TV actress Prachi Tehlan who was last seen in Ikyawann (2017), is making her Tamil film debut opposite South superstar Mammootty in Mamangam. The historical saga which is said to be based on a true event has been in the making for two years now. Tehlan
, 26, will be seen playing Unnimaya, a Devdaasi in her debut. Recently the actress who was also a part of hit TV soap Diya Aur Baati Hum sat down for an exclusive conversation with BollywoodLife where she opened up about her struggle after bagging a big project, when she had to go through her low time, to the extent of being depressed.
Unaware of Mammootty's superstardom
Tehlan who was shooting for Diya Aur Baati Hum in 2016, met the executive producer of the movie 'through a mutual friend in Kochi.' In January 2017, the producer approached her for the project which was in the initial stages. "Back then I didn’t know a lot about Mammookka since I’ve grown up watching Hindi movies. It’s never that you’ve never seen him, with the number of movies that he has done, (but) it was like I’ve seen him but I didn’t recall watching his films," Tehlan iterated. She soon gave the auditions, however, she was skeptical as she was pitted against many contenders. "But then things worked out and I started my training." Tehlan added how the producer's family was a fan of her show Ikyawann, "which is why the producer was so keen on hiring me."
The dark time
Tehlan wanted Mamangam to be her debut movie, as a result, she had to let go of several projects. As the movie is inching towards its release, the actress is going through "a rollercoaster of feelings". Talking about the same, Tehlan said, "I’ve gone through a lot since the past two years especially the last 6-7 months since I’ve finished shooting Mamangam." It was the skepticism to whether to take a new project or not, or the lack of exciting offers that led Tehlan to a dark time. "I’ve been upset, depressed, and a lot of anxiety which I went through the course of the last six months. It was very difficult for me mentally. But now things are moving on with the promotions happening." Tehlan revealed how being busy helped her to cope up with her issues. "The satisfaction that you have a project in hand is very important."
Pouring her heart out
"Even after doing a big film like Mamangam there have been six months of my life where I was depressed. I didn’t know what to do. Even if people knew that I'm doing the film, they would congratulate me but they would not approach me for work. I’ve gone through lows, I’ve gone through times when I’ve woken up crying, slept while crying. I don’t know if I can call them anxiety or depression since they are very strong words to be used, but there was something. But my family and friends were quite supportive," she poured her heart out.
Prachi, who has represented India in the Commonwealth Games and other Asian Championships as she was the captain of the Indian Netball team, found the real struggle to stand strong to her morals. "If you have chosen the right way to approach people and not take any shortcut, then it is a little more difficult. You need to prove yourself. People often say that if someone has done this, even you should do it. They stereotype someone’s journey for everyone. Being the national captain of the Indian team, I have a certain pride which I don't want to get compromised," shared Prachi.
No shortcut to fame
Prachi mentioned how she never intended to take shortcuts to make it to the big screen. She also happened to mention that she met people who offered her such shortcuts. "A lot of times that has happened to me. I barely have friends, but I have a couple of friends and I stay with my family, so it is important to go back to that environment. I’ve gone through lots of ups and downs. Though I’m strong, I’m vulnerable. But being strong doesn’t mean that you are not emotional or you won’t break down or things don’t affect you. Being strong means you are vulnerable and say no to something wrong that is happening to you, or to people who want to do to you," she said.
Girls are at fault as well
Prachi also shared how she feels even girls are at faults to let vultures in the industry abuse them. "It is also girls who are at fault. Because they are so available and so easy to give in or they want to try out shorter roots. (But) What eventually works on the screen is your acceptance by the audience. What eventually works is how talented you are. Somebody who has taken a shorter route might get work before than me, but she might not be able to sustain longer in the industry. Our industry is a grey industry so you have to play in the grey area," Tehlan explained.
Not trying in Bollywood
Prachi also spilled how she is not intending to try her hands in Bollywood as of now. "I’ve not tried my luck in Bollywood. I want to establish myself down South because that’s a good way to make an entry in Bollywood."
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