'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai changed my life'
The first film of Soundarya, daughter of Jayamala, popular Kannada actress of yesteryear, was released last Friday. Soundarya plays the female lead in the Kannada film Godfather that also stars Upendra in a triple role.
Soundarya's maiden performance has been praised. Godfather has received an excellent response at the box-office and is deemed a perfect debut vehicle for Soundarya.
Soundarya finished college and then took acting lessons at the Roshan Taneja Acting School in Mumbai before venturing into films.
In this interview with Srikanth Srinivasa, Soundarya talks about her debut, her dreams and her motivation to get into movies.
How did the shoots for the film Godfather go?
I used to feel very tired after slogging in the dance sequences where I had to dance with heels.
I used to finish the day with fever. But, I used to look forward to the next day's shoot.
Image: Soundarya and Upendra
'I was always ridiculing my mother about films'
You weren't very interested in getting into movies and your mother kept you away from film-related functions. So, how did this change happen?
Yes. I was always ridiculing my mother about films and was not interested even a wee bit in movies or acting during my school days.
I wondered why an actor should take home so much money for what he or she does on screen. I thought all that an actor did is put on makeup, stand before the camera and say a few lines, and that's about it.
Only when I started acting did I realise that every penny that an actor takes home is worth it because she or he literally gives his blood, sweat and tears in every role.
I also think that it's good that I get to dress well and look good every day!
Which was the truly inspirational film that changed you?
I should say Kuch Kuch Hota Hain changed my life.
I was impressed with Kajol's performance. I began to copy her and enact scenes in front of the mirror.
Given that Godfather is a remake, what is the preparation you made after you accepted the offer?
Although I saw the original, I worked on being different in the movie. The character I play has a lot of similarities to my real persona although I am not so naughty. I am myself so bubbly at heart and like the girl-next-door.
Image: Sondarya and Upendra
'Mr Premikudu did not happen because of some production problem'
How was it working with Upendra in your first film?
I consider myself very lucky to have worked with him in my first film.
Initially, I was very apprehensive and scared because of his larger-than-life image. But off-screen he came across as a very normal person.
On the sets, he used to give me a lot of tips on acting, grooming and my looks. I should say that he has helped me enhance my performance.
What went wrong with your much-hyped Telugu debut film Mr Premikudu ?
Mr Premikudu did not happen because of some production problem.
I had accepted the offer because I had not got a single Kannada film offer until then. I don't regret that the film didn't take off now that I have got this opportunity.
Why did it take you so long to get this offer after Mr Premikudu ?
There was a lot of confusion in my life. I wanted to study abroad before getting into films. I had firmed up my plans to join the New York Film Institute for a six-month acting course.
The Telugu offer that came to me put an end to my plans and I decided not to go to New York. But, yes, I am still interested in taking a break for six months to pursue this course.
What have you learnt from your mother?
Whatever be the situation, my mother is so calm, composed and relaxed and that is quite a thing to achieve.
Image: Upendra and Soundarya