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'Ram Gopal Varma is a chilled out guy'

Last updated on: February 16, 2011 10:39 IST

'Ram Gopal Varma is a chilled out guy'

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Radhika Rajamani in Hyderabad

Swati has been doing meaningful Telugu films like Ashta Chamma, Kalavaramaye Madilo and the recent Golconda High School.

After her short and sweet role in Golconda High School, Swati is ready with Katha, Screenplay, Darshakatvam and KSD Appalraju.

KSD Appalraju directed by Ram Gopal Varma is expected to hit theatres this Friday.

In this exclusive interview, Swati talks about the film, acting under Ram Gopal Varma, and her other Telugu and Tamil projects. 

Did you sign up KSD Appalraju because of Ram Gopal Varma?

Yes, of course. It's not often that an actor gets an opportunity to work with a director like Ram Gopal Varma. Every field has its specialists. Undeniably Ram Gopal Varma is one of them, controversies apart.

Of course, the script too is important. If I did not related to what he narrated, I wouldn't have done it.

What attracted you about the film?

The anguish that Appalraju goes through is real. It is not a sad film. It's reality mixed with humour. I felt I had to do it. The scenes narrated to me were realistic.


Image: Swati

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'All the veteran comedians are there in the film'

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You are paired opposite Sunil who is back to doing hero-oriented movies after Maryada Ramanna...

I am not paired opposite him. We share a special unnamed relationship in the film. I play an assistant director (AD), while he is the director. It's neither a boss-assistant relationship nor a romantic one. It's a cute relationship. My character is supportive, and gives him advice when he's wavering or in doubt.

How was your vibe with him?

It was a beautiful, nice relationship. It was a refreshing team and the atmosphere was healthy too. All the veteran comedians are there in the film. Sunil is fiercely hungry to get everything right. He works out, diets, looks into his costumes and detailing. He has energy and enthusiasm, and is child-like. I feel fortunate to be working with him.

Image: Swati

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'Ram Gopal Varma has no ego'

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Did you have to prepare for the role or did you act spontaneously as you would have been observing many ADs on the sets?

It just came naturally. I tend to become friends with my ADs. I am still in touch with the AD of the first film Danger. I normally discuss things with them. I know the struggles they go through as an AD; they have to listen to the director, actor, choreographer, editor etc. They have to stay overnight at the studio or editing room. So there was no need to do any homework.

Ram Gopal Varma would say a line a certain way and leave me to do what I wanted. He would get out what he required. He was open to discussion. He would listen to you and if it was justified, would take it up. He has no ego. I respect the relationship I shared with him as an actor.

Like you said, there are so many comedians in the film. Was it a laugh riot on the sets?

There were a band of comedians like Brahmanandam, Ali, Venu Madhav, Raghu Babu, Suman Shetty who were happy to converse with me in Telugu. We had a blast on the sets. In between shots,  they would do something unexpected and we would break into laughter. It was a lot of fun.


Image: Swati

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'I had to match Sunil's steps as he's a fantastic dancer'

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Since there are so many comedians in the film, how was the sense of timing developed between all of you?

I had most of the scenes with Sunil and only a few with the others. They were all masters and one had to be alert. They are veterans yet, they were enthusiastic. It might be due to Ram Gopal Varma. They all behaved as though it was their third film.

Going by the stills, you seem to have worn some glamorous clothes. Were you comfortable in them and working in a commercial film?

I enjoyed doing the film. I knew we were making a commercial film. I was comfortable doing what I did. It was harmless and not glamourous. Ram Gopal Varma made me sing and dance. I sang a song too, my first song with Sriram Chandra. He made me dance which none of my directors have done. I had to match Sunil's steps as he's a fantastic dancer. But it was all fun.

How was it working with Ram Gopal Varma?

It was fun. He is a spontaneous director who would change things suddenly. Ram Gopal Varma is a good performer too and can modulate his voice and imitate people. He's a talented person and a chilled out guy. He always thinks of cinema; for him everything is cinema. He is most passionate about cinema.


Image: A scene from KSD Appalraju

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'I did not lose weight for KSD Appalraju'

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Is KSD Appalraju about the travails of a filmmaker?

Yes.

Were your clothes designed by your mother?

No. She only did my scenes because the there was only one designer for the whole film. 

You seem to have lost weight. Did you lose weight deliberately for the role?

No, it was not for the role. Since I was at home, I was careful and regular with my exercise.

Were you happy with the response to Golconda High School?

Yes, of course. It was a different film. Only Art Beat Capital could do it. I am proud of the film and the entire unit too.


Image: A scene from KSD Appalraju

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'I will be acting with Sasi in a film directed by Samuthirakani'

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You are acting in Ram's Kandireega?

I'm doing more of a special appearance. Again, it was fun to do it. I still have a part of the shoot left.

What's happening to your Tamil film with Vikram being directed by Selvaraghavan?

I don't know what's happening. We finished one schedule in Ladakh. If they call me and if I am free, I'll go to shoot again.

Are you working on any Tamil film?

I will be acting with Sasi in a film directed by Samuthirakani. The shoot will commence in summer.


Image: A scene from KSD Appalraju

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