along with tele-serials, is playing Sunidhi in Manasa Sarovara on Udaya TV, produced by Niveditha, the daughter of Century Star Shivarajkumar under his home banner Muthu Cine Creations. The mega soap has a huge cast including stars names like Pranaya Raja Srinath, Ramakrishna and Padma Vasanthi (who were also lead actors in the classic film of the same name). Shilpa speaks to Bengaluru Chronicle on the serial version of the classic film Mansasa Sarovara, what drew her into acting, and her journey so far.

“It is not like I aspired to become an actress. In fact, I have no memories of that through childhood. It is only because of Tamil star Surya, who I fell in love with after watching Kaka Kaka during my college days, that made me gradually turn towards acting. I hope, I will one day share the screen space with my all-time love — Surya,” smiles Shilpa Rai.

After college, she got busy with modelling, then asked herself why not take up acting, and mulled about why she was not ‘trying’ when she had all the capabilities of an actor. Ironically, the first movie she signed six years ago in Tamil was Saranalayam which is scheduled to release now! She has acted in several tele-serials, as support artiste before, and essayed other meaningful roles in films too.

For the film turned serial venture Manasa Sarovara, it was a pleasant shock when she was considered as she had already auditioned for a different soap. “I have always been confident that I will break into the final five in every audition. I had actually made it into another venture but luckily Manasa Sarovara happened, and I could not have refused such a great opportunity,” says Shilpa.

The mega venture is a continuation of the classic film with the same legendary actors continuing the plot in the movie, and I play Sunidhi. It has been a great learning, and a memorable experience acting with such stalwarts who teach and share their skills in such a comfortable atmosphere,” she adds. Despite no formal training, the actress believes in learning the art through her own methods, and feels that apart from stage performances where a teacher guides one, acting is a whole new ball game where one needs to understand and learn through experience.

Recently, Shilpa also wrapped up the shoot of Kannada film Nave Bhagyavantaru. After her initial days in other languages, she returned to Kannada, to work hard, seeking appreciation from her own audience. “There is no language barrier for an artiste but I came back sensing that unless anything big came by, I had to work hard and do something in my own language. It has been good so far,” she says. The actress who loves her alone time, enjoys going on long drives when not busy, and helps her mother and family members when ever she can.

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