After being a model and a columnist, Preetika makes her Kollywood debut with Chikku Bukku

She is chugging her way from Bollywood to Kollywood through a film aptly titled Chikku Bukku. With her role, alongside Arya and Shriya Saran, almost kept under wraps, Preetika is eagerly awaiting the film's release this week.

But it all started a few years ago when Preetika auditioned and was selected for a chocolate advertisement opposite the legendary Amitabh Bachchan. This was even while she was majoring in History besides acquiring a Diploma in Advertising and Journalism from Sophia College, Mumbai. “The arc lights beckoned me then. While I continued to model for some years, I also honed my writing skills; I even wrote a Bollywood column for a popular movie magazine from the South,” says Preetika.

It was around this time Preetika got a call from director Manikandan. “He saw my picture in the magazine and contacted me through the editor. Manikandan met me in Mumbai and almost immediately signed me for Chikku Bukku opposite Arya. I understand that the role in Chikku Bukku was initially offered to Vidya Balan who had problems with dates. And, I bagged the role. Shriya was not yet signed for the movie then. But it's certainly not a love triangle! You've got to watch this to unravel a mystical love story! It is a beautiful journey envisioned by Manikandan. I would love to do more such performance-oriented roles and experiment with different genres,” says Preetika.

Being a Mangalorean, Preetika speaks Konkani. And having been brought up in Mumbai, she is fluent in Marathi, Hindi and English. Says Preetika, “I'm still a student where Tamil is concerned...but...my grandmother was born and raised in Madras. My great-grandfather retired from the Sales Tax Tribunal of Madras in the 1950s. So Tamil somewhere runs in my genes...making it interesting and comprehensible.”

A talented actor, Preetika honed her skills during her stint in modelling. “Modelling gave me enough confidence to face the camera. Although saying my lines in another language with emotions is a whole new ball game. Yes... you definitely need to be born with the aptitude to shine in this field. I am not a trained dancer although I have learnt the basics of Kathak and Bharatanatyam in my school days. Now I am undergoing formal training in dance, a basic requirement for anyone in the business. Singing comes naturally to me; I could have been a playback singer, had I taken my singing career seriously. But I don't miss opportunities to sing at family karaoke sessions,” says Preetika.

A self-motivated person, Preetika has always drawn inspiration from young achievers in any field. Preetika says, “My dad may be a successful advertising man, and my sister, a Bollywood star (Amrita Rao), but I have never taken their support either financially or used their influence to get where I am. I wanted to be a model and ended up modelling for 40-plus ad campaigns in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia. As a writer, in a short span, I contributed to major national dailies. So cinema is the third option I'm exploring and the industry is full of talented actors to draw inspiration from,” she signs off.