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Interview of Lavanya Tripathi about Happy Birthday


'Happy Birthday' is slated to hit the cinemas on July 8. Lavanya Tripathi has played a madcap character in the surreal action-comedy. In this interview, the 'A1 Express' actress talks about how the film came her way, working with director Ritesh Rana, her upcoming projects, and more.

'Happy Birthday' is a new experience, it is a rare genre, it's a new sort of character, and it felt new to hold those large weapons. For the first time, I have got to do a couple of action scenes. It's the first time I have done on the screen.

I hope 'HB' explodes and becomes a big blockbuster. Happy is my name in the film. Different stories take place in parallel and how they intersect on a birthday night is exciting. It's not like the entire story takes place over a span of a night. There are incidents from the past that come into play. It's a journey of five years, actually.

When director Ritesh narrated the story, the premise of a school dropout Minister (played by Vennela Kishore) legalizing gun ownership kept me hooked. Although he is not educated, he has the power to pass a dangerous bill. The thought itself is scary! Personally, I am not for liberal gun laws. Our film doesn't endorse it either. Films like 'KGF' have been known for violent action, but our film is set in a surreal world (laughs).

Producer Cherry sir of Clap Entertainment is highly passionate about movies. I felt most comfortable being on set of 'HB'. The production values in 'HB' are rich! The promotions have been creatively funny, like the description of the film as a pan-Telugu release. Within the film, the detailing is meticulous.

Everyone is like a hero. 'HB' is a strong character-based movie. There is no hero as such in the story. My character is a mixture of both serious and comical streaks. Either way, she is hilarious to watch.

When I watch zombie movies, I imagine myself being there in a parallel world. I like movies set in a different world altogether.

In the pandemic era, we are so much into OTT. People are watching content belonging to various genres. The audience deserves refreshing content. 'HB' offers surreal action and madcap comedy at a time when the viewers want freshness.

Humour was easy to pull off. I am a fun person in real life. Those who know me in real life would attest to it. I like the environment to be hilarious around me. After my first movie, an impression gained ground that I am very serious. I like to joke around!

I dislike loud comedies. I like subtle humour, though. I feel lucky that filmmakers continue to repose confidence in me. It has been more than a decade since I debuted as an actor. Ritesh cast me for 'HB' after watching me in an interview. Since I loved 'Mathu Vadalara', his first movie as a director, accepting 'HB' was a no-brainer. I liked how he built up a surreal world in the script.

This is one of the strongest roles I have ever played in my career. My first film, 'Andala Rakshasi', comes to my mind. I have done action scenes holding heavy guns. While they are not original weapons, they weigh huge. One of them was a 9-kg one. So much so, I fell, broke my elbow and hurt myself physically. After doing the film, I now understand why male actors are paid so much (laughs)!

While I enjoy working, the result is not in my hands. I feel bad when films like 'Chaavu Kaburu Challaga' don't do well for producers. I am a hungry actor. Regardless of the result, I enjoy playing challenging roles. Not everyone wants to be on the top. Some people just want to enjoy the journey. If I have done physical roles like 'A1 Express', it's because they challenged me. 'CBC' emotionally drained me!

When a male actor does only one film a year, nobody questions. When a female actor is choosy, they ask why. I listen to stories every day. I am very selective. I can't be there in a film for the sake of it. I have to have a strong role. I want to live my life. I want to holiday. Whatever I do has to be deliberate and should make me happy.

I have reached a point in career where I don't want to feel pressure. I want to take it easy.

I am playing an IPS officer in the Zee5 web series 'Puli-Meka'. Directed by K Chakravarthy Reddy, it has Aadi Saikumar in a key role. It's a strong character that I am playing in the series. I have finished shooting for a Tamil movie, which is yet to be titled. It's a realistic crime story. Atharvaa is its male lead. I enjoy doing action!  

Updated on July 5, 2022