'Films are just a dream'

Notwithstanding mixed response to her latest film Mirchi, actress Anushka Shetty says she’s happy to be a part of a rom-com after a long time.

Notwithstanding mixed response to her latest film Mirchi, actress Anushka Shetty says she’s happy to be a part of a rom-com after a long time. “I don’t think I have done comedy in Telugu. Mirchi was a first for me to venture into that genre,” begins the actress as she gets comfortable in her office, donning a bright orange kurta.

Anushka began her Tollywood career with the film Super (2005) opposite Nagarjuna, and there has been no looking back for the actress since then. But, her big break was in 2009 with the film Arundhati, which garnered a lot of appreciation for her acting skills and ability to carry a film on her shoulders. Post-Arundhati, Anushka was offered a number of roles in women-centric films. But she didn’t take them up because, she says her favourite genre is a “good script and not a woman-centric script”. But, when director Gunasekhar asked her to play the protagonist in India’s first historical stereoscopic 3D film, Rudramadevi, the actress simply couldn’t say no. “Initially, I was apprehensive if I would be able to carry off the character. But, when the script was narrated to me, I couldn’t stop myself from saying yes,” she smiles.

Currently busy training for her upcoming films Rudramadevi and Bahubali, Anushka spares some time to have a quick chat with City Express.

All about Rudramadevi

Anushka is excited and nervous about Rudramadevi. “It is a historical drama — something I have never done before. Apart from that, there’s a lot of pressure to be able to recreate history and the story of Rudramadevi. And, we will try our best to do so,” says the actress, who is busy researching about the character.

“I am not researching independently. A lot of websites have contridictory information. So, I am sticking to the material that the director (Gunsekhar) has provided me with. It is a lot of information. In school I had only touched the topic, but for this film, an indepth research is being done.”

Anushka is also spending a good amount of time everyday learning to wield the sword and ride a horse. “She was a warrior and was adept at those skills. But, I have learnt it all in a span of two months,” adds a nervous Anushka.

Cinema is larger than life

Anushka believes that cinema is larger than life and is supposed to be over-the-top and dramatic. “That’s how cinema is different from reality and that’s why it is called cinema,” she asserts, adding, “I would go to watch a film if it’s fairytale-like. We are here to make films, not reality. It’s like a dream.”

And, with everyone blaming films and the portrayal of women for the increased crime rate across the country, what does the actress have to say? “Well, if cinema shows crime or “item numbers”, it also shows romance, happy families and values. So, if people want to learn from films — they should learn the good. Why take the bad and blame the film industry for it?” she questions.

What’s an item number?

“I don’t understand the term item number,” says the actress, who did an item number in the film Stalin, adding, “I would call it a situational song. Not an item number.” She believes Indian films are known for their music and songs and all of them are situational. “As long as songs are picturised with an aesthetic sense, I think it’s alright. When they show a gathering of men in a village, and women dancing, it’s fine, because that’s how it is. It should be aesthetically done,” she stresses.

Casting couch in Tollywood

“When I was going to enter Tollywood, a lot of people had warned me about the casting couch,” recalls the actress, adding, “But, fortunately, I have been in this industry for over seven years and have never come across something of that sort.” She believes that maybe she’s been lucky to have never faced any hurdle in her filmy career. “I don’t say that casting couch doesn’t exist. I am just saying that I haven’t come across it.”

Wedding bells?

“Things like wedding can’t really be planned. It will happen when it has to happen,” says Anushka, adding that she will inform everyone when she’s getting hitched. “So, when the time is right, I will think about marriage and tell my parents about it. And, I will announce it to everyone, because it’s nothing to be ashamed of!” she signs off.

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The New Indian Express