Says Anasuya Bharadwaj, who never ceases to surprise us with her vivaciousness on small screen, bold statements on social media and remarkable characters on silver screen speaks are large about movies, masala and more…
Item song….” uttered a male journalist and even before he could finish the question, with a derisive smile on her face, she undauntedly interrupted him, asking if he has any idea of changing his mindset and quit addressing special songs as ‘item.’
This 32-year-old mother of two, in a pair of distressed jeans and a de-stressed mood, walks into a room full of journos, with her head held high and words pretty tight.
No, she is not afraid of being fiercely vocal and yes, she has learned to deal with those who abuse her online hiding behind a system.
From being unabashedly ambitious to being indestructibly confident, she has come a long way, breaking stereotypes and sometimes a few hearts. Anasuya Bharadwaj aka Rangammattha, who is currently enjoying the laurels she has earned for her acting prowess in the recent film- Rangasthalam says she will never repeat roles and will aim to play diversified characters on screen.
Witty in her own way, she tells the journalists, who perpetually lambaste her in their articles and gossip stories that she has now learned to be more prudent with her words without perturbing her core personality.
From the dress she wears to tattoo she sports, from her Facebook posts to her Insta stories – her every step has been scrutinised and spoken about, but looks like she has mastered the art of dusting off and walking ahead.
In an exclusive interaction with Hyderabad Express, Anasuya was at her candour best. Excerpts from the interview:
Her first reaction:
“From the time, I decided to get into the film industry, I have made a list of five directors with whom I wish to work someday. Sukumar sir tops the list,” Anasuya says with a glint in her eyes, pointing at the spot where she was auditioned.
“I was giving my audition here when Sukumar sir came walked by. I went blank at the first glance but gave my best shot. The ambience during the audition made my intention stronger to get on board. I was narrated the script post audition. My first reaction was, ‘please don’t make Ram Charan call me attha (aunt).’ I am fond of his wife Upasana and him. I asked the makers why can’t I be called just Rangamma. But somewhere my gut feeling told me that the world will listen or look at us the way we want them to look at us. So I told myself that I won’t be a stereotype attha. The trust and conviction of the makers helped me give my 100%. I was surprised when Sukumar sir said at the thank you meet that I have a divine face. For someone who was always said, ‘Kya maal hai,’ those words meant like an achievement to me,” she quips.
Post the release, the common talk among the film critics and audience is that Anasuya had more substantial role than Samantha, responding to it, she says both Samantha and she had important roles to play and our talents were utilised to the maximum.
“Since Samantha has proved her talent time and again, it was no shocker that she reached people’s expectations. My role and performance came across as a surprise to people. In fact, people were not even aware of the details of my role,” she shares.
The funeral song in the movie left people with moist eyes, Anasuya was no exception.
“What song, what lyrics! The song was composed and it was playing in the background during the shoot. The words were touching and trust me, I didn’t use glycerine for the first two days. A few virgin shots were included in the film. The other scene that made me emotional was while shooting the scene where I am narrating how I lost my husband and why I am pretending to be a married woman and not a widow. I relate a lot to her character – independent and strong. She has so much pain inside her but wears a smile on her face for the world. I am so much like her,” she reminisces.
Pack-up on Social Media?
“After the Arjun Reddy-post incident, I have kept social media at bay. It is not that I am running away but I have a conscious choice to stay away because it is affecting my parents. The online trollers surely know I am not a coward, who is hiding away. In fact, I am twice stronger now,” she smiles with confidence.
Sri Reddy controversy:
“Women exploitation is prevalent everywhere. Because it is showbiz, there is too much focus on what is happening. I will not deny that casting couch exists in the industry, but what matters is how one handles it. Don’t give men the space to exploit you. Walk on the path you want to. Be ethical and moral in your own way. If there are thorns, it is your choice to either step on it and cross the bridge or intelligently escape,” she voices.
“Why didn’t you talk before it could happen to you? What is the point in talking about it after going through it? You are just scaring people who are ambitious to enter the industry. Stop it before it happens. There is no point in just stirring controversies and teasing people by saying, I will expose. Don’t come forward if you don’t want to disclose the names and proofs What is your motive? Casting couch is going to be there but how you deal with it matters. Escape or deal with it,” she adds to her above statement.
Secret mantra of work-life balance:
Their timings are erratic and work schedule hectic, like another working woman Anasuya says she balances it and her only pledge is to prioritisation aptly. “My family is, will and forever be my priority. I plan my schedule accordingly. I don’t work on weekends. I dedicate my time to my husband and kids,” says the doting mother.
TV or movies:
Pat comes the reply, “I love the camera! Be it TV or cinema or just your phone camera. It is too early for me judge my comfort level in movies because I am still taking my baby steps. With TV, I am more comfortable because I am myself and do not have to act like someone,” she informs.
— Purnima Sriram