Actor Anjali is convinced that focussing on the script and selecting right roles has paid her dividends
Anjali is relaxed, a picture of confidence. She may not have done many films in Telugu but her selection has been spot on.
Her first film Journey bought her instant recognition, and though it was dubbed from Tamil, she quickly bagged Seetamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu with industry biggies.
She followed it up with Masala and now is on the verge of winding up Geetanjali, a woman-centric film with comedian Srinivas Reddy.
Ask her if the quirky combination could jeopardise her career and she says, “My first preference has always been the story and character. I first listen to the script and look for something fresh; if the roles are in the same pattern as the past, then there is no point doing the film. The casting and production values are important but you learn what to pick and what not to only with experience.”
Telugu and Tamil
She says even in Tamil cinema she signed projects only if they sounded interesting, the cast and the money was of least importance.
“After SVSC, I wanted to do a different film and it came in the form of Geetanjali. Once you are known as a star or if you become a familiar face in one industry, getting offers from the neighbouring industry or succeeding in that language becomes very easy. These days everyone is watching all films. It became helpful when Journey released; I bagged SVSC on its account.”
The actor is averse to sticking to one genre; in Shopping Mall, she is a bit bold and she is kind of settled in SVSC. She stresses that she has never copied any heroine and is working towards having a style of her own. “I want to show something new and I want people to see my films for the novelty I offer. I want my body language or the roles to personify me and honestly there is never any difference between me in real and reel life. I absorb the characters. I don’t do any homework. When you prepare for a role, it limits you, but only when you go out of the way it is beautiful. I just listen, internalise and leave it. Seeta is bubbly in the first half though she looks mature in saris. She is not dull, but is full of life. Geetanjali is a complete variation. Only the director, Srinivas Reddy and me can comprehend the strength of the role and what kind of roles we are doing. Whether I am pairing with him or not is something that nobody knows. They will realise only when it releases.”
Tryst with Kannada
Anjali agrees that Masala was a failure and her first, post-Balupu. She reacts rather spiritedly that she had put in the same effort for all her films but the audience clearly did not accept the film. “I never had a goal that I should do heroine-centric films, the production house suggested that I would be an apt choice. My next film is with Puneet Rajkumar, a Kannada film by director Pawan of Potugadu.”
She is not in a hurry to do many films, will be content with one film or three films a year but only if the content is appropriate and satisfactory.
Ask her about her best project till date and she quips, “Angadi Theru in Tamil; I put 120 per cent of all my energies in the film.” Since it was in the initial stages of her career, she concentrated more and worked 120 days each for Angadi Theru and SVSC.
She insists, “I wasn’t an overnight success; I worked hard to be here. The talk that Telugu girls are marginalised is trash; if the heroine has the stuff, everyone will watch and encourage her, irrespective of the place she comes from. Why did they encourage me, an Andhra girl in Tamil films all these years?”