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Genelia: I will not give up South films

Last updated on: December 3, 2010 10:12 IST

'I will not give up South films'

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Radhika Rajamani in Hyderabad

Genelia D'Souza has been a constant in Telugu and Tamil cinema for the last few years. Some of her films like Bommarillu, Dhee, Ready, Santosh Subramanian and Mr Medhavi, Katha have all been well received.

Genelia's latest offering Orange where she teamed up with director Bhaskar for the second time, and actor Ram Charan Tej for the first time, released on November 26. 

Genelia, who is currently shooting for her Tamil film Velayudham with Vijay at Pollachi in the interiors of Tamil Nadu, spoke exclusively about Orange, Velayudham and the Malayalam film Urumi directed by Santosh Sivan. Excerpts:

Did you sign Orange because you had worked with Bhaskar before in Bommarillu?

Yeah. The film was done for Bhaskar, I believe in him. He does new things. He pushes us as an actor. I am grateful to Bhaskar. I trust people who are good in their job. His belief in the character is very strong.

The film had a youthful characterisation and an urban take on love. How did you relate to the character?

My character was relatable. I questioned myself about Charan's character because there is truth in it and the truth often hurts. Personally, I am a believer in long-term relationships.


Image: A scene from Orange

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'I am known for my spontaneity'

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You brought a lot of effervescence in the first half and seriousness in the second. Was this based on spontaneity? Charan told me you shocked him when 'roll camera' was uttered?

I think I forget myself when I am on camera. I think it's got to do with spontaneity and directors realise that. So they feed me the character sketch. I am known for my spontaneity and I hope it stays that way. I am a real person and was not born with a silver spoon; I rose from humble beginnings. I deal with real life. In the film world, you have to learn to switch on and off and interact with real people.

Was it easy playing Jaanu?

Honestly Jaanu had to be extremely natural. It was probably Genelia at 16. Now I've grown up. I had to go backwards. I thought about how any compliment from a boy was flattering at that age, how we didn't know what career to choose -- there was this confusion then. In fact I didn't know I would be an actor.

I had to understand Jaanu. Playing her was easy. I had a lot of time to discuss with Bhaskar about the character. In fact he would ask me, 'what did you do when you were 16?' So we drew from real life instances too.


Image: A scene from Orange

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'I am an adventurous person'

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How was it working with Ram Charan? He said he would love to do more movies with you...

I would also love to act with him again! He's a good actor. He doesn't come with baggage. He's a team player. I have worked with the family before -- Allu Arjun and Allu Arvind (who was the producer) and they are experienced. Even Charan used to talk about his father and one gets to learn from these experiences.

You did sky diving in Orange. Were you nervous?

It was awesome. It seems Bhaskar told the producer Naga Babu that my girl will do skydiving. Naga Babu said girls don't do such things but Bhaskar said I would and I did. I loved doing it. I am an adventurous person. My mom was crying and the unit people were scared. But I was cool with it. The professionals told me I did it professionally.

 


Image: A scene from Orange

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'The Malayalam film Urumi is one of the few films where I don't smile'

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Have you signed any new Telugu project?

Not right now. I'll probably do so early next year. Since I've to work in five languages my dates are choc a bloc now.

You are acting in the Malayalam film Urumi directed by Santosh Sivan. It's a period film and you are playing a historical character. How was the experience?

It was amazing. It's one of the few films where I don't smile. I am not coy; I have this stern look as I am a warrior princess and therefore have this aura around me. It is a true story of Aisha Arakkal. It has been an enriching experience doing the film.

Santosh Sivan has set international standards and wants to take it to the film festivals. Every actor in the film is competent. I have pushed myself as an actor. It's not a typical film, it's a different ball game altogether.

You are now shooting for Velayudham with Vijay and Hansika. Could you talk about it? Is it the remake of Main Azad Hoon?

I am playing a different character in Velayayudham. I am honoured to play the role essayed by Shabana Azmi (Main Azaad Hoon) and by the late Soundarya (Azad). There's a sweet edge to the character I play. She's a reporter who knows her job. Velayudham is not a remake but has a similar plot.

So you are shooting in the interiors of Tamil Nadu. How do you like it?

Yes, we are shooting in villages in Pollachi. I love shooting in the interiors of Tamil Nadu as I also shot Uthamputhiran there. The crowds are alarming but they are nice. All they want is to say 'hi'.

How are Vijay and Hansika?

Vijay is a fantastic human being. He's very quiet and supportive. We've worked together in Sachein before. Hansika is new but she's fine. We are all having a blast.


Image: A scene from Orange

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'I am looking out for good work'

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What's the status of It's My Life (a Hindi remake of the Telugu hit Bommarillu) directed by Anees Bazmee and starring Harman Baweja?

The shoot is over. I've finished quite a bit of dubbing. Since there are too many releases in Hindi, it will be released next year.

Have you signed any other Hindi films?

I am doing the remake of Kaakha Kaakha with John Abraham to be directed by Nishikanth Kamath. I loved Jyothika in the film and hope to be a patch on her.

Life has been hectic for you. How do you juggle films and ads?

It's been a mad time; the last two years have been hectic. I will not give up the South. Every region in the South has a different culture. So it's a tough run but I am proud that I have been able to do it. I will continue do films as long as they excite me. I am looking out for good work. It should have a fair mix of both meaningful and commercial cinema.


Image: A scene from Orange

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