May 19, 2008

ILEANA Interview

Ileana, without doubt, is numero uno star in Tollywood. And one of the highest paid actresses in South India. She commands huge following among the current generation actresses almost equal to a top hero! She was a part of the success of movies such as Pokiri, Devadas, Jalsa, Raakhi and Bhale Dongalu. She's rarely seen talking in public. Last year, she attended the TANA convention in the USA, and when the organizers booked a very big hall to meet the audience, the hall was jam-packed and people were standing outside too just to have a glimpse of her! She answered all the questions very patiently. Though we met there, the interview didn't happen then. When Jalsa and Bhale Dongalu released, I called her to have a brief chit-chat. Here are the excerpts from our conversation..

Sri: So, how are you enjoying the success of Jalsa and good response for your role in Bhale Dongalu?

It is a double bonanza for me. I am really happy about the success of the both the films!

Sri: Your film Pokiri was much bigger success than the debut film Devadas.. .

True, but Devadas is always close to my heart as it is my debut film and the character I did in Devadas is close to my original self. So I love Devadas a lot, not that I don't love Pokiri, but I surely like Devadas more!

Sri: You worked with best directors in Telugu within a short span!

Of course, I am very lucky to work with wonderful directors like YVS gaaru, Puri Jaganath, Krishnavamsi, V.N.Aditya, Trivikram gaaru, Vijayabhaskar gaaruetc. It is luck and my hard work which paid off to work with such a great directors.

Sri: How was your interaction with them?

I never had any problem with anyone. Working with them is like learing a new thing every day! But, above all, I definitely have gratitude towards YVS gaaru. I was totally a newcomer when I was doing Devadas and did not know anything about films. It is he who taught me patiently. So I am definitely more indebted to him than to others.

Sri: How do you rate yourself as an actress?

I am working hard and I am improving with every film, I could say, but I think others should tell that, and not myself (laughs)!

Sri: How was working with heroes Like Pawan Kalyan, Mahesh and NTR Jr.?

Pawan gaaru and Mahesh gaaru are both much reserved people. They never used to interfere with others' works - their policy was to keep to themselves, complete their work and go. Tarak (NTR Jr.) is fun to work with. He mingles with everyone easily. But everyone is a real professional in that they all work equally hard for scene betterment.

Sri: How was it working with Siddharth?

No comment, please!

Sri: Everyone knows that you are hot property in Telugu, but since you also worked in a Tamil film, I ask this: Any plans of continuing there also?

My film in Tamil didn't do well there, and I was not really happy working in Tamil either. I had a bad experience working in that film. So I am not really keen to work in Tamil films in future, unless a good opportunity comes in. Though I was offered the Tamil version of Pokiri, I was unable to work for it then due to clash of dates with the other Tamil film I was doing and I also met with an accident and was not able to work for sometime caused delays in completion of my other films too.

Sri: How do you feel being the highest paid actress in Telugu?

Who said that I am highest paid? All those are rumors, and I do not think I am at that level where people cannot reach me! I am reasonably paid ..not over-paid definitely.

Next..On Rumors..And Love.