Pooja Hegde is the most sought-after actress in Telugu, following the success of her film Ala Vaikuntapuramlo. This is the second time she is working with Allu Arjun and director Trivikram Srinivas. “I am not counting my successful films because it may jinx me; I am concentrating on work and hoping that all my other films scripts are good too, and so is my performance”, says Pooja.
When asked about dubbing for herself in Telugu, she says, “I write in English and speak in Telugu. It is difficult, because Telugu is not my first language. Sometimes, even English words are pronounced differently while speaking Telugu. For example, I say pantu and shirtu, so it’s a quite difficult.” However, she said, “It helps me a lot in my performance. Now I understand where I can pause and how to pronounce the lines.”
Still on the subject of Telugu, Pooja says, “I didn’t take any classes or appoint a coach, but I speak in Telugu with my staff and my manager, so that helps me speak the language.” Asserting that it was her decision to dub for herself, Pooja says she now wants to use her own voice in coming films too.
When Trivikram had narrated the story to her, she had found it a light-hearted fun film, which was what made her accept the role, she said, adding that her character was a strong one, not in the sense of being aggressive, but in the sense of being intelligent.
Asked whether she felt she had been overly sexualised in the opening song, where the focus is heavily on her legs, Pooja is categoric that “every scene in the film is justified.” Explaining that what was finally seen on the screen was not what was originally written, the actress said she puts up a fight about everything, and only when the director manages to convince her does she go ahead. She asserts that the song dedicated to her in the movie is not vulgar.
She points out that it is very poetic, and isn’t about her legs at all, but about her gait. She wasn’t embarrassed in the least, watching it with her family, she avers.
Talking of Trivikram, Pooja says “He is very patient and calm and explains scenes well.” She adds that he’s ready to listen to the views of everyone on the sets about a scene, and is willing to change his ideas if they convince him to do so. She says she’s learnt a lot from him.
The actress is doing two other films, one with Prabhas and the other with Akhil Akkineni. “I have the capacity of doing at least four films at a time and I am balancing two Telugu films with two Hindi ones. I don’t want to stick to one particular language, I want to be an Indian actor. Wherever there is good cinema, I want to do it,” she adds.
“I travelled from Jaipur to Hyderabad, from Hindi film to Telugu film, from two different regions and cities, I travelled on highways in the nights. People keep asking me how I did it, but I am excited to work,” she says.
About her New Year resolution, she says, “I want to balance Hindi and Telugu a little more and see if a good Tamil film comes.”...