“Corruption is one of the problematic issues that the society is facing and it is created by society itself. And many people suffer each day. Corruption and politics take a heavy toll on any industry, leave alone hockey. The story A1 Express addresses these issues in the game of hockey while fighting the system,” says actor Lavanya Tripati whose movie A1 Express is scheduled to hit theatres on March 5.
Right from the scratch
Prepping for her character Lavanya Rao in the movie was an arduous task for Lavanya as she had to learn the game from the scratch. “I don’t remember playing hockey in school days apart from cricket and a bit of basketball. I realised hockey is really an interesting game after I came to the sets. I realised that base should be strong to excel in any sport. I ensured that I bring a realistic look to the sequences in the movie. It was quite challenging for me. Because I had been juggling between various projects in Tamil and a couple of Telugu projects. I didn’t want to take it lightly. Hockey training helped me a lot in understanding the game. How to aim a perfect shot. One needs to align the knee and shoulder to bring that perfection. I was in perfect shape, so luckily, I could easily make moves with agility as a hockey player. Most importantly, I wanted to improve my stamina as well. Little cardio and other workouts too helped out in getting that perfect sportswoman look,” she adds.
Lavanya Tripati feels that biopics and movies on such wide-discussed topics would bring a sense of awareness among people. “The trend is good, we have good filmmakers coming with good content to tell stories. Biopics give a ray of hope so that people get inspired. At the same time, movies should carry positive messages to fight against the system, yet presenting such themes in a cinematic way. A1 Express is one among them,” she adds.
Stuff of legends
Would the perception of audiences change in looking at the game of hockey after the release of A1 Express? “I don’t blame people for giving more importance to other games like cricket. Hockey is more a challenging one, it tests players potential to the core. It’s very demanding physically and mentally. Yes, currently the game has very few takers compared to the popularity of cricket. But one can’t deny that hockey was once the stuff of legends,” she adds.
Lavanya doesn’t like to do characters that are insipid. For the first time, she feels she is lucky to bag the role of a hockey player A1 Express as it she feels she is creatively satisfied. “It is something that challenges you. I didn’t care if I am looking glam, it is not in my list. One would find my hair flapping on on my face while filming the hockey sequences. I was unkempt sometimes, I thought being glam would take away the whole character that was intended to portray on screen. The movie is more emphasised on the subject and how I looked as a hockey player mattered most.”
Lavanya is in full praise for her co-star Sundeep Kishan who underwent a massive physical transformation as a hockey player in A1 Express. She has another film in line. Chaavu Kaburu Challaga is scheduled to release on March 19. She tried a method acting for a couple of emotional scenes. “I had to watch YouTube videos to get into the skin of the character. It was an emotional scene kept, so I watched different videos just to know those emotions.”