Even though she has been in the industry for so long, she is far from saturated and is very active in doing meaty roles and roles that have proper character arcs. She has done 10 movies alone this year and is also ready for her 11th film. In conversation with her, we talk more about her 11th movie, acting with a new generation of actors, and more.
Is there an 11th movie coming up?
Yes. There is an 11th movie coming up. It’s a Telugu film called Extra Ordinary Man with Nithin, Sri Leela, Rajasekhar sir, and myself. It’s an action-entertainment film, directed by Vakkantham Vamsi, and it’s releasing on December 8th. Mostly, this will be my last film this year.
Out of all the movie sets this year, where did you have the most fun?
I only do movies which interest me. But, the most fun I had this year was at the sets of Valatty. Because we had dogs all the time in the sets. Valatty is very close to my heart.
Which has been the most challenging role this year?
Out of all those 10 films, Thandatti was the most challenging one. Thandatti is also a fulfilling one. Out of all those 10 movies, Thandatti’s role stood out to me, and it’s my favorite by far. The emotional connection between the characters, story, and development is what makes the film special.
A big role in a small film or a small role in a big film?
Big role in a small movie is what I always choose. Because I want more space for myself and I want my talent to be used in the movie. At this age, I think everyone knows I can act so I don’t just want to be in a big commercial film to remind everyone that I acted in the film, I want people to know that I can bring out these many emotions. So, I’d choose where I can bring out my acting range and let everyone see what I can add to the film.
What are the kinds of movies you enjoy watching?
As a film student, I watch all kinds of movies. But the movies I enjoy watching are when there is a storyline, and the way it is dealt with should be interesting and intelligent. Oppenheimer and Killer of the Flower Moon are the kinds of movies I really enjoy watching. I do enjoy watching commercial movies, but they should have an emotional connection, the characters should have a character arc, and they should be interesting.
Kind of role do you want to do next year?
I want to do characters, which I have not done till now. It may be the hero’s or heroine’s mother, but it should have an arc to the character; it should contribute something to the story and not just another filler character. I like to take on something I have not done before. There are certain emotions I have not portrayed till now; if the character takes me there, I want to do those kinds of films. I have shown a lot of sentiment, but I still haven’t portrayed a character who has seething anger or range. I want to do that.
A role you always wanted to play?
I have been saying this for a long time. A person living in the forest but working as an undercover or naxalite Or who have been named Naxalite but have a different story to tell. Where the character sacrifices everything to join a movement or fight for people. She has to be from a forest; it should not be someone who grew up in an urban area.
What is it that you find different in the movie industry from then to now?
There is a lot of preparation these days, which helps a lot. Actors nowadays are striving to do their best. In earlier days, there were movies that were done just as family entertainers. We didn’t have to worry much about technical excellence. So, the kind of preparation we are doing right now and then the technical excellence in cinematography, production, and design are really good.
But I miss those simple films that don’t talk about anything big, just a simple weekend watch with family. There is not much message or anything, just a simple entertainer. I also miss those kinds of films these days. These days, entertainers become action films with violence.
One thing you learnt from this generation of actors?
They do a lot of preparation for the character. I really like that. It can be the physical or emotional range of the character; they put a lot of effort into preparing for one character. We did put in efforts too, but we were not very knowledgeable about things like certain makeup or how to present ourselves, but they are really good at it.
Are you going to direct anything anytime soon?
Yes, I am directing. The movie is still in its pre-production stage; it’s going to materialize soon. It’s about the Vachathi incident. Based on the incident, we have been working on the script for the past year, and it’s soon going to production.