In an industry where fans wait months or even years to see their favourite superstar on-screen, actress Samantha Ruth Prabhu has gone been working at a breakneck speed and has four releases in the Summer alone, and three more to follow soon after. You take any big film that you may want to watch this summer and Samantha is bound to be a part of it. Take for instance Suriya's 24, which hit screens last Friday, or the upcoming Brahmotsavam with Mahesh Babu or even Trivikram's A..AA -- Samantha is having one big summer party, and the fans aren't complaining.
"I never planned for the summer to be this way. It was a mixture of luck and opportunities coming my way, that made it happen. It's impossible to plan for something like this well ahead in advance, but luckily for me all the films are different from each other. For instance, my Tamil film Theri with Vijay was a complete mass entertainer, while 24 is a classy, intelligent film," says Samantha.
24 made new inroads in the sci-fi genre, a subject which is almost alien to the Telugu audience. The film has opened to full houses across the south, but Samantha admits that she was initally a bit apprehensive about the film.
"Vikram Kumar (director) is a genius and I knew 24 had come out well. But considering it's an unconventional film, I wasn't 100 per cent sure about how the film will be received by the audience. It reminded me of Eega, which was a fabulous film but something very new. For films like these, if they click, they become blockbusters but they can also fade away into oblivion. So there's always this risk factor involved," the actress explains.
After featuring in outright mass films like Alludu Seenu and Rabhasa, Samantha was extremely vocal about the lack of scope for women in Telugu cinema. Inspite of her recent signing spree, the actress insists that she will not be a part of films where there is no scope for her to shine.
"I'm not averse to doing mass films. Theri was a mass film but my role still had importance. There are a lot of mass films with no character, which I will not do. I need that importance even in a mass film. If there is any film that has scope for women in south India, I will put my hand up," Samantha says, firmly.
The actress has been working continuously for the past eight months and she says her hectic schedule was at times too much to handle.
Sharing one instance, the actress says, "Two months back I was shooting for Brahmotsavam and I had to come back from Pune to Chennai and I reached at 1 am and I had 24 promotions in Chennai the next morning. I reached my hotel at 2 am and just before I reached, I was all alone in the car and I just started crying. The exhaustion was just too much to take."
"For the past eight months, I have worked non-stop for every single day. It wasn't the regular 9-6 shifts either, there were days where I was working from 9 am to 9 pm.
At one point I would just break down and start crying uncontrollably. It was a difficult period for my family and friends too, because I would vent all my frustrations onto them. I realised that I will take things slowly from now on, and I'm not going to sign films rashly," she shares.
Up next, Samantha will be seen opposite Mahesh Babu in Brahmotsavam, a film which also features Kajal Aggarwal and Pranitha Subhash in important roles.
"Even though it is a multi-starrer, the importance of my character will be there for all to see. In fact, my character will move the film forward. I'm also excited about A..AA. It's my first attempt at comedy so I'm looking forward to see how the audience responds to my role," she smiles.
In a film directed by Trivikram, Samantha enjoys ample screen time in A..AA, which could well be her best film this summer.
"Trivikram made this film strictly based on the story. There were no stars involved on any other factors. People have said that it looks like a women-centric film but that's only because both actor and actress have equal screen-space. The audience is so used to seeing mass films, where women have limited scope, that when there is an instance where both men and women have equal screen time, it appears women-centric," she points out.
With a comic role also off her checklist, will we see Samantha in a dark role anytime soon?
"Well I had done one in Tamil. I'm not sure if the Telugu audience will accept me in a dark role but I'm certainly open to it. In fact, I will soon be seen in the Telugu remake of Kannada film U Turn, which is a mystery thriller," she adds.
Finally when asked if she enjoyed being single, Samantha breaks the hearts of thousands of her male fans. "Who says I'm single?," she quips with a smile.