CHENNAI: With films in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam under her belt, the petite and perky Genelia is on her toes and is enjoying every minute of it. Talking about her return to the Tamil screen after a two year gap she says, “Post 'Boys' and 'Santhosh Subramaniam', my next film is 'Uthamaputhiran'. I am playing Puja, in this family entertainer, opposite Dhanush. The film is the remake of the Telugu 'Ready', in which I played the same role. Mithran Jawahar directs this film.”
Recalling the 'Uthamputhiran' experience Genelia says, “I worked with Vivekh after 8 years post 'Boys'. He is so encouraging — offering praise and correcting me at the same time. Dhanush generally is completely glued into his work and was very helpful. The film has a huge star cast and I was very happy learning from so many senior actors. I feel experience is most important for growth, whether your own or anothers.”
The actor has 'Veladhuyam' with Vijay next, while in Bollywood, 'Its My Life' goes on floors soon. With Santosh Sivan’s 'Urumi', she enters the Malayalam industry as well.
How does the Mumbai girl relate to her Southern characters?
Genelia spills the beans, “Though I live in Mumbai, I am actually from Mangalore. So it’s a blessing for me to connect to my roots via Southern films. I love playing the sweet girl-next-door girl, wearing pottu, plaits and poo. I’ve been very lucky to be accepted by a pan Indian audience this way.”
So did she want to be an actor since childhood?
“Not at all! I was a football player and very good at studies. No one in my family is an actor. I went for a wedding, someone saw me there, cast me in an ad and before I knew it, I signed up for three films simultaneously! I had 'Tujhe Meri Kasam' in Hindi, 'Boys' in Tamil and 'Satyam' in Telugu! 300 girls auditioned for 'Boys' but I got the part! I always feel I am God’s favourite child!” gushes Genelia.
But its not just films that keep her busy. She was recently awarded the CNBC Consumer Awaz Award for Best Brand Endorser 2009. Says she, “It was a huge honour to get the same award that Shahrukh and Akshay Kumar won, before I did!”
With so much to keep her busy, is she going to be seen more in Tamil films in future?
“I am choosy about my roles and am trying my best to to do justice to all five industries. I wish there were 650 days in a year !” she signs off.