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'I have never tasted coffee or tea'

August 14, 2014 15:43 IST

'I have never tasted coffee or tea'

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Srikanth Srinivasa/Rediff.com in Bangalore

'Being a North Indian, all South Indian languages sound different to me. I found Kannada to be the easiest to learn because it is not a tongue twister,' Archana Gupta tells Srikanth Srinivasa.

Model-turned-actress Archana Gupta had two Malayalam releases this year -- Kaanchi and Hangover. Her fifth film, the Kannada release Aryan, released recently.

The Agra-born and bred actor was pitted opposite Shivarajkumar and Ramya in Aryan. The film had an average opening and mixed reviews. She played an athlete in the film.

She began her career with the Telugu film Andamaina Manasulo that won the prestigious Nandi Award for the best story from the Government of Andhra Pradesh.

In her next, the Hindi art film Saancha, she played an unglamorous girl born into a poor family. Another Hindi film was Queens Destiny of Dance that featured real-life eunuchs.

Among the commercials she has done is one with national cricket skipper M S Dhoni, for a Hindi newspaper.

Archana is awaiting the release of her Malayalam film Rasputin and Tamil film Iruvar Ullam.

She also has a role in a Russian film titled Rajavaska and the English film Desires of the Heart, both being shot in India.

Archana Gupta talks to Srikanth Srinivasa about her acting career, co-stars, and her foreign films.

What was it like working with Shivarajkumar and Ramya?

It was superb. When I signed the film and came to know that the king and queen (of Kannada cinema) were acting in the movie, I was a bit nervous.

But I was comfortable working with them. I never felt that I was working with big stars.

Shivarajkumar is easygoing and supportive. I had worked with him in a jewellery advertisement last year. I thought Ramya would have a lot of attitude, but she was very caring and was a queen from the heart.

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Image: Archana Gupta
Photographs: Pravin Talan

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'I am blessed with a flexible body because of yoga'

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Srikanth Srinivasa/Rediff.com in Bangalore

Were there any changes after Gurudutt took the directorial baton following the death of veteran D Rajendra Babu?

I didn’t find any difference because Shivanna (Shivarajkumar) was so involved in the film.

I hadn’t shot with the earlier director except for the first two days. It was a smooth transition.

How did you prepare for the role?

I am not an athlete or a regular runner but I am energetic and like to do sporty things like bungee jumping.

I am particular about food. I don’t eat fast food and junk food, by choice. I don’t eat ice cream and I have never tasted coffee or tea.

I run on the treadmill and practise yoga. I am blessed with a flexible body because of yoga and meditation that I practise daily. I don’t take stress at all.

Did you like working in Malayalam films? You signed three last year.

The language was not as tough as people make it out to be. Being a North Indian, all South Indian languages sound different to me. I found Kannada to be the easiest to learn because it is not a tongue twister.

Malayalam sounds difficult but has a Sanskrit base. I had studied Sanskrit in school. I managed to do well with the support of the team.

 

 


Image: Archana Gupta
Photographs: Pravin Talan

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'I was advised to go slow after my debut in Telugu'

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Srikanth Srinivasa/Rediff.com in Bangalore

Why didn’t you do any Telugu films after your debut?

I was advised to go slow after my debut in Telugu. I did a Hindi film that required me to lose a lot of weight.

I played a 16-year-old brick factory worker in Saanchi for which I had to look like a school girl. So I couldn’t do any other film.

As I started gaining weight I got my first Kannada film offer, Circus, opposite Ganesh. I was so slim that the director, Dayal, urged me to gain weight. I told him if he kept pressurising me to gain weight I would lose weight!

Then I did a Tamil film with Arjun Sarja, a Kannada film, Lift Kodla with Jaggesh, and two other Kannada films, Karthik and Achchu Mechchu.

What was it like working in foreign films?

The experience of working in the Russian film was amazing. The film was shot in Goa.

I play an Indian girl who falls in love with a Russian guy. There are funny moments when I teach the guy English.

The crew was patient and easy going. There was no workload.

The English film, Desires of the Heart, was shot in Bikaner, Rajasthan. It’s about sati. I play a girl who commits sati.

My husband is reborn in Los Angeles and my soul chases him. It was like a typical Indian film story.

Both films are expected to release this year.


Image: Archan Gupta


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