Akanksha Ranjan Kapoor is only a couple of films old, but she’s ready to broaden her horizons and take up new challenges. “2024 has been such a good year so far,” she says, making conversation with Hindustan Times. “I’ve been able to balance my work, family, friends, everything so far. It gives me a lot of peace and joy. I like it when it’s like this.” she adds, settling down for a chat about her big south debut with Maaya One, shooting for which is in progress in Hyderabad. Excepts. (Also Read: Alia Bhatt says she is proud of best friend Akansha Ranjan Kapoor as she gets praise for Monica, O My Darling)
‘Everything has changed and yet, nothing has’
Before talking about her latest work, Akansha reflects on debuting with the 2020 Netflix India film Guilty and later starring in the 2021 web series Ray and the 2022 Netflix India film Monica, O My Darling. CV Kumar’s Maaya One, the sequel to his 2017 film Maayavan, isn’t just her debut down south, but also her debut on the silver screen.
Ask her if life has changed at all for her in the last three years and she says, “In a way, nothing has. My friends, dreams, hopes, aspirations, and hard work remain the same. So, nothing has changed in that sense. But there have been such big milestones in my career, of course, everything has changed for me. I’m finally living a life I’ve always dreamt of. It doesn’t hurt that I am also debuting on the big screen.”
‘Maaya One is slick and interesting’
Speaking of debuts, her upcoming film Maaya One will see Sundeep Kishan reprise his role as crime inspector Kumaran. Given that the prequel, Maayavan’s ending had a 40-year time jump, it makes one wonder where the sequel fits into the timeline. Ask Akansha about it and she’s quick to reply, “I can’t reveal much now but all I can say is that the film will be cool, slick and interesting. It’s a sci-fi action thriller.”
She also says that before saying yes to this role, she watched Maayavan and that it was ‘ahead of its time.’ “The set up of the sequel and how it takes the story forward interested me,” she says, adding, “Also, it’s such a good time to do a south film. Every friend I have wants to bag a film down south because they’re doing so well and getting such critical acclaim. I jumped on the opportunity when I got the offer, it was a no-brainer.”
‘Sundeep helped me lose the Bombay girl in me’
Ask Akansha about Sundeep and she calls him a ‘phenomenal actor.’ She says, “When I first came on sets I was hyperventilating and over-enthusiastic, but Sundeep helped me calm down. I realised I could not play this character like every other. So, he taught me the intricacies of what works down south when it comes to acting. He helped me lose the Bombay girl in me. And I believe it’ll make for a better performance.”
She says she also took Telugu classes to prep for the role, even if she won’t dub for herself yet. “I’m a bit of a tota (parrot), so more than finding it challenging, I’m finding it fun to mug up my lines,” she laughs, adding, “I got Telugu classes as soon I signed this project. Now, I speak to my team in the language too. I hope I get so fluent in it that I can dub for myself by the second or third Telugu film.”
Does that mean more Telugu projects are in the pipeline for Akansha then? “Hopefully I’ll have more films to announce by the end of the year; they’re not getting rid of me anytime soon,” she rounds off.
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