Tejashri Pradhan started her career with Avdhoot Gupte’s much-acclaimed Zenda, the Marathi film that still makes her proud. She also played main role in Marathi tele-show Lek Laadki Ya Gharchi that ran for well over two years. The actress is now awaiting releases of her two important Marathi films; Adv Samruddhi Porey’s Dr Prakash Baba Amte and Ajay Naik’s Lagn Pahaave Karun. In a candid chat, Tejashri Pradhan tells Rang Marathi about her upcoming films, her take on daily soaps and her desire to do more theatre.
“Dr Prakash Baba Amte mainly belongs to Nana Patekar and Sonali Kulkarni, who play Dr Prakash Amte and Mandatai Amte respectively. The film starts and ends on these two actors. I play the younger Mandatai. I think it’s easy to portray a fictional character, but playing a real-life living person is very challenging as the same person can validate your work. We closely observed as how Mandatai behaves, what she wears, how she talks, what is her lifestyle. In fact, I blindly imitated her,” Tejashri said.
She informed that the film was shot in and around Amte’s ashram at Hemalkasa in Gadchiroli district. The entire unit stayed at Hemalkasa and spent time with the Amtes and other people in the ashram. “It was a very great experience. We stayed with them, we ate with them. We also learnt that someone from Bollywood had earlier attempted to make a film on the same subject but Naxalites spoiled their project and compelled them to leave. But our film’s shooting was done very peacefully. Actually, Naxalites have great respect for Prakashji and Mandatai, and therefore nobody interrupted our project,” Tejashri informed.
Dr Prakash Baba Amte is a bi-lingual film in Marathi and Hindi. Director Adv Samruddhi Porey, whose earlier Marathi film Malaa Aai Vhyaychay won the National Award, has shot this film simultaneously in both the languages. The dubbing work has just completed and the film is likely to hit the screen in July this year. It also stars Mohan Agashe and Sushant Kakade.
Tejashri Pradhan has also finished shooting for Lagn Pahaave Karun (LPK), a romantic film directed by Ajay Naik. “LPK talks about traditional values of the previous generation and modern thoughts of today’s youth, who have a very practical and scientific approach towards life. Nobody is blamed or commended in the film, but everyone will be able to relate with the story. It has two stories that get interlinked at one point. I’m paired with Siddharth Chandekar while Mukta Barve and Umesh Kamat are the other couple,” she said.
Lagn Pahaave Karun, which was shot in Pune and Alibagh, also stars Swati Chitnis and Jayant Sawarkar among others. It is expected to release either in July or August.
If everything goes as per schedule, the Mumbai-based actress will also have her first Bollywood film releasing this year. Directed by Paritosh Goswami, Kabhi Yun Bhi Toh Ho is currently in its post-production stage.
Tejashri has acted in Marathi tele-serial Lek Laadki Ya Gharchi that ran for a significant time of over two years. However, the actress is not much interested in revisiting the small screen. “Films and theatre give broader space to an actor. In television, we get over-stretched roles and we have to do one and same thing again and again. In serials, creative challenge is lost for an actor,” she observed.
On the other hand, Tejashri, who earlier acted in Marathi play Fakt Tujhi Saath Havi, is yearning to do more and more theatre. “I’ve completed shooting for two-three films and I’m free now. I want to dedicate this time completely to theatre. I’m looking for good scripts and also talking to directors in this regard,” she expressed.
When asked about her choice for roles, Tejashri said, “I think, as an actor, one gets opportunity to be messenger of good for the society. In addition, an actor grows as a person with the every character he or she plays. I have never drawn any boundaries for the actor in me. Though, I like to play positive characters because I’m repeatedly reminded by my well-wishers that my face will never suit a negative character,” Tejashri Pradhan said with a smile on her face.