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The Ring Around the Rose

Today our guest is Pragathi Yadhati, an actress living in Manhattan, New York. She has played a lead actress in a Bollywood movie and currently working in another feature length movie as lead actress. We have conducted an interview with her.

When and how did you start your career in Bollywood?
As it goes with many Indians, I came to the United States to get a Masters degree in Computer Engineering and Computer Science. But as someone who has always been passionate about performing arts and who fervently believes that art has the power to heal people from their suffering, I took up the bigger cause. I changed my career to become a professional actor and received formal training in the same from prestigious institutes such as New York Film Academy and The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. While learning acting at Lee Strasberg, I played the lead in an Independent Hindi movie called, “Iraade Maum Ke’. An Indian American Director/Producer saw this and a few other off-Broadway performances of mine and offered me a role in his then upcoming Bollywood movie called “Ooops a Desi”. And that is how I stepped into Bollywood.

What were the critical acclaim for your roles in your films that you had received?
My film “Ooops a Desi” received critical acclaim for its production values and made a $5M revenue to the Distributors for a low budget film such as itself. I got a standing applause at the premier of this movie for my performance. One of my short films, “Sillage” is nominated for the Best Short Film at the Queens World Film Festival in 2011 and one more short film just got accepted at the prestigious Heritage Film Festival. “Oru Kanam, Oru Yugam”, an Indian short film that I worked in, won the Best Short Film award at the Kalaignar Television channel awards show called, “Naalaiya Iyakkunar 3” in 2012, in India.

Apart from these, I’ve received several prizes in dance and acting in high school and college. I performed on many a great stage in India and won several accolades for the same. I was felicitated by Dada Saheb Phalke Award (the highest honor in Indian Cinema Industry) recipient, Dr. Akkineni Nageswara Rao for one such performance of mine. I received honorary awards from Indian movie industry elite such as Chiranjeevi and Ramya Krishnan, South Indian actors. The honor I received from Dr. Rao at such a young age is something I hold very dear and feel proud about.

Which distinguished roles did you play in the movies that worked in?
I played the lead in most of the movies that I worked in. An Indian immigrant engineer who wants to pursue her dreams in the United States of being an entrepreneur in “Iraade Maum Ke”. This role has multiple shades to it. You can feel them through the intonation of her voice, an ambitious self, the actual person that she is, and an introvert that struggles with her own self. I received critical acclamation for this role.

An international student doing odd jobs illegally in the United States that goes to any extent to protect her brother and friends, risking her own life during the process. It is a fictional character that has very close connections to many an Indian international students in the United States.

The current film I’m working on is very unique even when compared to these others that I’ve done. I can take the entire space up just talking about this new film of mine.

What are your special skills and acting strengths?
I’m formally trained in acting and dancing. I got a Diploma in acting from New York Film Academy and recently graduated from The Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute. I learned Meisner techniques of acting at MCS theatre in New York. Even as a person, I’m very open and vulnerable. With this personality of mine and my training, I can bring any character to life. I work hard in understanding the characters that I’m to play and do my due diligence in the form of homework even if those characters are far from me as a person. I can do accents and voices which further help bring originality to the roles as needed.

Can you tell us about your current project?
The film I’m playing the lead currently is “The Ring Around the Rose”. It’s being filmed in New York and Connecticut states.

Brief Synopsis: A mysterious man throws a young woman, Anjali in a loop that spirals between life and death. Will Anjali be able to escape from the clutches of death?

I had been waiting for a unique project like this and so I passed many offers. I wanted to play the main lead in a global movie catered to international audience. When I heard the storyline of ‘The ring around the rose’ I was so thrilled, especially with the edge of the seat suspense factor. I personally love psychological thrillers. Also this was perfect for me since it is also a woman centric story. It is absolutely a very different and unique project. Firstly to talk about the production, it is the first film ever been made as a language agnostic and location agnostic film. There are many good regional movies but if we don’t know the language, we focus more on subtitles and understand the plot than actually watch it and feel the journey. This movie is made in such a way that it could be adapted to any language. And also everyone in this world will relate to the location.

Rarely does a movie comes out that has a good narrative and a mind bending twist like 'Sixth Sense' and 'The Others'. ‘The ring around the rose’ is a film that’s closer to such movies. There are a few other things that are astonishing about this production which I’m not allowed to reveal yet but this will stand out as the one of a kind movie in world cinema.

The Ring Around the Rose Reviewed by JaamZIN on 6:34:00 AM Rating: 5
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