Ever wondered what makes T-Town’s actresses, such as Samantha Ruth Prabhu, Rakul Preet Singh, Lavanya Tripathi and Regina Cassandra, so successful? Talent, hard work, and luck of course.
But above all, it is their managers who make their professional lives smoother. When required, they also double up as their protective cover to ensure they are safe. In fact, for most actresses, their managers are like family.
‘Like my daughter’
Samantha’s manager Mahendra Babu has been working with her for more than five years. “She is just like my daughter. She discusses everything with me before committing to a film or an investment. For a film, Samantha only has to attend the script narration.
Everything else, such as negotiations and scheduling is taken care of by me. When she is angry with someone, she comes to me to talk about it. And when she’s angry with me, she counts to ten to cool down first,” says Mahendra.
Regina Cassandra and her manager I.V. Reddy have been friends for a long time. It was only last year that he started working for the actress. “He’s the worst manager,” jokes Regina, adding, “He’s not just a manager, he’s my family. There was a time when I was really sick and I couldn’t tell my mother about it because she would panic. I could only share it with him. I can talk to him about my personal and professional life and he makes my life easier. I have so much fun working with him as we have so much in common. Even when I’m too busy to sign a new film, he makes sure that he convinces the filmmaker in a way that there is no misunderstanding.”
“She fondly calls me ‘I.V. child’,” says Prasad adding further, “We are really good friends and used to hang out a lot. I entered the industry as a producer and after experiencing losses, I moved to Dubai to start a business. I then changed my mind and came to India in 2016 and that’s when I started working as Regina’s manager. The role of a manager is not just to sell and brand them; it’s about sharing a bond with them. We sometimes fight and then patch up. When she’s angry with me, she’ll call me just I.V.”
Always there for me
Rakul Preet Singh might be one of the top actresses today, but she says that there is one man who silently works behind the scenes for her — Harinath, her manager. Right from the time she made an entry into the film industry in 2013, Rakul has worked with him. She says, “He has become family. In the beginning, he would run from producer to producer and meet several directors, would work hard and help me with my projects, so I owe a lot to him.” With Rakul moving to Hyderabad, one of the reasons her parents are assured about her safety is also because of Harinath. “My dad is in constant touch with him and they know that when he is there, everything will be taken care of. Once, late in the night, my car stopped working and I was stranded. I called Harinath and he just turned up at the place, that’s the kind of bond we share,” she explains.
“Rakul is like a little sister to me,” says Harinath who has been working in the film industry since 2001. He has worked for several celebrities and Rakul he says is definitely one of the closest people he was worked with. “Even today, she calls me to discuss stories and her roles. We started with a professional bond, but today she is family. Her family too knows that Rakul takes my professional opinion seriously. She has always been there whenever I have needed her,,” says Harinath.
More than a manager
Lavanya Tripathi says that her managers not only help her with her professional life, but also with her personal problems. Says the actress, “My managers, Supriya, Mahendra and Seetharam are like family. They are supportive and have been helpful throughout my career. I call them if I need anything, without having to worry about what time of the day it is. They also get me home-made food. I remember, there was a time when I was very stressed due to some personal issues and I called them at an odd hour to discuss my problems. They listened to all of it very patiently. I really value them.”
“She makes sure we have food,” says Lavanya’s manager Seetharam who is all praises for the actress. “Lavanya is a very nice person and takes care of her staff really well. So when you work with a person like that, it’s obvious that you grow fond of them. When she is shooting, we take care of her food and the facilities. But every time, Lavanya keeps checking if her staff has eaten. And if it’s an outdoor shoot, she always makes sure to check on the arrangements made for her staff. Also, whenever one of us falls sick and can’t make it for a shoot or an event, she doesn’t throw tantrums or starts looking for an immediate replacement. She is very understanding about everything,” adds Seetharam.