Tamannaah Bhatia has enough reasons to feel at the top of the world with the rave reviews she’s been fetching for her recent release, November Story. But making the moment bitter sweet is the destruction she’s been witnessing around her of the pandemic’s second wave. Like many around the country, the actress has also lost dear ones to the contagion.
“I can’t even begin to tell you about how disturbing this second wave of COVID-19 is turning out to be,” she expresses, saying that she can’t wait to see the end of this devastation.
“I’ve been listening to such painful stories over the last month or so. It’s been heart-wrenching. And while the first wave of the pandemic was bad, too, this second wave is lethal, having caused more mortality.”
She remembers when her parents contracted the virus last year in August. “I wasn’t infected immediately, but with the second wave, if one gets it, the entire family is prone to contract the virus immediately, affecting different people differently,” the actress adds.
Tamannaah herself tested positive for the virus in October last year, and her recovery took a while, she remembers. While the actress believes that as acting professionals, they need to be physically tough, she understands that as they cannot use masks in front of the camera it makes them vulnerable, too.
She recounts how, despite maintaining good fitness levels, her battle with COVID-19 was really tough for her. “The first two months after the attack were all about rehabilitation,” she remembers. “Getting used to physical exercises was difficult. In fact, there was a point when I was so weak, it felt strenuous, and it took me a while to return to normalcy, but taking one step at a time and listening to my body was the key to my recovery process.”
The F3 star considers vaccination to be the key to contain COVID-19, and urges everyone to get vaccinated. “I know there’s a fear factor that’s surrounding the vaccination, but I guess that’s the only option in our collective fight against the contagion,” Tamannaah shares.
Tamannaah and her family have been working even harder to stay positive in these pressing times. The Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy actress reveals that all of them have been indulging in reading books, together. “In the age of technology, we forget to assess our interpersonal skills. We, as a family, read motivational and spiritual books and discuss it,” she discloses
In midst of talks of the pandemic, we remind Tamannaah that her portrayal of Anuradha Ganesan, a part-time hacker and full-time devoted daughter in November Story, has been garnering praise. “I tried to keep human emotions as simple as possible,” she tells us modestly. “I also believe what worked big time for the film was the engaging screenplay and realistic plot of director Indhra Subramanian.”
However, and despite how integral OTT platforms have become today and how their content is being consumed by a cross-section of people, Tamannaah believes they won’t replace theatres. “Yes, until theatres open up, a major part of the content would be consumed digitally. However, web series and OTT are different genres, and the theatrical experience will be a large part of our culture,” says the Abhinetri 2 star, explaining her thoughts.
Incidentally, Tamannaah would be seen dubbing her lines in Telangana accent for the first time. It will be for her intense role of Jwala Reddy, a Kabaddi coach, in her forthcoming sports drama, Seetimaarr. While she’d got hold of the essence of the character she was portraying in the film, she understood that dubbing makes a lot of difference and adds to the completeness of such characters.
“I’ve dubbed for my lines in Telugu for my earlier film, F3, but speaking in Telangana accent was a first for me. Director Sampath Nandi asked me to give it a shot at dubbing. Once we did the initial trials, my confidence grew and I decided I wanted to continue and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Sampath also helped me a lot in getting the accent right,” she explains.
Tamannaah will also be seen in Maestro, the Telugu remake of the super hit 2018-Hindi film, Andhadhun. She is set to reprise Tabu’s role from the original and tells us that she is almost done shooting her part.
So what’s the actress expecting to feel if people compare her role with that of Tabu, post-release? Tamannaah is quick to add that she’s not worried about it.
Describing Tabu as a more seasoned actress, she says, “The character I play in the film is different in terms of her age and the version. Although the role is the same, visually it will look different. I loved the original, but I did not watch it after I signed the remake because I wanted to give the role my own spin.”...