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'Popcorn' has a different concept, drama: Avika Gor

Thursday, February 9, 2023 • Telugu Comments
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Avika Gor awaits the theatrical release of 'Popcorn' this Friday (February 10). In this interview, the 'Uyyala Jampala' actress talks about the film's USP, why she chose to be one of its producers, working with Sai Ronak, and more.

The 'Cinema Choopista Mama' actress also talks about her convictions and what she wants to do as a producer.


The film started with director Murali coming up with a unique concept. Most of the film takes place inside a lift. You have to hold the audience's attention with just two faces in the frame. Nowadays, the audience want either mass masala or truly good content. We had to strive for a balance. As an actor, I love taking up challenges. All my characters have had a lot of scope for performance. 'Popcorn' was so difficult since there is no supporting cast to build up. Comedy, emotions... everything has to be done by me and the male lead.

Sai Ronak is extremely talented, humble, and chivalrous. On set, I wanted somebody who is motivated. He likes to do something different. I worked with him on '#Bro'.

As a producer, I let the director do whatever he wanted to do. He deserved that freedom like every film writer-director does. It's the writer's freedom that made my previous films so special. I had suggestions regarding the actors' expressions, though.

Once I listened to the script, I realized that it needs more time and attention. As a producer, I would get to promote it and involve myself in an intense way. I always wanted to become a producer. This movie felt like the right one to make a start. I am also producing two other feature films, one of which has already completed the shoot.

I am someone who loves over-the-top, dreamy, commercial films. For me to believe in a script like 'Popcorn' and convince myself was not an easy choice. The dancing, the singing, the lighting changes - everything happens in the movie for a reason.

The lift is a set that was flexible as per the requirements of the camera angles. The process was so interesting and enjoyable. When you enjoy the process, it reflects in your performance. Anger, emotions, love... the transition in the equations between the lead pair is so organic. We enjoyed ourselves. I am glad I chose Sai Ronak to play the male lead.

My father encouraged me to become a producer when I told him about my desire. He and my mother have always been so supportive. I am technically an outsider to the film industry. They are rank outsiders as well. I have always believed that something comes to my head only if I am capable of it. If I want to learn MMA, it means I can do it. I have been doing filmmaking courses, editing courses, etc. I want to be more than an actor. Film production is an angle I can explore more and more.

People like Nagarjuna sir, Naga Chaitanya, Nikhil Siddhartha, Naga Shaurya - people who have worked with me are extremely proud of the fact that I have taken this courageous step. At this age, I could have very conveniently done only acting by picking commercial subjects. The audience are willing to spend money to watch me and that gives me the responsibility to meet the audience's expectations. I have worked on myself and figured out what kind of scripts I have to pick. 'Ekkadiki Pothavu Chinnavada' was not a solo-star movie, but it had a significant role for me.

The theatrical movie-watching experience is unwatchable. My idea of cinema is sitting on a recliner seat and watching a movie munching popcorn. That's why 'Popcorn' is not an OTT release. This is the kind of film people have to watch from the start without skipping so that they understand why Pawan (Sai Ronak) and Sameerana (Avika Gor) are dancing, singing and talking things that they are talking about.

For now, I want to see how 'Popcorn' is received by the audience. I am doing a Hindi-language assignment as well; It belongs to the '1920' movie series. It's the biggest project I have done till now. I am also in talks for a couple of Telugu projects.

I have done mostly girl-next-door roles in the past. I went on a sabbatical to rework my preferences and rethink. I have been an artist since childhood. When writers come to me, they come with the thought that only I can play those roles. When I did 'Uyyala Jampala', director Virinchi Varma and Raj Tarun were new. By that time, I had 'Balika Vadhu' in my kitty. People asked me why I had to do the film. But the fact is I went with my gut feeling. 'Popcorn' has been made with a similar gut feeling.

More than receiving an award, the familiarity I enjoy with the audience is far more valuable. My films have been made on limited budgets. When such films become a hit, that success tastes special.

People have seen me since I was 7. People have seen my journey in and out. They know how my parents look, and how my boyfriend looks, thanks to social media. Down in Tollywood, I have received support from someone like Nagarjuna sir himself. He happened to say that 'Balika Vadhu' made me a pan-world star since it was dubbed and released in 28 countries. The TV show got me international recognition. I was not expecting that sort of success as a child. When I went to countries like Singapore, people recognized me for my role. People in other countries are familiar with the likes of SRK, Salman Khan and a show they know very well is 'Balika Vadhu'. It's not easy to wake up with a huge responsibility every morning. It's not easy.

In 'Thank You', I played a character that touched my heart. Thanks to the character I played in '#Bro', I changed as a person. Every character that I play changes me as a person.

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