Irra Mor (the female lead in Bhairava Geetha) decided that it was time to put her 9-5 job behind her to chase her calling. Though a career in films were nowhere close to her childhood dream, Irra still feels she’s living a dream. “My father is a very strict person, and the entire family is highly qualified. My dad is a lawyer, my mum a professor, my sister a doctor and my brother a techie. So, acting was something that was never planned,” says Irra, who is looking to the release of her first outing shortly in Kannada and Telugu.
But destiny had different plans and soon after graduation, when she was in Bengaluru for 2 to 3 months with her brother, to look for jobs, she just discussed the possibility of going to Mumbai. “Landing in Mumbai, instead of a mainstream job, I ended up joining Ideal Drama Entertainment Company, a theatre group, with Mujeeb Khan becoming my mentor. That was where it all began,” says Irra.
She still recalls how, despite clearing the exams for the Navy, her family, keen that she pursues engineering, hid the acceptance letter. “They wanted me to be an engineer, get into a job and get married,” she says.
With no godfather, every newcomer fears entering the film industry. But not Irra, who says she doesn’t know its meaning. “We are from a Jat family, so there’s nothing called fear in our vocabulary. My only confusion was where to start, or whom to contact. Thankfully, my background in theatre helped,” she says.
RGV, who is known to spot talent, felt that Irra’s looks resembled those of yesteryear artistes. “He felt that I had the classical face, and expressive eyes. But the audition was the clinching factor,” says Irra, who watched all of RGV’s films before she met the filmmaker.
‘Cast like family’
In Bhairava Geetha, Irra will share screen space with Dhananjay, a known face in Kannada. With director Siddhartha Thatholu making his directorial debut, a majority of the cast members are new to the workings of the industry. “But that thought never crossed our minds. We were all like family.
Irra’s character Geetha, she says is far from how she is is. “Geetha is well educated and hails from London. When she comes back home, ad sees all these happenings, she rebels even against her father,” she says, adding, “Though I have some of Geetha’s values, I am far away when it comes to the film’s attire. I can never come close. Having said that, nowadays films are focussed on performance. They don’t run on a glam factor. This is just of cinema’s evolution. Today’s audience have tuned into the nuances and don’t typecast actors anymore.”
So, what about the liplock scene? “It all depends whether it is really needed or it is done just to promote the film. In Bhairava Geetha’s case, there is this exchange of expression in love, which is why it was necessary. Personally, I was really not comfortable. I had to do it in front of hundreds of people on the sets. But I just looked at it professionally,” she says.
As a newcomer, the biggest challenge was the language. “Since I come from a theatre background, facing the camera wasn’t hard. Only when I wasn’t prepared with the dialogues and scenes, did I get nervous. It’s all a learning process,” she signs off.