'I am tired of playing a naive girl'
"The phone hasn't stopped ringing," says a happy Swati after the success of her Telugu film Swamy Ra Ra, which released last month.
The film stars Nikhil and Swati in the main leads and is directed by newcomer Sudheer Varma. The film has been critically acclaimed and is doing well in India and the United States of America.
In this interview with Radhika Rajamani, Swati talks about the film and her part in it.
Was it the fact that Swamy Ra Ra was a crime comedy and a new genre for you that made you sign the film? Or was it the narration by Sudheer Varma?
It was a mix of both. Sudheer and lyricist Krishna Chaitanya came home to narrate the story. It was a new genre for me. I also heard some tunes. Chaitanya set some lyrics and I found they had meaning.
What didn't appeal was that I played a naive girl. I was tired of such roles. But I wanted to be a part of the film. So I looked at the bigger picture going by past experience.I was told the filmmaking would be different. Sudheer told me I had to look pretty and wear colourful outfits. I got a good name as an artiste. I am a middle class girl and I needed to look the best. I wanted to be associated with a good technical team.
Image: A scene from Swany Ra Ra
'People criticised me for being choosy'
You are doing a film after quite some time...
Absolutely. I didn't get much work post-Ashta Chamma and people criticised me for being choosy. I was flooded with compliments and love, but not offers.
After KSD Appalraju, I was offered the same roles I had done before. I had to wait. I get little work and I try to choose from that. I was on the radar of young filmmakers but not of the big directors.
You play a bubbly girl and you played the part with ease. Was it difficult to do the scenes where you were kidnapped, tied and couldn't speak?
Those scenes were easy to do. What was less exciting was the bubbliness. I don't think I'm like that now. I wanted to look naive and innocent. A million things can put you off. One has to be very aware of what one is doing.
It was challenging to look innocent and not stupid. The character was so naive that she believes Surya (played by Nikhil) is a software engineer till the end, when he's not.
You play a journalist but you are hardly shown doing anything connected to journalism. Did you shoot such scenes which were deleted later?
We never shot any such scenes. Swati (her character in the film) could have been anything.
In fact, the director wanted her to be a doctor but I argued that I'll not be a medico as a medico will not have the time to talk on the phone as the character does. I suggested she should be a B.Com or a Mass Com student, and that was agreed upon.
The hero of the story is the main idol.
Image: A scene from Swany Ra Ra
'I am doing Bangaru Kodipeta which is a hatke, tangy film'
Nikhil said you went all out for the film. You even jumped from the first floor of a building...
It wasn't bad. It was fun. After I jumped, I asked if the director wanted another take. Everyone told me I'd taken enough of a risk!
How was Nikhil as a co-star?
I never met Nikhil before. I saw him on location. We belong to the same age group and that was a bonus. We did our jobs. As co-stars, we wouldn't giggle or chatter. We focused on acting.
Now that the film is doing well, are you happy to have been part of this film?
Yes, I am very happy. I'm happy for Nikhil, Sudheer, Richard (the cinematographer). People are coming to watch the film. The number of prints also has been increased
What are your future plans?
I am doing Bangaru Kodipeta -- a hatke, tangy film. I have a few more days of work left for it.
Image: A scene from Swamy Ra Ra