Actor Vedhika Kumar, who plays an atypical romantic heroine in upcoming Tamil historical drama Kaaviya Thalaivan, directed by National Award winner Vasantha Balan, says the experience was rewarding.
"The overall experience of working in Kaaviya Thalaivan has been rewarding. I don't think that in recent times anyone has done such a unique role. It's a full-length performance-oriented character with its set of challenges and fun," said Vedhika.
She says Kaaviya Thalaivan, which revolves around a troupe of 20th century theatre artists, is as commercial as any other Tamil film.
"It's very much a commercial film with names such as Vasantha Balan, Siddharth and AR Rahman associated with it," said Vedhika, who was last seen in the language playing a village belle in National Award winning film Paradesi.
"People keep asking me why am I doing this film after Paradesi, and they say that I should have done something more commercial. I find it very funny because these people don't ask the same question to actresses who are always seen running around trees and looking glamorous in most films," she said.
In fact, Vedhika doesn't ‘believe in commercial and non-commercial cinema’. She will sign a film if she finds it ‘exciting’.
"I think there's only good and bad cinema. As long as you're excited about your work, it doesn't matter what kind of film you're doing. I've only chosen ten percent of films offered to me so far and all of them have given me creative satisfaction," she said.
So what was exciting in Kaaviya Thalaivan?
The ‘team’ and the ‘script’, she says.
"It's not every day that you work in a film featuring seven National Award winning personalities. It's one of the best teams I've worked with. The script is very fascinating and so is my role, which is based on the life of yesteryear legendary singer KB Sundarambal," she added.
Vedhika plays a 17-year old girl in the film, which also features Thambi Ramaiah, Singampuli and Anaika Soti in important roles.
While she prepared for her role by watching old Tamil films such as Saraswathi Sabatham and drama videos, but all the actors were asked to "add their personal touch to their respective characters to make everything look authentic".
As part of her role, she also tried her hands at ‘classical dancing’.
"The Bharatanatyam classes I took in my childhood came in very handy. I had the privilege of working with the late choreographer Raghuram master for the song Thiruppugazh. It was a big deal for me to have worked with him because he was a legend," she said.
Asked about working in back-to-back films by National Award winning filmmakers, she said: "They're very similar in terms of giving their actors good scope for acting, yet they're different in the type of cinema they make and their approach."
‘Kaaviya Thalaivan’ is jointly produced by Varun Manian and S Sashikanth.