Samantha Ruth Prabhu, who has received rave reviews for her portrayal of a deadly Sri Lankan Tamil liberation operative in the second edition of Manoj Vajpayee-starrer web-series Family Man has said that she was sceptical about the role at first and thought it was quite ‘risky’ given her safe reputation as a ‘cute girl’.
“I have been put in this cute girl slot. I thought this role would flop really badly or work really well. It completely hinged on the performance. It was very scary and risky for me,” Samantha told Indian Express in an interview.
Her fears were proved wrong when the actor was praised from smoothly shuttling between the roles of a helpless factory worker and a single-minded fighter who kills with her bare hands. Samantha, who recently received the Best Actor Award at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne for her role says she has been surprised by the overwhelming response her performance received.
“I never expected so many people to call and message me (and appreciate my performance). I got calls from people who never called me before,” she told IE.
She, however, says that it is not the allure of awards that goads her to pick a role but rather her strong belief that she would be able to execute it.
“I don’t think I would sign anything thinking it will get me awards. I sign roles that I really believe in. The roles that I believe will make me a better person. But, the awards are always welcome as they have always inspired me to do better. In that way, I’m thankful for awards,” the 34-year-old said.
Samantha’s Raji in Family Man 2 is not much of a talker with her only focus being the accomplishment of the mission. The actor says as she was given fewer dialogues, she had to work on her body language and physicality to breathe life into Raji without saying anything.
“I was given the role of a trained fighter with not much dialogue. So I had to make sure that I physically looked the part even though I am small. The body language and the physicality of the character was something I really worked on. It needed to look like not much thought was put into Raji’s mannerisms but actually, I put a lot of thought into it,” she said.
True her word, the tawny and sinuous Raji is shown as someone who can pull some quick punches and outrun a team of top-notch intelligence agents.
The actor said the role was physically taxing as she had to do all her stunts.
“I watched a lot of real-life footage and documentaries. That really helped me. Also, I worked with a bunch of great teams, including directors and stunt persons. Stunt master Yannick Ben has an amazing style of fighting. It was very, very unique. And I wanted to imitate his style. I don’t think he had a particular style in the way he moved and fought,” Samantha told IE.