Cinema is evolving for women, says Sriya Reddy

The actress says resurgence shown by Dimple Kapadia and Neena Gupta are proof what women are capable of doing

After a long sabbatical, Sriya Reddy returned to the big screen in 2018 with Sila Samayangalil. And now her latest film, Salaar, seems to be making headlines due to its enormous success. Sriya, who played Radha Rama Mannar in the Prashanth Neel-directed film, says she is overwhelmed by the positive response to the film.

“My mobile has been ringing incessantly with congratulatory messages,” she replies and adds, “Everyone travelled in the director’s vision and Salaar is proof of a collaborative effort.”

Her success is not measured by box office figures, but by putting her best foot forward. Sriya says she has been happy with every decision she has
made in her film career since every move came wholeheartedly.

She constantly believes that hard work will result in rewards. The actress was never known for her beauty, but her performance has always been the driving force behind her career. But she was never portrayed as a strong and attractive lady.

Salaar, on the other hand, gave her the best of both worlds. She regards her role as Radha Rama Mannar in Salaar as “challenging”. She admits that she initially declined the assignment. But the director insisted on her doing it.

“It was only for Prashanth that I have done the role. He encouraged me to do it and persuaded me, and I, too, stated that I wanted a role that would allow me to stand firm. So from the first day to the last day, the shooting process was very challenging. But that’s what I wanted as an actor – to push the envelope. I knew what Prashanth wanted,” she explains, describing that the director guided her to pull off the role. “But working on a film of such a huge canvas like Salaar was a new experience.”

At a time when linguistic borders are blurring and Pan-India films are being celebrated, Sriya, who lives in the South, says she has been waiting for such a development. “This (Pan-India) was something we have been aspiring for generations and I am glad that people are appreciating our efforts and our South films are being recognised for their screenwriting and directorial finesse so finally, we are coming into our own groove. So there are several great things we can look forward to and it’s a great time to be part of Indian cinema.”

Sriya believes that nothing has changed in the film industry since her return. She prefers to achieve a delicate balance between her personal and professional
lives. “That’s how I have been over the years; I don’t delve too much into films and at the same time I don’t carry anything back.

So this helps me to always give a fresh perspective to all my characters. That way, I was always able to give my best shot to all my roles.”

With more and more significant roles being written for women, the Kanchivaram star believes that now is the finest moment to be an actor in Indian cinema.

“Cinema is evolving for women and I am grateful for the kind of roles that are coming up for women. Dimple Kapadia was calling the shots in Saas Bahu Aur
Flamingo, look at the way Neena Gupta has shown her resurgence, it’s unbelievable. So there’s so much space and avenues for us to perform and showcase what women are capable of doing.”

For Sriya versatility is the key. The actress says that she loves to take up knockout roles that have more surprise elements. Her next film OG, starring Pawan Kalyan, is another step in that direction.

“Although offers are pouring in, I am in no hurry to be on a signing spree because I want to gauge and feel and enjoy the experience of embracing the characters I want to be in. The role will be different (like Salaar) for me to take up,” she points out, stating that she doesn’t want to sign run-of-the-mill stories.”

They say that being on a film set is the best thing for any actor. The high they get is incomprehensible. Sriya has also been singing in films, so is this the ‘greatest’ period for her to look forward to? She responds that she feels that whatever stage of life she is in, she should make the most of it. “As long as there’s fire in my belly I give my best shot. I continue to be choosy and pick films that are high on substance. But you will not see me in all the films everywhere because when I do that the excitement I have for cinema goes,” she says.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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