Samantha has been maintaining the top slot in tinsel town for more than eight years now. Along the way, she has also proved that marriage is not a barrier for actresses. Her Rangasthalam, which was released after her wedding, is a blockbuster and she has three more films in her kitty.
Attired in a beige ensemble with a new hairstyle for her upcoming film U Turn, the pretty actress, who is in Chennai to promote Irumbu Thirai in which she teams up with Vishal, speaks to DC in an exclusive.
Excerpts from the interview
On Irumbu Thirai where she essays Dr. Rathi Devi, a psychologist, she says, “It is not the routine chirpy, bubbly, cute heroine you see in every other film. She is calm, composed and subtle and she is very real character. I feel many of her traits match my own qualities (smiles). Hardly have I done films with debutants. But newcomer director Mithran narrated the subject of UT with the kind of conviction and confidence that showed how much his heart was in the subject. I was convinced and I gave my nod instantly. Besides, Irumbu…. is a very important film for the society which needs to be told at this point of time .”
Vishal is totally a brat, says Sam about her co-star. “I have shared screen space with the likes of Suriya and Vijay and the relationship was like whenever I addressed them I used to say ‘Sir’. But on the sets of Irumbu Thirai, I felt it was just the opposite. Vishal’s energy levels are amazingly high and at times I felt he was younger to me (laughs).”
The Theri actress feels elated in having made a mark after her marriage with Naga Chaitanya. She has earned high praise for her role as a strong willed village belle. “Yes, I am very happy. I know how big a task it is to break the mental block that married women cannot continue to play the lead. At least, I have laid the foundation for future heroines!” However, she admits, “I do want to have a family and spend time with them. But, I want to choose the best of roles that would suit me, which is not necessarily the lead ones, and I would like to continue my stint in films.”
Clarifying on the kissing scene in Rangasthalam, she said, “It is just a peck on the cheek and not a lip-lock. I know people were abusing as how I can do such scenes after my marriage. If married superstars do the same, will they ask such questions? Why me — because I am female? Moreover, my family is supportive, especially my father-in-law who phoo-phooed the detractors and hence I am working comfortably on the sets.”
Talking about posting ultra-glam hot pictures on her Instagram and being trolled by netizens, she gives a trenchant reply. “ I know I would be trolled for posting a picture in a swimsuit on the beach, but do you expect me to wear a saree on the beach? I don’t post them to get attention! But who tells me what pictures I should post? Just because I am a married person, they troll me. No one needs to tell me as to how I should conduct my life. I don’t want to be scared. I don’t want to fall in that trap!”
Coming to the issue of ‘casting couch’, quite the hot topic in the Telugu industry, she says, “Not only in films, casting couch is there in every industry. I can’t comment about each and everyone’s virtue or qualities. There will be a few black sheep. But I am working in Tamil and Telugu industry for the last eight years. My first film was a hit and I didn’t have much of a struggle.
I honestly believe from the bottom of my heart that there are lots of good things in the film industry. I have met the most beautiful and helpful human beings in this industry. That’s why I want to continue working in the industry even after I give birth to a child. It is good to note that the government has formed a special cell to look into complaints of sexual exploitation.”
She plays a journalist in both Mahanatiand U Turn remake and she says the roles are poles apart. “In Mahanati, I portray a journalist in 1980s from the Brahmin community when girls are not allowed to go for such a career. Also, I will be the only female journalist in the office. I will have to fight at home for everything related to my job. But in U-Turn she is a modern day journo, very pro-active, with a ‘come what may’ attitude.”
Talking about her hubby dearest, Sam’s eyes glow. “Nag is very understanding and compassionate husband. He is also supportive of my views. We don’t discuss cinema at home. After 6 pm, it is like any other normal household, where we discuss about dinner and spend time in a relaxed manner. I have also cut short my long outdoor schedules to spend quality time at home.”
Her future plans include starting a family and she wants to stay associated with films in one way or the other. “After all, film industry has given me so much and I want to give back in whatever way I can”, she says before signing off with an infectious smile.