Interview Movies

Easwari Rao: Smooth second coming

Easwari Rao  

Easwari Rao’s work as Nani’s mother in Nenu Local is drawing applause. This is the first humorous role in her two decade-long acting career. The Telugu actor from Rajamundry who settled down in Chennai with her family 30 years back is pleased with the response she’s getting for this role .

“I’ve been receiving calls ever since Nenu Local released. I am quite pleased and I give all the credit to producer Dil Raju for pushing me to experiment with comedy. I was 16 years old when I got into movies and my first role was as a heroine in Suresh and Chandra Mohan-starrer produced by Prabhakar Reddy. In my next four films too I was a heroine but after Stuartpuram Dongalu in which I played a sibling, I left the Telugu film industry.”

When the film industry moved to Hyderabad from Chennai, Easwari Rao’s parents who were used to living in Chennai were not inclined to move base.

Big screen to TV

She played the heroine in Tamil films for seven years before she moved to television. She recollects, “I had a 12-year non-stop run in movies, but I did not regret quitting films. That was the time a lot of heroines from Mumbai were coming in. I worked with Balu Mahendra and Bapu and travelled with Maniratanam, I worked in Ganga, an offbeat film for which I was awarded a Nandi for best supporting actor in a movie about Joginis. Then I got another Nandi for a television serial. Later I returned to Telugu films with Bhadra, a Ravi Teja-starrer. I confined myself to Chennai.”

Getting nostalgic, she rues that actors don’t get to interact with colleagues much on the set these days; they give their shot and disappear. She adds, “Make money and leave is the attitude now. We would go and discuss many things with the director and producer, but no one has the time for that now. Everyone sits in the caravan and comes out only for the shot. Those days there would be at least 14 people sitting on the chairs between shot gaps. Oka viluvalu theliyani life ayyindi (It’s become a life that knows no values). We find such values and relationships only in films. This generation doesn’t have the age and maturity to understand life; we had people to guide us. These days you find many Hindi movie artistes but hardly any senior Telugu actor on the sets. Acting has become a nine-to-five job.”

Easwari has two children — 9 and 7 years old — and enjoys the support she gets from living in a joint family. Outdoor shoots and distant locations are hardly a problem because she is asked to allot only a week at the most.

About intermittent gaps in her career she quips, “Without ups and downs there is no thrill and challenge. A film career can never be steady. I never take anything seriously. I don’t take cinema home or home to the sets. Acting is a talent gifted by god..and daaniki minchidi manam aasinchakoodadhu (we shouldn’t aspire for more than that). I am choosy; I got a lot of offers after Bhadra but I did not want to leave my comfort zone. Television and film industries are two different worlds. Now that my kids have grown up I am open to doing good roles. Andhra Pori had a good character for me but it didn’t work. Since too much of exposure in films is not good, coming back after a gap always works. Hardly anything strong is written for women, so we need to select scripts with care.”


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Printable version | Oct 11, 2021 3:13:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/Easwari-Rao-Interview/article17334484.ece

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