Bubblegum, also starring Roshan Kanakala, Viva Harsha, marks Maanasa’s Telugu debut
Born in Putthur, raised in Chennai, Maanasa Choudhary had spent several years modelling, overcoming camera consciousness in hope of a career in the entertainment industry. Tamil OTT original Emoji marked her acting debut and while she featured in a handful of music videos, the big-screen offer eluded her. It was her parents who pushed her to try her hand in films.
Bubblegum, her Telugu debut, materialised through Ravikanth Perepu’s friend Aditya Mandala. The latter pitched her profile to the Kshanam filmmaker after which things fell in place. “Ravikanth doesn’t believe in auditions and is confident of extracting performances from his actors. He asked me a few questions about my roots, interests, went through my Insta profile before finalising me.”
The icing on the cake was how Ravikanth blended her real-life persona with Jahnavi in Bubblegum. “He created a space where I could bring my inputs to the role. Even my friends in the film looked similar to my college pals and I didn’t have to break ice at all.” Moreover, being a fashion-enthusiast herself, the director gave her freedom with the costumes, while adhering to a pink palette.
Her co-star Roshan Kanakala (son of anchor Suma, Rajeev Kanakala) may be a newcomer, but has prior experience in films and she was worried about being intimidated by him on sets initially. “Roshan, honestly, didn’t have to share his acting lessons with me. He helped bring depth to my role, taught me a few tricks and I evolved as an actor through the experience.”
With the intimate sequences, Ravikanth didn’t go to sets until she and Roshan felt comfortable with one another. “It wouldn’t have been right for us to go underprepared and use up many takes during shoot,” she shares.While the tale of a poor boy-meets-rich girl stays to the Romeo Juliet template, Maanasa insists the story is about respect as much as love.
“We’re definitely touching upon something new. Most love stories deal with issues between the people. Bubblegum is about that and also other factors that come in the way of their lives. It’s relevant and very today in its vibe.” She has been associated with team Bubblegum for over a year now and her biggest takeaway from the experience is to be treated as an equal on set.
“Ravikanth is one of the most positive people I’ve ever met. Even if he has a disagreement or wants to communicate something, he does so in a sensitive way and I was taken care of well by the team.” Maanasa did have a whale of a time shooting for Bubblegum the she admits that the promotional campaign has been challenging.
“The atmosphere on the set was intimate and cool, while it took me sometime to find my groove and open up about the film. The way I’ve viewed Bubblegum has changed in these months. I may sound comfortable in a conversation today, but it has taken a while for me to behave this way,” Maanasa adds.
From Emoji to Bubblegum, the actress believes she’s made considerable progress as a performer. “I believe I’ve matured as an actress with the film. Not every set I may enter into shall have this ambience, but I’m prepared for the long haul. Bubblegum has taught me that I shouldn’t carry too much baggage onto the sets, live in the moment and enjoy myself.” A couple of offers have come her way, but she wants to divulge ‘information’ at the right time.
(Bubblegum, a love story, starring Roshan Kanakala and Maanasa, releases on December 29)