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Exclusive! I’ve only been working in a comfort zone and need to step out of that: Kavitha Gowda

The actress will have her third film with Crystal Paark Cinemas, Huttu Habada Subhashayagalu, out this week, the technical crew of which has been known to her since Srinivasa Kalyana.

  • Prathibha Joy

  • OTTplay

Last Updated: 06.57 AM, Dec 28, 2021

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Kavitha Gowda

Huttu Habada Subhashayagalu is not exactly a title one would expect for a murder mystery, it’s a birthday greeting, after all. Turns out, the film, which has Kavitha Gowda in the lead, is about a crime that takes place at a birthday party. “It’s a simple premise - a whodunit that plays out at a birthday party that my character throws. The narrative follows a bunch of friends who are all then suspects and whether they manage to get out of it, or not,” says Kavitha about the film that releases in theatres on December 31.

Kavitha Gowda

The actress adds that what appealed to her most is that everyone’s character has a dual shade. “When people are scared, angry, anxious or just in an unfamiliar environment, they turn out to be very different from how they normally are. The murder mystery in Huttu Habada Subhashayagalu highlights this aspect of the human psyche,” she explains, adding that the characteristics of each person that come to fore gets audiences not only to suspect pretty much everyone, but also to realize that seemingly normal people are capable of doing sinister stuff. “Of course, a crime thriller also means that I do not have a regular girl-next-door bubbly character. And that’s what I loved most about this film,” she says.

A trekking and adventure enthusiast herself, Kavitha’s biggest takeaway from working on the film were her discussions with co-star and fitness freak Diganth, who is either climbing rocks, cycling or surfing when he is not on the set of a film. “Initially, I was a little nervous about interacting with Diganth, because he comes with years of experience and has worked with the whos who of Sandalwood. But he made sure that the rest of us were comfortable around him and did not expect us to be overtly respectful of his seniority on set. He was quite fun to be around, but what I enjoyed most were our conversations about how he manages his schedule to accommodate all his other activities

Directed by debutant Nagaraj Bethur, Huttu Habada Subhashayagalu is the actress’ third film with the production house, Crystal Paark Cinemas, which she attributes to being in a comfort zone. “In my film career so far, I have done projects with/for friends who are dear to me, like, for instance, Gubbi Mela Brahmastra, which I did for actor-director Sujay Shastri, and similarly Srinivasa Kalyana, which was for actor-director MG Srinivas. I didn’t think much before doing these films. Huttu Habada is also one such; besides being my third film with the banner, there are technicians like writer Prasanna VM and cinematographer Ashwin Kadamboor, who I have known from Srinivasa Kalyana. I have had a comfort zone on the sets of all these films because I was working with people I know. This has its pros and cons, in the sense that when working with people you know, the chemistry and camaraderie reflects on screen, because you are aware of what is expected of you and what you need to bring to the table. But if you only work with a certain section of artistes, you will only be seen in those circles and that can be a drawback. In my case, even though, I have been repeated by a production house, the rest of the cast and crew has mostly been different, with a lot of new talent also on board,” Kavitha explains and adds candidly that she’s learnt from personal experience that not all new teams can deliver a good film.

In that sense, although she knew producer Ravi Garani and director Thilak earlier from her TV days, Govinda Govinda was an out-of-the-box experience for Kavitha, she says. “In cinema, actresses are often considered props of the set, I don’t want that – I want to be part of the movie and be in the story. I only want to do such characters and that is what I have been aiming to. Govinda Govinda’s Alamelu was one such,” she says.

But most big production houses are often on the lookout for new talent (for heroines), who are also vey young, so being too choosy can be detrimental. “When I was 19 and came into showbiz, I didn’t understand why they took newcomers, but went with the flow. For a while, I was in a phase where I was happily doing all the work coming my way. At some point, I realized that there will come a time when my career will run its course. Looking back, maybe, when I was 19, I replaced someone else and was the new talent in town. In a few years, they will not choose me and will scout for a new young face instead. I am mentally prepared for that eventuality because it is the norm for female artistes – you have a shelf life. This doesn’t apply for the men, though. On a personal note, I think that the Kannada industry needs to have a casting system that only looks at the acting capabilities of a person and whether he/she is a good fit for a character. Age, marital status, etc., should not be a factor here. That’s the only way for the industry to grow and flourish,” she signs off.

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