Samantha: I am God's favourite child
Samantha is the most sought after actress in the Telugu film industry.
She was catapulted to the top with her very first film, Ye Maaya Chesaave with Naga Chaitanya, directed by Gautham Menon, which released in 2010. She has churned out hit after hit since then.
Her latest film is Manam, which features three generations of the Akkineni family.
Samantha talks about the film that is releasing today, May 23.
Did you agree to be a part of Manam immediately?
Normally, after hearing the story, I clarify doubts. I said okay to Manam after listening to the script.
You are working with Chaitanya for the third time (after Ye Maaya Chesaave and the unreleased Autonagar Surya). How is the chemistry between you?
We are friends. In my first film, I had heavy dialogues and I did it with fear.
Now the comfort level has increased. That we are friends will show on screen.
'ANR had a great sense of humour'
Can you talk about working with (the late) Akkineni Nageswara Rao (ANR)?
I do not have the capacity to talk about him. I met him when I did Ye Maaya Chesave. He was the first to compliment me at the success meet.
I normally do not take compliments seriously. However, if I feel insecure about my profession, I listen to his speech on YouTube. That was an important speech.
I liked him a lot. To work with him was awesome.
He didn’t give advice. He used to talk and laugh. He was chilled out.
Have you seen any of ANR’s movies?
I have not seen his movies but I have watched him in real life. It was a great experience. He had a great sense of humour.
'I need at least one performance-oriented film'
Will Manam be a turning point in your career?
Ye Maaya Chesaave had a performance-oriented role.
More than glamour, people will talk about my performance in Manam.
I need at least one performance-oriented film.
What’s your role like?
I play two characters. One is a mature mother called Krishna and the other role is that of Priya who is bubbly.
They were good roles and I enjoyed playing them.
Also I had an opportunity to work with senior actors like ANR garu and Nagarjuna garu.
How demanding was Vikram as a director?
Vikram is demanding. Gautham Menon and Rajamouli were also demanding, so I am used to it. I know it is for the best.
My comfort and strength is acting. When I am acting I am happy.
Image: Samantha and Nagarujna
'It was fun working with Shriya'
What would you like to say about Shriya?
She is a senior artiste. I have seen her films. She has done a great job and looks beautiful thanks to P S Vinod who has done a brilliant job with the visuals. It was fun working with her
What would you like to say about music composer Anoop Reubens?
I have been a fan of his ever since he composed for Autonagar Surya.
He is the king of melodies. I like all the songs.
Were there any learning lessons from ANR and others?
I love families. When they talked to each other, it was sweet and like any normal family. I give a lot of importance to the family.
'The plus point of Manam is that I have good role in it'
This film has three heroes. Isn’t your character overshadowed by them?
See the movie and then ask the question.
What is your best moment in the film?
My best moment is a scene in the car. There is a range of emotions -- from being normal, then crying, then breakdown.
As Vikram explained, I felt the emotions truly. That is truly special to me.
This is a landmark film as the Akkineni family is doing a film together. Do you consider yourself fortunate to do this film?
The plus point is that I had a good role and I worked with the family.
I worked opposite a legendary actor.
I always say I am God’s favourite child. Every year something good comes to me.
What does Manam have for the youth?
There is comedy, love and romance.