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I am one of the fortunate artistes who did not have to go through auditions or create a portfolio: Hansika Motwani

Hansika Motwani's latest outing Maha, featuring Simbu in an extended cameo, streams on Aha Tamil.

I am one of the fortunate artistes who did not have to go through auditions or create a portfolio: Hansika Motwani
Hansika Motwani/Twitter
  • S SubhakeerthanaTeam OTTplay

Last Updated: 03.15 AM, Aug 07, 2022

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There are two reasons why Maha was special in Hansika Motwani's filmography. This was her 50th film as an actor and her first as the titular character. The film's release was delayed for so long that Hansika signed up for ten more films in between. But, she believed the film would find its way, eventually.

A mother's struggle and the lengths she will go to for the sake of her child are the central themes of this story. "Playing such a bold character is a first for me. Having never played an aggressive character before, I wanted to experience it. Throughout Maha, the transition of my character from docile mother to bold woman is central!"

Hansika listens to scripts and imagines herself in the role. When she first heard Maha's narration, she wondered how she would motivate herself to do it. "I had to prepare myself for the role, which included asking my mother questions about how it affects her when something happens to their child."

Following the popularity of streaming platforms, the number of women-centric films in Tamil has increased significantly, beginning with Keerthy Suresh's Penguin in 2020 and ending with Nayanthara's O2 last month. What distinguishes Maha from the recent spate of women-centric dramas? "Hansika!" exclaims the actor, before posing a couple of questions to back up her claim.

A still from Maha
A still from Maha

While she has done exceptionally well in South Indian films, she has not received the same level of recognition and acclaim in Bollywood. Her Telugu acting debut put her on the map, but her Hindi release the same year, Aap Ka Suroor with Himesh Reshammiya was underwhelming. But Hansika is unconcerned. She is currently inundated with offers for female-led films from South India and has a practical approach to her career progression.

Hansika and Simbu in Maha
Hansika and Simbu in Maha

"There are a lot of people who exaggerate the fact that I have completed 50 films, but I don't think this is a big deal. Early in my career, the Tamil cinema welcomed me with open arms. Even though I have been acting for close to 20 years, I still have a long way to go. Even though I am just beginning this journey, I aim to reach a century. 50 is a small number, but there will be more to come. Until my last breath, I want to act," she says.

Hansika was cast early on as the quintessential female lead in commercial entertainment, a role she has held for the majority of her career. Things are changing now, she adds, as she prepares for the next stage of her career. Her upcoming slate of titles suggests an interest in experimenting. 105 Minutes is a single-character, single-shot film that she describes as "one of the most difficult films" she has ever shot, owing to the extensive preparation and rehearsals (over 20 days).

However, Hansika considers herself fortunate in terms of how her career began and developed. "I am one of the fortunate artistes who did not have to go through auditions or create a portfolio. I haven't gone through the real grind. My journey has been unique and challenging in its own right. I worked with the right people, which taught me a lot of things!"

Team MY3
Team MY3

Before winding up the chat, Hansika says she's thrilled about her debut web series MY3, which will stream on Disney+ Hotstar. It is directed by Rajesh, who previously collaborated with the actor in Oru Kal Oru Kannadi. "I have never been emotional about my roles, but this one is close to my heart. I can't wait for the audience, who will love the show and characters as I love them!"

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