Prateeka Rao's unhurried acting debut in Telugu films is paying dividends now
The striking resemblance to her sister Amrita Rao cannot be missed. Prateeka Rao, a film journalist, model-turned actor is wrapping up her work in Hyderabad for her debut film with Varun Sandesh. The pretty, articulate and forthright Prateeka says she's in love with the city but taking a little time to settle down as she's been travelling alone. The last time she came here it was with her mother and Amrita for her sister's Telugu film Athidi with Mahesh Babu. What has floored her about this city is its spaciousness compared to Mumbai where everything is tiny, right from Barista to a Bata showroom.
Preetika's debut in movies makes for an interesting read. Director Manikandan spotted her column picture in a daily she worked for and offered her the Telugu film Chikku Bukku with Arya that is releasing this month; but other Telugu film offers had come to her even while she was in the tenth standard. At that time, she wanted to focus on her studies and take the plunge only when the time was right. After 50-odd commercial endorsements shot in various countries, she makes a very unhurried and a comfortable debut in Telugu and is all ready for the feedback and criticism for her debut performance.
“I'm not going to jump and grab every offer that comes my way, I have the advantage of knowing how deep the water is before diving into it,” avers Preetika. She doesn't mind being compared to her sister but not some other third person. The siblings are like chalk and cheese, though they both share the same sun sign. Prateeka doesn't like considering Telugu film industry as a stepping stone to a career in Hindi films, as she considers South as big as Mumbai and every Telugu film is being remade there these days. Amrita, she explains, is busy with her Hindi movies; she couldn't really cash in on the success of Vivah and immediately did Athidhi due to which she lost focus on Mumbai.
Prateeka says her stint as a film scribe has helped to understand media and she will not want to keep it at bay. She recalls writing snippets not gossip, interviewing celebrities, some being savvy and some shunning it and says she was warned not to reveal that she was a journalist when she made her debut in Tamil. She adds, “some people are wary, they told me not to publicise.” The vivacious Preetika describes herself as an ambitious person, very independent and doesn't want to financially depend on her father or her husband in the future. She signs off, “I'm also self motivated, positive and spiritual and believe in giving people a second chance. If people see me as potential rival then that would be really sad, there is space here for all.”