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Pooja Hegde: I knew I had a brief role in Maharshi

Pooja Hegde

Pooja Hegde   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

Pooja Hegde basks in the reception to Maharshi and looks forward to a comic outing in Housefull 4

Mahesh Babu, director Vamshi Paidipally, composer Devi Sri Prasad and other key members of the Maharshi team have been ecstatic on social media, happy with the response to their film that released last Friday. Mahesh lauded a few members of the film industry and students who’ve been partaking in farming. The leading lady Pooja Hegde, too, is over the moon. “I heard that a few students were motivated to try weekend farming after watching the film. It’s amazing to think that a film can have such an impact,” she says.

Director Vamshi had approached Pooja in June 2017, a week before her film Duvvada Jagganadham hit the screens. She recalls, “I heard Vamshi’s narration and felt it was a great story. Maharshi explores the meaning of success and ties it up with the protagonist’s bond with his father, friend and me.” Pooja was aware that she had a smaller part to play in the film: “Of course, I knew what I had signed up for. I believe that even a 20-minute role can be impactful. The script had me excited and I wanted to be a part of this film.”

While reviews have pointed out how Pooja could barely make her presence felt beyond the songs, the actor says the response from the audience has been positive. “A few followers on Twitter appreciated me for my acting and said I had performed very well. I didn’t expect that reaction; I was genuinely surprised,” she laughs, and adds after a pause, “I had a stronger role in Aravinda Sametha Veera Raghava. Maharshi was a different ball game. And yet, I think my role wasn’t a flat one. It had a graph. You see the vivacious college girl and how, after a turn of events, she’s more mature and quieter in the later half.”

2018, reveals Pooja, was a busy year as she shot for Maharshi, a yet untitled film co-starring Prabhas, and the Hindi film Housefull 4. She speaks with a hint of caution, stating that she isn’t allowed to divulge much about her forthcoming films. However, she’s game to talk about her first brush with comedy in Housefull 4, “The film is scheduled to release during Diwali and I think it’s going to be the funniest film in the Housefull franchise. Comedy is the toughest genre and I had to work at my comic timing. During the first few days of shooting, I observed how Akshay Kumar and Riteish Deshmukh performed. They are so good at it and I learnt from them. This story deals with reincarnation, so you will see me in two eras.”

Most of Pooja’s films have been in Telugu, and largely big-budget and star-driven films. She took the leap of faith to dub for Aravinda Sametha… but admits she has a long way to go to understand the finer nuances of the language and the industry. “I’m still learning. I’m happy I got to work with some fine directors like Trivikram Srinivas and Vamshi. Both of them are so different in their approach. On the sets, Trivikram is open to ideas and inputs from others in the team. He will incorporate suggestions for the betterment of the film. Vamshi is particular about how he envisions a scene and has a clear idea about everything, including the hair and makeup for a shot,” she explains.

When Pooja returns to Mumbai to her home, she gets a reality check from her parents and brother: “They don’t flatter me. They are upfront with their feedback if they feel I haven’t done a good job. I was happy when my mom watched Maharshi and said there’s a marked improvement in my performance,” she signs off.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 11:17:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/pooja-hegde-basks-in-the-reception-to-maharshi-and-looks-forward-to-a-comic-outing-in-housefull-4/article27136601.ece

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