Actress Aparna Das: Bagging Beast was like winning a lottery
Aparna Das shares her experience working on the Vijay-starrer Beast, tackling tricky career choices, the now-famous Rolls-Royce ride, and more
In today's social media world, one never knows when lady 'luck' will shine on you, especially if you are an aspiring actor. Take for example Aparna Das' case. The Muscat-based MBA graduate bagged her debut film Njan Prakashan when veteran director Sathyan Anthikad was impressed by one of her TikTok videos. Thus began her acting career with a cameo role in the Fahadh Faasil-starrer. Despite following it up with a lead role in Manoharam, it was again a photo she uploaded on social media that opened the gates to the Tamil industry. And Aparna couldn't have asked for a bigger project than the Vijay-starrer Beast. "I've always wondered how I landed in Beast because I hadn't done enough work before. But I think it's Instagram that helped me. The team saw one of my pictures and contacted me," says the actor.
For someone who just made it as a heroine, it must have been a tough call to take up a supporting role. However, Aparna chose to traverse the road less travelled. The 3-film-old-actor is confident with her choices and has valid reasoning to back them. "Yes, like everyone else, my aim is also to lead films but I couldn't have asked for a better launch than Beast. I knew it's a film that scores of people will watch. Moreover, it's not often that you get to know and interact with people like Vijay sir, Nelson sir, and Pooja (Hegde). I always believed that beginning with Beast will only do good for my Tamil career."
Though Aparna is a firm believer in script being the most important factor when choosing a film, she is also aware that it's not always that simple for a newcomer. "For a beginner like me, apart from the script, the team is also very important. So I consider myself extremely lucky to have bagged a film like Beast so early in my career. I didn't even want to know the script initially. It was like winning a lottery."
Coming from a State where Vijay is celebrated like a home-grown star, it is no wonder that Aparna goes non-stop when it comes to her admiration for him. "Everyone in my family and friends circle think that I'm extremely lucky to have worked with Vijay sir. Some of them are even jealous. I've been watching his films right from my childhood and he still doesn't have any starry airs. One thing I learnt from Vijay sir is to stay grounded no matter how high you've grown. Despite being such a big superstar, he treats everyone equally and ensures their comfort."
'Luck' is a word Aparna keeps repeating throughout the conversation and it was probably her birthday on the sets of Beast that she must have felt the luckiest. The 27-year-old had a birthday to remember for ages when Vijay took her along with some of the crew members on a drive in his posh Rolls-Royce. "Vijay sir comes in different cars daily. Call it my luck, he came on his Rolls-Royce on my birthday. It was Sathish who asked Vijay sir for the ride and he readily agreed. It might have happened on any other day, but I just feel lucky that all of it came together on my birthday."
And as Aparna continues recounting the shoot experience, her co-star Redin Kingsley walks in and playfully interrupts the conversation. "This is how it was", laughs Aparna, adding, "Though Beast is an intense film with a lot of serious moments, we had a lot of fun while shooting. There was a lot of kindal going around. Language was the only problem for me. If it was in Malayalam, I would have known how exactly to counter them. But with Tamil, it was mostly the case of 'lost in translation'. So I preferred to be at the receiving end."
Post-Beast, Aparna aims to do strong content-oriented films. In Malayalam, she has Priyan Ottathilanu co-starring Sharafudheen and Nyla Usha coming up. Even before the release of Beast, Aparna also bagged her second film. It has her pairing with Kavin, who is popular in memes for acting back-to-back with Vijay's co-stars. "I realised it only recently but I don't think it's planned. Jokes apart, the film has a very promising storyline and I'm looking forward to doing such good projects in Tamil," signs off an optimistic Aparna.