Actress Priya Anand says working in upcoming Tamil rural drama “Muthuramalingam” was special because it gave her an opportunity to try her hand at silambam aka kendo, an ancient form of martial arts with a bamboo stick.

“This year has been about doing things I don’t usually do in my films. It’s for the first time I’m a playing a village girl in a Tamil film. I play a strong and courageous character called Vijayalakshmi, and the role required me to learn silambam,” Priya told IANS.

Directed by Rajadurai, the film also stars Gautam Karthik.

Learning silambam was an inspiring experience for Priya, and explaining why, she said: “When we started shooting, I wonder who does so much silambam. But, it was not until we reached the interiors of some of these villages in Pollachi and Theni, did we realise its importance in their lives.”

“To see little kids in these villages practice silambam with passion and conviction proved what it meant to them. It was really nice to see people still holding on to their culture and tradition,” she said.

Although this might be Priya’s first attempt at playing a village-based character, she isn’t completely alien to village lifestyle.

“I have strong village roots. While growing up, I spent most of my summers with my great grandmother in her village. I still visit occasionally and I even take my staff along,” she said.

Priya, meanwhile, is busy shooting for Malayalam debut film, “Ezra”.