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It’s her turn

Actress Pooja Hedge  

Pooja Hegde was first noticed in the Jiiva-starrer Mugamoodi in Tamil but she was forgotten along with the film’s debacle. All of a sudden the tall and beautiful actor made a re-entry in the Telugu industry, signing two plum projects Oka Laila Kosam and Mukunda; not just that, she had also been picked as a lead heroine in the Hrithik Roshan-Ashutosh Gowarikar film Mohenjadaro that will go on the floor next month. Ask Pooja if the wait between Mugamoodi and Oka Laila Kosam was frustrating, she replies, “Yes, it does get frustrating. You cannot be choosy and complain there is no work. I made a conscious decision to wait for a good opportunity and felt the need for a film that had good matter which was lacking in Mugamoodi.”

The reasons Pooja cites for accepting Oka Laila… are director Vijay Kumar, Naga Chaitanya and of course the banner. She remarks, “Vijay Kumar is the sweetest director I have ever worked with. I have never seen him angry. Any actor will be lucky to work with him. About my role, you will either hate the character or love her. It was a cute love story.”

The actor finds striking similarities between Tamil and Tulu but labels Telugu ‘a foreign language like Chinese’. “It was that tough,” she observes, “Now, I can understand quite a bit.”

While describing the challenges in a debut film, Pooja says, “Your first film is like an audition to the world. Either you do a good job or a bad one. There is no mid point. In Oka Laila Kosam, I don’t have much dancing to do, I needed to do it in Mukunda, Varun Tej’s debut film. The two films are so different from each other.”

Pooja remembers being an introvert; she signed on and took part in stage competitions, singing, dancing and personality contests to overcome her stage fright. She adds, “I am still getting out of my shell. I don’t look at all these three films as reaching somewhere but my focus is to work harder and fit into various roles.”

After signing Hrithik’s project she gave her first cheque to her parents. She says it’s a very surreal feeling and will sink in only when she steps into a theatre and watches the film. She reveals, “I got a Mani Ratnam film offer but my heart broke when I got to know I can’t work elsewhere till I finish Mohenjadaro.”

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 9:11:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/it-is-pooja-hedges-turn-in-world-of-movies/article6435611.ece

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