It has been long since actor-VJ Anusha Dandekar was seen in a big screen project, her last appearance was in Bhavesh Joshi Superhero in a special song, Chavanprash. And for her comeback of sorts, she chose to return to Marathi cinema with the film Baap Manus, which released earlier this month.
“I really wanted to get back to acting…. and it has been 10 years since I had done a Marathi film,” she tells us, adding that while the landscape of Indian cinema is constantly changing, it was high time regional film industries also experienced a similar transformation. “For the longest time, Marathi cinema was looked down upon as a smaller medium,” she laments, adding, “Audiences always used to think of regional films as only for a particular region, people, or for those who speak that language.”
The 41-year-old, however, is glad that the perception has changed over the years. “Marathi films have really come up now. There are no language barriers anymore. Even globally, the advent of streaming platforms has opened up everything for everyone. We watch Spanish films, the other countries watch Hindi and English content… There are subtitles if you don’t know a language, so whatever blocks existed earlier, are no longer there,” she adds.
Another notion or misconception that Dandekar is happy to bust with her Marathi film, is that regional projects have limited budgets. “People tend to think that regional film has relatively smaller budgets, but that’s not true. For Baap Manus, we went to London for the shoot,” reveals the actor, who considers herself fortunate that she got to work in both Marathi and Hindi cinema.
Talking about the reason she was instantly drawn to the project, the actor says the character of an independent girl resonated with her. But, she is quick to clarify that it doesn’t make the process in front of the camera simpler. “A lot of times, actors think it would be easier to play a character that is similar to you, but it is actually very difficult. You don’t know where to draw the line, you don’t know when you are natural or acting. When you are trying to play yourself, you don’t know where the boundaries are; it is really weird,” explains Dandekar, who, besides her acting career, has been pursuing her passion of learning ballet professionally.
Despite facing a setback due to ovarian lump surgery, the actor recently started dancing again. “You have to find that little slice of heaven in life, where it is your escape and peace. People choose meditation and yoga; it is ballet for me. I didn’t like ballet seriously as a child. But now, I am just obsessed with it,” the Anthony Kaun Hai (2006), City of Gold (2010) and Delhi Belly (2011) actor wraps up.