A couple of years ago, Uppena actress Krithi Shetty, the only daughter to a businessman and a fashion designer mother, was any other regular teenager who hoped to become a doctor in the future. The psychology student was quite content juggling her time between advertisements and attending college in Mumbai until a Telugu film offer from writer-director Buchi Babu Sana came her way. For someone who neither knew Telugu nor understood the world of cinema, the offer came as a surprise and Krithi was initially hesitant about it, fearing it would affect her academic schedule. The persistence of the first-time director and the story of the action-romance gave confidence for her to give films a chance.
“I was moved to tears upon hearing the story. It’s been many years since a full-fledged romance has been made and I couldn’t say no,” Krithi says. Naturally, she was an excited kid entering the locations of Uppena. “The welcome and the respect I received truly moved me. It was unlike anything I experienced while doing ads in Mumbai,” the dance-enthusiast says. Krithi avers she didn’t have any major hassle stepping into shoes of her character Bebamma and was unnerved during the shoot. “I enacted the scenes in the film imagining how of a girl of her age in that backdrop would react. My dialogues ran into several pages sometimes, but the crew was extremely helpful.”
In fact, many have been astounded by Krithi’s ability to learn Telugu in a matter of few months and the confidence with which she spoke at the pre-release launch. The 17-year-old credits the director, his assistants and co-star Vaishnav Tej for the same. “I even did a workshop for a few days prior to the shoot to familiarise with the language. Vaishnav was a great source of support on the sets, he’s very down-to-earth and an actor who also uplifts the performances of those around him. Being my first film as well (just like his), I really appreciated that,” Krithi adds.
Krithi almost spent 45 days in the film’s location Uppada, the longest she has stayed in any small-town after Bengaluru. “I enjoyed being in the character’s space and was looking forward to the shoot everyday excitedly.” She shares a bulk of her screen space also with Vijay Sethupathi in Uppena, whom she calls a ‘chilled out’ actor. “Between the words ‘action’ and ‘cut’, he transforms into the role completely. He gave a lot of tips in between the shots and was incredibly helpful.”
A fan of Sridevi and Samantha, Krithi is surprised by the following she enjoys on social media. “I am a great fan of many people in films, but it’s humbling to know the love that people have for me. This has given me great motivation to do my best while I’m here,” Krithi exclaims in joy. Even prior to the release of Uppena on February 12, she has already committed to two films – Shyam Singha Roy with Nani and an untitled film directed by Mohana Krishna Indraganti alongside Sudheer Babu. “I actually thought of waiting for the release before I sign the other films, but the teams were very good. There was no reason I could refuse them,” she signs off.