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Exclusive! 'Mujhe aapka sur pata hona chahiye': Vivek Agnihotri leads 'Kantara' Sapthami Gowda into The Vaccine War

The 26-year-old actress in currently in Hyderabad to shoot for her The Vaccine War portions in one long stretch.

Exclusive! 'Mujhe aapka sur pata hona chahiye': Vivek Agnihotri leads 'Kantara' Sapthami Gowda into The Vaccine War
Vivek Agnihotri embarks on a new journey with Sapthami Gowda as part of it
  • Swaroop Kodur

Last Updated: 08.13 AM, Jan 15, 2023


Sapthami Gowda is currently surrounded by an air of optimism. Buoyed by the stellar success of Kantara, her second outing, Sapthami is now foraying into newer territories as an actor with the very popular filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri leading her and a mega ensemble cast on the much-anticipates The Vaccine War. "Nervous, yes, but also very excited," says the 26-year-old actress as she braces herself for this alluring challenge ahead of her. 

"I am going to be shooting for six days straight in Hyderabad, starting on January 15th. But before that, Vivek sir, Pallavi ma'am and I got together for a workshop just so that I ease into the character and also get a better grasp of the Hindi language. Pallavi ma'am went over each scene of mine with me and gave me a proper idea of how it was being conceived, what it meant in the larger scope and so on. I play a completely different character compared to my previous films - just the way it will be presented and the significance it holds in the story. It's definitely exciting because I get to work with the biggest and best actors in the country like Anupam Kher sir, Nana Patekar sir, and Pallavi Joshi ma'am so I am glad that I am given an opportunity to be a part of this set-up. I am also nervous because Hindi is a new language and it takes a few more seconds for me to process the line and say it - plus there are nuances and technicalities of the language like 'unka', 'unki' which need some prep. The idea is to dub for myself because that elevates the performance but it needs a lot of prep. So, a workshop like this definitely helps," shares Sapthami in an exclusive chat with OTTplay.

But being only two films old and not being particularly privy to the Hindi Film Industry, Sapthami Gowda feels incredibly fortunate to get a call from someone like Vivek Agnihotri, a filmmaker she reckons to be among the best right now. "It is a dream come true," she says, attributing every bit of her recent success to Kantara in the same vein. 

"I will be forever grateful to Rishab sir and Hombale Films because if I haven't had to plead with someone or even audition for a role in a Bollywood film, I feel it's all because of Kantara. People might think that I haven't struggled enough and I agree with them to a great extent - as I said already, I haven't had to stand in a long line for auditions, present my profile and present myself in a particular way to get an opportunity or a big break. You see so many actors from acting schools go through that on a daily basis and I consider myself very lucky that I got the call without any of those hassles. But when I am given an opportunity like this, where you have the best actors around and everyone's playing a solid character, then I would like to take it head on and give it my all because that's the only way I will be able to justify. And in The Vaccine War, the script is so well written that even if they had asked me to do a 2-minute-long role, I would have gladly accepted it. Luckily, I have a prominent part in the film and I get to share the screen space with all the veterans! You will get to see me in a completely different shade," says Sapthami Gowda.

Sapthami Gowda in the Kantara Look Test
Sapthami Gowda in the Kantara Look Test

Interestingly, Vivek Agnihotri was drawn to casting Sapthami after finding her eyes to be very expressive. "Rishab sir had initially told me that my character Leela, in Kantara, may not have many spoken dialogues but my eyes will have to do all the talking. And that's exactly what Vivek sir, too, said to me. As much as I am honoured, I feel there's some pressure to deliver what I am expected to do - I'm kinda nervous but I will take it as it comes (laughs)," she adds.

What makes Vivek Agnihotri a special director? Sapthami opines that it's his will to work with actors closely, share with them his vision and yet, allow them to space to be their own. "I feel he understands his actors and his approach is to gauge my range and style as an actor so that he can tweak his scenes accordingly. "Mujhe aapka sur pata hona chahiye," he said during the workshop which means that he is trying to get to the same page as me - and I am here to learn and he is more than willing to teach so that's great."