The National Award-winning filmmaker has many admirers across the globe who love his craft. Dayana is one of them. "I love all his movies. They are always way ahead of their time. Alaipayuthey, Mouna Ragam, Thalapathi and Roja are some of my all-time favourite films," says Dayana.
So how did she get to be a part of his film?
"It happened overnight through a call and I came to Mumbai for auditions. The second round of audition was in Chennai with Mani Sir. It went well. In a couple of days, they got back confirming the role I auditioned for. I never thought it would be the lead role and when I got a confirmation call, I was overwhelmed," she recalled.
Did she find Mani Ratnam intimidating?
"Initially I was intimidated, but he made me so comfortable and it was like a breeze to work with him," said the actress.
"Considering he is one of the ace directors and I am a newcomer, with every move he makes on the set, there is something new to learn. There is something different about his craft, the way he conducts himself on a movie set, the way he treats each and every individual on the set. "He is a man of vision and mission on set, he exactly knows what he wants from a particular character and has the ability to make sure the artiste portrays the same on camera."
She plays Chaaya, who is a free spirited and adventurous girl, in the crime thriller.
Chekka Chivantha Vaanam also features actresses Jyothika, Aditi Rao Hydari and Aishwarya Rajesh.
Images: Dayana on Instagram