Sai Tamhankar on being a part of Navarasa: 'I am a big fan of Vijay Sethupathi, so I just had to say yes'
Sai Tamhankar on being a part of Navarasa with Vijay Sethupathi, and wanting to do more films in languages other than Marathi
Prominent Marathi actress Sai Tamhankar, who played a pivotal role in the recently released film Mimi, is gearing up for Mani Ratnam’s upcoming Tamil anthology, Navarasa, which releases on Netflix today. The nine-part film based on the nine rasas (emotions) will see Sai in Bejoy Nambiar’s Edhiri: Karuna, which depicts the emotion of compassion.
“I can’t talk much about the theme but it is a wonderful story and I am very happy to be a part of it,” shares Sai, who is collaborating with Bejoy Nambiar once again after they worked together in the bilingual film Solo (2016), which starred Dulquer Salman. “Bejoy Nambiar is a very big reason that I came on board this project. Besides, I am a big fan of Vijay Sethupathi, so I just had to say yes.”
When asked about the challenges, Sai admits emoting in another language was quite a task. “Tamil is not my mother tongue. It was difficult for me to speak the language and even more difficult to emote in it but with Vijay (Sethupathi) sir’s and Bejoy’s help, I managed and I am very glad to have been a part of it,” she says, adding that she was very nervous and even caught awestruck on many occasions on the set.
Changing her course
In her 15-year-long career, Sai, who started with theatre, has prominently worked in Marathi films and has been a part of box office hits like Duniyadari and Classmates, and critically acclaimed films like Family Katta, Balak-Palak, Vazandar and Rakshas. Besides, she has also worked in Hindi films like Hunterr and Love Sonia. Her last outing, Mimi, saw her playing Kriti Sanon's best friend, Shama.
“What I liked about her is that she puts her voice out there and makes sure that it is heard. It is a quality that I also have as a person and that attracted me towards this part,” she avers, adding that the film also allowed her to break the mould. “Because of my mother tongue, I am often asked to play a Marathi character but Laxman Utekar (director of Mimi) asked me to play a Muslim woman who speaks Hindi with some Urdu words and has a Rajasthani accent because she hails from that region. I hope projects like Mimi and Navarasa open more doors for me and give me a chance to do roles that I haven’t done before.”
In sync with this plan, Sai is willing to explore more work in languages other than her mother tongue. “I am slightly conscious of being typecast, that’s why I have become very choosy lately. I want to be a part of projects that are different, the ones that don’t fit the conventional formula,” she says, adding, “swimming in uncharted waters gives me an adrenaline rush.” Lined up next for Sai are Madhur Bhandarkar’s anthology India Lockdown, Collar Bomb director Dnyanesh Zoting’s upcoming web series and Marathi films Medium Spicy and Pondicherry.
Navarasa and Mimi are now streaming on Netflix