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Why Sameera loves acting in Tamil films

Last updated on: February 16, 2011 14:17 IST

Why Sameera loves acting in Tamil films

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Shobha Warrier in Chennai

After wowing the Tamil audience as Meghna, the love interest of Suriya in Gautham Vaudev Menon's National Award-winning film Vaaranam Aayiram, Sameera Reddy is back (after Asal) with Menon's thriller Nadunisai Naigal (Midnight Dogs).

She is paired opposite Veera, Menon's assistant. The story of this song-less film takes place in one night. The film releases this Friday.

Shobha Warrier finds out more.

What was your initial reaction when Gautham Menon told you the story of Nadunisai Naigal?

What he told me first was a one line story of the film. He said that it was an edge of the seat thriller where the story happens in one night. I'm supposed to be on a date with my boyfriend when the most unexpected things happen. Menon told me that he would take me to places I cannot even imagine.

Were you hooked?

Yes. He also told me some of the things that would happen to me which I cannot divulge now. I had goose pimples on hearing them. He asked me if I was okay with no songs in the film. I told him that if he was okay, then I'm fine with it too.


Image: Sameera Reddy

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'The entire film was shot at night!'

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Are you always ready to experiment?

Always.

Is this one of those experimental films for you?

I don't think so. These days there are many Tamil films that are commercially viable but different. I don't look at this film as experimental. It's a film that people will enjoy watching. I feel this will be one of those films that will have an impact on the viewers.

How was the experience of shooting for Nadunisai Naigal?

It was an excruciating experience in the sense that the entire film was shot at night! I am not a night person. I eat my dinner early and go to bed by 11pm.

The shooting of Nadunisai Naigal started at 7 in the evening and ended by 4 in the morning. Physically too, it was a very demanding film as I have a lot of action scenes. I had to run, roll in the mud and was chased by dogs. It was not an easy film to shoot.


Image: A scene from Nadunisai Naigal

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'Veera turned out to be such a hard working actor'

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What was your reaction when you were told that an assistant of Gautham Menon would be the male lead in Nadunisai Naigal?

I knew Veera as the assistant of Gautham for Vaaranam Aayiram. I have bullied him, and he has bullied me in turn. Gautham is a visionary, and if he wants Veera as the male lead, there must be a reason to it.

Veera turned out to be such a hard working actor. He was very humble too and never had that I-know-everything attitude. Everybody has to start from somewhere. I was also a newcomer once.

How was working with him as the male lead different from working with him when he was an assistant director?

Initially everybody was ragging him. But once he started gaining everyone's respect through his performance, I saw a marked change in the others' attitude. From commands like, 'Veera do this', 'do that..' they started respecting him as the male lead. It's like a star was born by the time the film was over!


Image: A scene from Nadunisai Naigal

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'Gautham is a fantastic actor'

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On the whole, how much did you enjoy being directed by Gautham Menon?

I have strong connection with a few of my directors like Buddhadev Dasgupta, Priyadarshan and Gautham Menon. These directors know what I can deliver and I know what they want. I share such a strong bond with Gautham that he has to only tell me once what he wants, and I can deliver.

From Vaaranam Aayiram to Nadunisai Naigal, has he changed?

He has not changed a bit; he is still the same calm, cool, composed person. He is very sure about what he wants. The great thing about him as a director is, he visualises what an actor can bring to the scene. Some directors say, I want exactly this but it doesn't work that way. On the other hand, Gautham lets you explore your true potential.

He is said to be a good actor too...

He is a fantastic actor. Sometimes, when I saw him enact scenes for Veera, I was worried whether Veera could bring out the same effect on screen! While showing Veera how to play as a psycho, Gautham would do it so well that he would really scare me.

You feel as if you are part of a family in Gautham's set which I never felt in any other set. That is why I enjoy working with him.


Image: Sameera Reddy

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'I enjoyed putting up a fight'

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When you look back, what do you still remember about the 40 days of shooting Nadunisai Naigal?

Lots of mosquitoes, falling asleep, endless cups of coffee, pongal, lots of blood...

But one thing I cannot forget is the scene where Veera tries to cut off my hair with a blade. I love my hair so much that I was worried that Veera might really cut it off. Gautham assured me that nothing will happen. But still, I was scared. When the blade came close to my scalp, I screamed.

What did you like about your character in the film?

I play Sukanya, a simple college girl whose strength emerges when she gets trapped in a grave situation. She fights like a tigress when she's cornered, and that is what I like about the character. I enjoyed putting up a fight.


Image: Sameera Reddy

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'The most difficult role was the one in Race'

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You have acted in a Buddhadev Dasgupta film and Gautham Menon film. You're also acting in a Prabhu Deva film as well as Priyadarshan's project. How different are the experiences of acting in these films?

As each director is different, so are the experiences. Every director has his own style. Buddhda's film is very different from the films of all the other directors. His films are so subtle. Once you are on the set, your body language changes to suit the style of the director.

I love acting in Tamil films because I get a lot of love -- pure love -- from the Tamil audience. I want to work harder for them. 

Which was the most difficult, challenging and satisfying role you have done so far?

The most difficult role was the one in Race. I had to act like a stupid woman. It was so difficult to leave behind your brains and act stupid.

The most challenging was the roles I did for Buddhadev Dasgupta.

And the most satisfying was my role in Vaaranam Aayiram. I don't see any of my films more than once but I have seen Vaaranam Aayiram eight times. Every time I see the film, I enjoy it more and more.


Image: Sameera Reddy

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