Prayaga Martin’s performance as Ann Maria in the Malayalam film Kattappanayile Hrithik Roshan has won her many plaudits.
As the beautiful and hip Maria, she was required to play an independent woman with her own aspirations. This meant she had to shoulder the character with the right measure of emotions.
Maria was the perfect foil to actor Vishnu Unnikrishnan’s Kichu in the movie.
The granddaughter of Malayalam producer, E.J. Peter, Martin did a cameo as a 13-year-old in Amal Neerad’s Sagar Alias Jacky Reloaded. While Tamil film Pisaasu launched her in a lead role, Martin returned to home turf to do two Malayalam films, Pava and Oru Murai Vanthu Parthaya. Her last release, Kattappanayile Hrithik Roshan, has turned Martin into a star.
Martin spoke to Gulf News tabloid! from Kochi, Kerala, where she is in her third year of college pursuing Communicative English.
What drew you to Ann Maria?
Listening to the narration of the script, I found that each scene carried an energy. I felt it was a story that a regular viewer could relate to.
Ann Maria is today’s woman, someone I could relate to. And, through her character, I had the opportunity to convey a message.
Today, women mingle more freely with men but many times this friendship is misinterpreted as love. And, that’s what happens in the story.
Ann Maria was a practical woman, but clearly not manipulative. Many women find themselves in similar situations when their friendship is misunderstood.
The challenge lay in bringing out her angelic side without giving her negative shades.
How has the response been?
To my surprise, people reacted positively to Ann Maria. I am overwhelmed with the recognition Ann Maria has given me.
How was it working with Vishnu?
Being the scriptwriter, Vishnu has been living with the characters for a long time. No one understands them better than him. He was there all the time, guiding us and making it easy for us to play our roles.
Ore Mukham, directed by Sajith Jagadnandan, releases on December 2. This is a campus thriller, where I play Bama, a college student from the 1980s. Bama is poles apart from Ann Maria, not just in her looks but in her attitude, too.
I like Bama. She belongs to a distinguished family. Bama is a strong woman, opinionated, fearless and romantic, too. For Bama I put on weight. Dhyan Sreenivasan is paired opposite me.
I have completed Siddique’s Fukri, a family entertainer. Nafsi is a college student [and a] docile Muslim woman. I am paired opposite Jayasurya. I am loving this phase with opportunities to explore different characters.