One-movie-old actor Sreeleela, who celebrates her birthday today, couldn’t have asked for a better birthday gift. The youngster, who has been hoping for a break, has bagged a film with Chethan Kumar that be her big ticket to success. The debutante in AP Arjun’s KISS, Sreeleela will feature opposite Sriimurali in her second film.
This yet-to-be-titled project comes her way even before the audience gets a glimpse of her on the big screen. The young lass, who is trying to keep her studies and career together, was on cloud nine when City Express spoke with her. “A project with one of Sandalwood’s stars, Sriimurali, is such a memorable birthday gift, I am going to cherish for long,” the newcomer says, adding, “It comes as a surprise. And it’s the best I could ask for. I felt like a princess when I was told that I had bagged this project. In fact, after I signed on the dotted line, I was jumping with excitement saying, ‘Oh, I can’t believe myself. I’m acting with Sriimurali, and I am the heroine of this film...someone pinches me’,” she says.
Even as she just began her tinsel town career, Sreeleela always dreamt of working with some top stars of Sandalwood. And one of them was Sriimurali. “I know I have a long way to go, but I had never expected to work with a star so early in my career. It feels like the universe has granted my wish. I feel lucky at this moment,” says the newcomer, who recently got into a test shoot with the actor. “After a few rounds of the audition, I was asked to go in for a test shoot. The vibes on the sets were good. Sriimurali made me feel very comfortable, and there was an instant connect with the actor,” she says.
Even before her first film releases, Sreeleela says she had other offers from Sandalwood and Tollywood but wanted to take them forward only after the release of the first film. However, when a film with Sriimurali came her way, she could not resist it. “This project will definitely be a good learning process for me, especially since it involves a big star. I can’t wait for the project to begin,” she says.
While Sriimurali’s project is yet to find a suitable title, the makers are happy to have a found the right lead cast for their film. Director Chethan Kumar tells us, “Sreeleela has a family charm, which works for the film which is a complete family entertainer. She comes across as a girl-next-door attitude. In fact, I have watched the rushes of her first film (currently being directed by AP Arjun) and she seems to be a good performer. Everyone is corroborating that she is a perfect choice,” he says.
A Bharathayatam and Kuchipudi dancer, Sreeleela also plays the veena, in addition to being a state level runner, swimmer and horse-rider. “She did many rounds of auditions and a test shoot before she was finalised. The two make a fresh pair,” says Chethan adding, “This film will give her a chance to explore her versatility since she has four dimensions--homely, classical, trendy and royal– to her character.” With Sriimurali coming in with three consecutive hits - Ugranm, Rathaavara and the latest Mufti – and the director having two hits – Bahaddhur and Bharjari– to his credit, this combo is what the industry has been awaiting. We ’ll have to wait and watch Sreeleela’s value-addition to this project.