Actress Manjima Mohan, who is being launched in the Tamil and Telugu film industries by Gautham Vasudev Menon in his upcoming bilingual film Achcham Enbathu Madamaiyada, considers the filmmaker as an ideal teacher for any actor.
"I couldn't have asked for a better launch. Working with Gautham has been so much fun and equally worthwhile. He gives his actors space and time to learn, which makes him the best teacher," Manjima told IANS, recalling how skeptical she was initially about being part of the film's Telugu version too.
While she's paired with Simbu in Tamil, actor Akkineni Naga Chaitanya plays her love interest in the Telugu version, which is titled Sahasam Swasaga Sagipo.
"I can understand Tamil since I studied in Chennai. However, Telugu was a totally alien language and I remember telling Gautham sir that I only wanted to do the Tamil version. But he had so much faith in me and that eventually convinced me," said Manjima, who made her acting debut in a solo lead in this year's Malayalam hit, Oru Vadakkan Selfie.
Facing the camera is not new to the 22-year-old, who started her career as a child artist. However, she admits being nervous briefly on the sets of this project.
"I was really tense about shooting in Telugu because of the language barrier. The film was simultaneously shot in both the languages; hence we had to shoot each scene twice, which meant memorizing more lines," said Manjima, who always preferred shooting her scenes in Telugu first.
Like most of Gautham's films, this project too is rooted in love. Manjima, however, says there's more to it.
Talking about her character of a simple girl, she said: "She's the kind of person you wouldn't meet when you step out of your house. There's something special about this character and that's what will make you fall in love with it".
Manjima heaps equal praise on both of her lead co-stars.
"Simbu is a natural. When he's told what's expected from him, he delivers it. Everything is perfect with him in the first take. I have lot of respect for him and I consider it an honour to be working with him," she said, adding Chaitanya is a "professional" on all levels.
With nearly a month of shooting left, Manjima is keenly looking forward to the release of the film and hasn't signed any other project yet.
"I've been getting offers, but I don't want to be in a hurry. I want to know how the audiences receive me and then decide on what kind of script to choose next," she said.
Also starring Baba Sehgal and Daniel Balaji, the film has music
by AR Rahman.