Actor Priyamani calls herself a “hardened fan” of Manju Warrier and to be in her shoes in Naappa, the Telugu remake of the Tamil hit Asuran, was a big deal for her. “I am a big fan of Manju ‘chechi’. She is one of the best actors we have in our country today. I have seen many of her movies in Malayalam. And to see her in another language and portray the character as effortlessly as ever was a visual treat for me personally. Even if I managed to do 2 or 5 percent of what she did, I would be very happy,” Priyamani told indianexpress.com.
She also acknowledged that her performance will be compared to Manju’s. “As a fan I can definitely say that there is no match for her. That said, I gave my own touch to the character. The comparisons will be there. But that’s okay,” she added. Naappa premiered on Amazon Prime Video on July 20.
Priyamani has played the role called Sundaramma, wife of Naappa played by Venkatesh in the film. It’s not the first time she’s played a quirky woman in a rural setting. However, she noted that her performance in this film will be a kind of surprise for the Telugu cinema audience. “It’s the first time that I’m doing such a role in Telugu. I took it as a challenge because the Telugu audience has never seen me in such a raw and rustic character before. I wanted to show my other side to them.” show,” she added.
Filmmaker Srikanth Addala has written and directed the Telugu remake. While many think that making a remake is an easy job, Priyamani claims otherwise. She wisely pointed out that the biggest challenge of all was to hold the public’s interest in a remake. “To capture the mind of the audience, who tend to wander away (from the movie) because they think they’ve already seen this and know what this movie is about. It’s a big challenge to get them glued to the film,” she said. And she said the other challenge was “to keep the essence of the film the same.”
Srikanth has remained completely true to director Vetri Maaran’s vision of the material. Naappa is almost a scene-by-scene remake of Asuran. “It’s a challenge to recreate a movie that everyone has seen. But I still believe that this film will be a new experience for people who haven’t seen the original,” Priyamani said.
In Naappa, Venkatesh reprises the role that helped Dhanush win his second National Acting Award. “It will be a visual treat for the hardcore Venky fans,” Priyamani promised.
In addition to Venkatesh and Priyamani, the film also stars Karthik Ratnam, Rao Ramesh and Rajeev Kanakala.