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Interview with Anushka
Date: January 6, 2009, Hyderabad

Anushka - one of the most successful and happening actresses of Telugu cinema – has done the title of role a female oriented film ‘Arundhathi’. This film is a thriller with extravagant production values. Arundhati is all set to release on 14 January 2009. met this ever-smiling and amicable actress Anushka for an exclusive interview. Here are the excerpts -

Tell us about Arundhati?
Arundhati is a vengeance drama. The story starts in 1920’s in Gadwal Samsthanam. Jejamma faces a problem and she is killed. That problem is carried on to later generations. It is faced by Arundhati who is born in the current generation of the same lineage. This film is about how Arundhati fights back and solves the problem. I am doing both the roles of Jejamma and Arundhati.

Tell us about the difference between these two characters and how you portrayed them?
If you look at village scenario, it is always woman in any house who stands up during the crisis and solves it. Women exhibit lots of strength during crisis time. Jejamma is such kind of lady who takes over the mantle of responsibility from her father. The entire Jejamma episode is narrated in flashbacks. And it consists of 30% of the movie.

Aundhati is a today’s girl who is modern and tender. But she also possesses the same strength to stand up and fight in the times of crisis.

Regarding the portrayal, I just followed the instructions of Kodi Rama Krishna. He is an expert at it. Jejamma character has heavy costumes and royal look. Hence the sets and costumes and body language portray the splendor of Jejamma character from a long shot. The make-up and jewelry made a lot of difference to Jejamma character from a close-up.

Who designed costumes for you?
Deepa Joshi designed my costumes for Lakshyam and Don films. She designed costumes for this film as well. She did a lot of home work and brought Jejamma character the majestic look with appropriate costumes. She made sure that there is strong royal touch to the Jejamma character and subtleness to Arundhati character with her designs.

Tell us about the drum dance in the film?
This song took us around 45 days to shoot. This song integrates the scenes of Pasupathi (played by Sonu Sood) entering Gadwal to the story. There are instrumentation bits in the song. There are some dialogues too. It is like a vital scene narrated in aesthetic style using music and dance. It took so much time because there are lots of graphics involved for this song and the choreographer Shiva Shankar had to coordinate with the graphics team to get the exact precision. There are many set changes in the song. The director went into detailing to make sure that the song is effective.

Is there so much coordination between the shoot and graphics?
Yes. Rahul and others from FireFly were involved in this project since the time of conceptualization. Hence there is seamless integration of graphics in the script work. They know the detailing and helped us by being present at shooting spot for the shots that required graphics work.

Tell us about the music?
Koti scored music. He has done an amazing job. There will be three songs in this film. And there is character to each song in this film. Music will be launched on 10 January.

Tell us about Sonu Sood?
Sonu Sood has done a brilliant job. Though his screen presence is less, his voice will act as a character that is present throughout the film. The other character that acts as a bridge between the past and the present is one played by veteran actress Manorama.

Tell us about the producer Shyam Prasad Reddy?
I have a high respect and higher regards to him as a producer. People used to say that Shyam is a passionate producer. And I feel that it is an understatement. He is so clear about what he wants and he gets it to the precision level of 99.9%.

I would like to narrate an incident that shows his commitment level. The set was ready and three designers were summoned to do costumes for Jejamma character. It cost around 4 lacs for the costumes. He asked me to wear them and stand in the set. Immediately he said that it’s not working and asked them scrap the costumes. Any other producer would have hesitated to trash a 4 lac worth costume. He asked me to find another designer and we roped Deepa in.

How many days did you work for Arundhati?
Around 150 days.

Was it stressful?
It was stressful physically. But on the psychological level, we were extremely charged up all the time. It was like making a magnum opus. All of us believed that the movie is bigger than individuals. Each and every individual shown 100% commitment and contributed their might. Everybody was focused. There are two guys from Art department (Venkatesh and Krishna) who surprised me with this willingness to go for an extra mile. They used to work for 24 hours and were still willing to do more. There is another guy called Kunkuma Raju who took care of continuity. He is so obsessed with his work that he makes sure that even a strand of hair is perfectly arranged to make sure of continuity.

What is your gut feel on the film?
I am feeling very positive about the film. I saw the rushes in monitor when the shot was complete at shooting location. I have not seen the final product yet. People might think that it is a horror film. Arundhati is not a horror film. It is a thriller film with every emotion evenly incorporated in it. It has high emotions.

This is your first female oriented film? Will your story selection criteria change after this film’s release?
I was only 3 films old when I accepted this film. Working for Arundhati is like going to school for me. Arundhati film helped me to grow as an actress. I would like to balance my future projects by doing both masala characters and author backed roles.

What are the other projects you are doing at present?
I am doing Billa with Prabhas. The shooting has been continuously going on in Malaysia since November 2008. I signed Tamil remake of Vikramarkudu with Karthik as hero. I am doing another Tamil film with Vijay as hero.

Are you settled in Hyderabad?
Yes. I am a proper Hyderabadi now. I celebrated my new year here. My parents visited me for New Year.

more interviews of Anushka
Anushka 1st net interview
Anushka 2nd interview


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