In conversation with Iti Acharya: On film industry and modelling career as her movie releases today
Ahead of her Telugu film, we catch up with Kannada actor, producer and influencer, Iti Acharya to get a clearer glimpse of her filmography and how she brought herself to where she stands now
Beginning her modelling career as early as 2010, she is now well-known for her Malayalam and Kannada cinema. Iti Acharya, notable for Semma Botha Aagatha (2018), Kavacha (2019), and Deal Raja (2016) delves deep into the screenplay. Going meticulously through the lines, she puts herself into her characters’ flesh and becomes one of them.
She creates a blueprint for the character, as she explores her imagination and draws experiences from her life to determine who that person is and how she may illustrate them. She is quite pleased to have worked it out since it means that she has fulfilled her obligation as an artist. With that thought, she was gripped by the story of her Telugu film, Pasivadi Pranam.
Most people believe that all it takes to become an actor is talent and charm. However, the reality is, success in this sector requires a lot more than that. In addition to innate skill, the performers who wish to flourish must be persistent and determined. Many actors engage in extensive self-reflection in order to develop the commitment they deem necessary while pursuing their aspirations.
For one, Iti is completely honest with herself about why she wants to be a part of the film industry and the hard work she puts in to prepare herself. Even before she took to productions, she first began reinforcing her perseverance, which she believed was vital for the burgeoning of her artistic career.
It also takes a dedicated actor to know the difference between memorising and comprehending their lines. Commonly, we refer to the former as rote learning. Iti yields to the flow of the characterisation as she spends most of her time recollecting the enthused and sparkling eyes of her fans whenever they see her act. With this drive, she commits to making her character come to life. “I found the script quite gripping and I kept reading it wanting to know more. So, I felt that this could be a great film because of its intriguing characters and plot,” she tells us.
“The plot is a combination of suspense and thriller combination, and I think it will keep the audience engaged,” she adds. The entertainment industry may not be ideal for everyone. And, another crucial prerequisite for an actor, in Iti's opinion, apart from tenacity, is a passion for the craft. It all comes down to the diversity of her characters and a blend of the methods she embarks upon to deliver it on the screen. She tells us how an actor can keep their calm.
“I think to survive in any industry, perseverance, hard work and luck are necessary. Also, it is a tough industry, so being able to keep afloat and be firm about your beliefs is a quality that one must possess,” Iti shares. “I have been interested in fashion, modelling and acting all my life. If not an actor, I would be a fashion designer as I majored in fashion too,” she adds about her other possible pursuits besides her acting career.
In addition to winning Miss South India in 2016, Iti has portrayed different characters on screen. With every film, she keeps discovering which part of her creative psyche she should open and which ones she should keep shut. We ask her what she loves most about being an artist. “The recognition you get from people as an actor and the ability to make an impact on minds,” she emphasises. Triumphing in the contest, Iti broke into the South Indian and Bollywood film industries.
It was, after all, the surefire way to finally enter show business. “Winning in a beauty pageant is like a dream come true for any girl. You get the confidence you so badly wanted and the validation that you're something. I was on top of the world, obviously and the competition was quite tough so to say,” she shares.
But in addition to mastering the ability to depict as many characters as authentically as she can, she also overpowered the capacity to retain her own uniqueness. In order to become one of her kind, she liberates herself from the frenzied pace of her shoot days and returns to the snappy dialogues, the escalating conflicts and the fresh concepts in her script. She also adds that she must first know who she is and shares with us that she gets along with the rest of her crew off-screen.
“Whenever any group of actors comes together to perform onscreen, their bond becomes inevitably strong even offscreen. It is a given that you become friends with each other,” she tells us. As she also starts interacting with the rest of the crew away from the screens, she engages herself in interests like dancing. She respects the importance of giving herself the space to feel rejuvenated. “I love to dance and it relieves me of my stress. After shoots, I give myself some time to feel good and I also love shopping to feel fresh,” she shares.
She identifies with her character and understands why it's critical to do so in order to empathise with it and learn how to love it more. In her study and analysis phase of character development, she attains this affection and empathy by, for example, reading books and watching the lives of people who fit that description, conducting interviews with them, and considering how that person is akin to the character portrayed in the script. “Also by building a backstory and understanding the characteristics of the character deeply, it gets a bit easier to imagine yourself as them. And, NS Murthy sir is a great director. He guides you to the T to help you get into the skin of the character,” Iti tells us.
Pasivadi Pranam releases in theatres today.