Sunita Mani discusses her role in the new horror film Evil Eye in the latest edition of The Breakdown series. The film — directed by Elan and Rajeev Dassani — arrives on Tuesday.
The Glow actress kicked off the episode by explaining how she got involved with the project; she received an email from Amazon, Blumhouse Productions, and executive producer Priyanka Chopra. “I’m not a horror genre buff or a thriller enthusiast,” she says of Blumhouse. “But I do love their movies. And I think it’s this alluring psychological horror situation they create, where you don’t know which character to believe and you’re shuffling between what is real and, ‘Who should I believe?’”
Mani describes her character Pallavi as “a party girl who can get to class on time.” She essentially stars in her own rom-com early in the film while desperately seeking her mother’s approval. “I feel like she is, in an alternate reality, a version of myself, for sure,” she says. “I definitely pulled from my own family, of course — the women in my Indian community. It was fascinating to dive into that part of myself because I don’t often get to play a character so closely related to my own experience.”
Elsewhere in the video, Mani touches on the mother-daughter relationship in the film between her character and Usha (Sarita Choudhury). “The way the mother’s story of abuse played out in the script was really shocking and visceral,” she notes. “I appreciated how much time and attention was given to it while placing it in the horror genre. Very clever.”
During Mani’s first day on set, she shot the final scene in the film with Choudhury. “We were dealing with what the whole movie’s about,” she says. “This very powerful transfer of a mother’s message to her daughter. There’s such an overlap of generational divide in that moment that we shot first. And I think that bonded us quite a lot.”
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