Seen in the 2012 release 'Love Failure' (Telugu-dubbed Tamil movie), Iswarya Menon has mostly done Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada cinema for about a decade. 'SPY' is her first pan-Indian film and also her Tollywood debut. Set to hit the cinemas on June 29, the Nikhil Siddhartha-starrer has the 28-year-old actress in the role of a RAW agent.
Iswarya expects that 'SPY 2' will be there and hopes to be a part of the sequel as well. In this interview, the actress, who did the SonyLIV original 'Tamil Rockerz' last year, talks about training for the physically taxing role in 'SPY' and more.
I knew that director Garry BH is an accomplished editor. His narration was thrilling and I found my role both intense and exciting. My character has got a lot of shades in 'SPY'. I am in love, I am killing people, I am rolling on snow, I am doing stunts. The challenging role made me nervous at times. I have realized that doing an action-heavy role is as exciting as doing a romantic role.
People are telling me I am looking so nice in the trailer. Currently, I am in a nervous state of mind. I just pray that all of you will like me in the film.
Since I am a RAW agent in the movie, the director was specific about how I have to look. I and others had to go through gun training. We had to bring authentic swag to the table by going through intense training.
I am a fitness freak. I love to be fit. The challenge for me was I had to be extremely flexible. I went through pilates training. I also learned boxing out of interest to get into a certain aggressive mindset on set. It took six months for me to train in all that.
Doing 'SPY' made me understand that RAW agents go through so much suffering even though their sacrifices are not recognized enough. The agents are secretive and can't reveal their identity. They go through tremendous pain because of their love for the country. They are selfless and don't hanker after recognition.
After doing this film, I will do stunt sequences more confidently in the future. 'SPY' gave me the required confidence. Running, chasing and shooting in extreme weather conditions was a learning experience. This is my first-ever action film, I must say. The director trusted my abilities blindly even though I have never done action before. When someone trusts you, you tend to give your best shot!
'SPY' is a non-controversial film. It's a proper action-filled espionage thriller that you can watch with kids and elders. Politically, there are some thorny issues regarding the sudden disappearance of Subhas Chandra Bose. But that is only the baseline. The entire film is not about him.
Nikhil is a brilliant actor. Incidentally, the first Telugu film I ever watched was 'Happy Days'. His films such as 'Swamy Ra Ra', 'Kartikeya' and 'Kartikeya 2' are unique films. The way he enacts, the way he understands the scenes... everything was a learning experience. He is always high on energy.
I started doing Ads and other things at the age of 15. I come from a family that is academically encouraging. I am an Engineer. My brother is a Doctor. I never dreamt of becoming an actress. I grew up in a small town. But when I started doing films at the age of 16, films like 'Love Failure' were a new experience. I enjoyed doing auditions. As I took baby steps, I faced rejections.
Alia Bhat is among my favourite contemporary female actors. She picks awesome characters.
I am doing a Telugu film with Kartikeya. UV Creations is bankrolling it. I want to work with big stars like Allu Arjun, Jr NTR, Naga Chaitanya and others. I am a greedy actress.