Oct 14, 2007

ATHIDHI Actress Amrita Rao Interview

Bollywood Actress Amrita Rao who is in town discusses her experience in Hyderabad while shooting for her debut Telugu flick Athidhi as well as Shyam Benegal's new project.

Excerpts from an exclusive interview:

Tell us about your Telugu debut?

It just happened out of the blue, I had been receiving offers from the South right from the very beginning, but had made a conscious decision to first carve a niche for myself and build a reputation in Bollywood, as I have no filmi background or connection whatsoever. So I never expected to venture down South this soon, but things fell in place, and this seemed the perfect time for my debut.

What was your experience working with Mahesh Babu?

I had heard about Mahesh, but had never seen his work. Incidentally, I am acting in a Hindi remake of his film Atthadu, so I watched the film. I was blown away by his performance, and ever since, I'd always wanted to work with him, he is an awesome actor, and believes in giving his best shot in the first take, I loved that attitude and learned to imbibe that in my own performance. He is one of my favourite co-stars.

You have been stereotyped in 'good girl' roles, are you working on changing that image?

One of the reasons why my character in this movie is so different, is that it breaks away from all stereotypes, the opening scene itself, is so beautifully conceived. The character has different shades to her, and for the first time, I am called Amrita in the film. So yeah, I am quite kicked about my role and can't wait for its release. They say it's already booked all over AP for the next week from its release.

Currently you are shooting for Shyam Benegal with Shreyas Talpade, tell us about the movie and the experience of shooting in Hyderabad.

Well. I can't talk much about the film, but I play more of a character-oriented role in this film. Shyam Benegal had always been in the wish list of my directors. He has always been perceived to make arty film, but this film is a contrast to that. It's a satirical comedy yet very real and situational, along with the sensibilities of Shyam Benegal. I am very pleased to be in the league of actress like Smita Patil, Shabana Azmi, Rekhaji and Karishma who have worked in classics by Shyam Benegal. I had heard that actors come out more refined after working with him, now I've experienced it. As for Shreyas Talpade, he is just so creative, his biggest strength is how he improvises every moment, and adds value to the work. I loved his work in Dor. His enthusiasm is amazing.

You haven't been seen for a while on screen, tell us what's been keeping you busy?

I've literally been living out of my suitcase since January this year. But I have been very focused and conscious about the kind of film that I work in. As I want to do more quality work. I have a lot lined up, there is my Telugu debut Athithi, and Ailkumar's Shortcut with Akshay Khanna and Arshad Warsi, then there is My name is Anthony Gonzalves, where I play an assistant director.

You aren't much of an item number girl, are you?

Why not, if I get an opportunity to work with someone like Farah, I'd love to do one. I don't see why item numbers always give a negative connotation, it could be positive too. Ash looked gorgeous in Kajara re and Ishk Kamina, it depends on how the song is treated.

Apart from film

I love music, and I love singing, though only to myself, it's a very special part of me. I love listening to Hindustani music, and am a total Bollywood music freak, it has evolved so much, and has the best of every genre. Also, we have some of the best talents in the music industry. I also like modeling. It's a pleasure walking on ramp. Priya and Chintan and Sabyasachi Mukherjee are among my favourite designers.