First a successful Model then an equally successful television anchor and now an actress. A very much a Telugu girl this doe eyed beauty with a charming smile is none other than Madhu Shalini. Riding high after the success of her film Kithakithalu, Madhu Shalini, in an informal chat with Ragalahari, talks about her entry in to the glamorous field, her likes and dislikes and her future plans.
Q: Tell us about yourself?
A: I am a Hyderabadi. Born and brought up here. I am doing my B.Sc., IInd year privately. My father is a businessman and my mother an advocate.
Q: How did you get into modeling? Did anybody inspire you to become a model?
A: Modeling has been my passion right from childhood. Nobody inspired me to become a model. Actually my mother is a classical dancer and she taught me the same with the hope that I too will become a Kuchipudi dancer. But four years after leaning dancing I took part in a beauty contest and won it. So after that I wanted to continue in the fashion field. I know that both are two completely different fields but then I wanted to try the modeling field and that’s how I got into it.
Q: First a model then an anchor and now an actress. What difference do you find between the three?
A: Oh there is definitely a lot of difference between the three. In modeling you just pose for the camera with the product. When it comes to anchoring, you have to interact with the audience. If the show is regarding a movie we need to tell them about the subject and be bubbly and interactive at the same time. And movies are entirely different from both of these. In the sense, acting depends on our talent. Whether it is at how good we are delivering the dialogues or how good we are at giving expressions. So these three are entirely different from each other.
Q: Did your lessons in Kuchipudi help in performing better while acting?
A: Definitely. Knowing Kuchipudi helped me a lot. Because I never took any formal training in acting, all the bhavams (expressions) I learned in Kuchipudi made it easy for me to act.
Q: How are your opportunities in the film industry?
A: I am getting good offers but I am waiting for the right break. Because after doing Kithakithalu and Oka V Chitram, I want to do a single lead film. So I am waiting for the right kind of opportunities.
Q: There is a general view in the industry that girls from the north are favored over Telugu speaking girls for the lead roles. Your comments?
A: I haven’t faced anything as such so far. Just because I am Telugu girl, I haven’t received any fewer offers. The reason why this Bombay and Telugu girls issue comes is, I think, the people here feel that Telugu girls have a lot more inhibitions as compared to the girls from the north. I don’t think our girls have such inhibitions. They should come out and open up. That’s all. I think that is the only difference between the Bombay and Telugu girls.
Q: Kithakithalu has been declared a hit. Did you expect the kind of success it received?
A: Generally if we say it’s an EVV movie, people expect a lot of comedy and some sentiment. But honestly speaking I did not expect the movie to become so successful, it’s absolutely thrilling. I mean I did know that the movie would be a hit but that the audiences will receive it so well and that they are enjoying it so much, it’s a surprise for me also.
Q: What kind of comments or compliments did you receive for your performance in Kithakithalu?
A: More than compliments I received a lot of improvisations, because it is the starting stage for my career also. Everybody liked me and my performance in the movie; at the same time they also told me where I went wrong and where I had to improve myself (Smiles).
Q: What were the best compliments you received so far regarding your films?
A: The best compliments……….? After Kithakithalu many people said that my body language was good. And also I gave my own dubbing for the movie so I was praised a lot for that. As now a days all the heroines are having dubbing artists doing their voices, because most of them are Hindi speaking, many people said that they liked my voice.
Q: Your dance performance in Nayakudu was appreciated a lot by one and all. How did that happen?
A: Nayakudu happened suddenly after I happened to meet Rajasekhar garu and Jeevitha garu. Actually Rajasekhar garu saw me when I was doing an ad film for Kirthilal’s and offered me the song. I was very excited that I got to perform along side him. But when I saw the song afterwards I myself was surprised that I danced so well.
Q: Your film with Music Director Shashi Preetam was supposed to give you the break as a heroine. What happened?
A: Yes. I did Naa Pranam Kante Ekkuva directed by Shashi Preetam. But due to many reasons that film did not work. Because it was not a regular commercial film. It was shot entirely using a digital camera and there were so many other reasons to it that it did not work out.
Q: How much encouragement did you get in this field, whether it was from your family or the industry?
A: I definitely have a lot of family support. Without my parents support I could not have done it. Even my friends have been very encouraging. But they are also slightly disappointed because after getting into this field I have hardly had time to meet them. I don’t even have a college life and they are all into college now. From the industry? They have received me well and I am also getting good offers. So from all the sides I am getting a lot of encouragement.
Q: What are your next projects?
A: Right now everything is still in the discussions stage. Nothing has been finalized as yet. Once it’s done you will be the first people to know.
Q: Did you give any stage performances after learning Kuchipudi?
A: Yes I did quite a few stage shows. After learning Kuchipudi for four years I could not give my Arangetrum because of my modeling break. But very soon I will be giving my Arangetrum also.
Q: Have you given any dance performances along with your mother?
A: No. I haven’t shared the stage with my mother as yet. I mean I did perform along with my mother on stage, but that was when I was only three years old.
Q: Would you like to do the role of a Classical dancer if offered one?
A: Definitely. I have a lot of scope to perform better in such roles as I am already acquainted with the classical dance form. So I will definitely take up such an opportunity.
Q: What are your hobbies?
A: I listen to music. A lot of slow and soft music. Then, I like watching fashion TV.
Q: What are your favorite outfits? Being a model do you prefer western outfits?
A: Just because I was a model, it does not mean I prefer western outfits. Modeling taught me to choose outfits that suit me better. I got that awareness via the grooming I received. Generally I prefer casual wear but when I go for parties I love to wear a sari.
Q: You know how to wrap a sari?
A: Yes I do. My mother taught me (Smiles).
Q: Being fit is a big part of the modeling as well as the film field. How do you manage?
A: Definitely fitness plays a major role. Because we are so busy with the shootings, that too at irregular times we do not have time to go to the Gym. So I do Yoga at my house itself and some general exercises that can be done at home.
Q: You’re eating habits?
A: I do not diet at all. At all means at all. I drink Ghee. I looove it. I am actually a vegetarian.
Q: Do you miss going to college?
A: Yes a lot. I miss my friends a lot. College life is a must in every body’s life. Even in Intermediate I did not get to attend college properly. Now I miss all the classroom fun, the lectures and my friends.
Q: Did you rag anybody in college?
A: (Sighs) No. I did not rag anybody nor did anybody rag me.
Q: What are you feeling bad about; that you did not rag or did not get ragged?
A: I am feeling bad that nobody ragged me (laughs).
Q: What kind of people do you like to befriend?
A: Actually I am a very short tempered person. So my friends should have a lot of tolerance, like my mother does (Smiles). I get along well with people who are very patient and tolerant. At times I get cranky and irritated also so patience with me is very necessary (laughs).
Q: So your husband should also have the same qualities?
A: Yes (laughs) beware.
Q: What’s your favorite place?
A: In Andhra Pradesh I like Vizag a lot.
Q: And what was your most enjoyable moment there?
A: When I was in 6th class my parents took me to Vizag for a holiday and we visited Kailashgiri. I still have those photographs with me. I cherish those moments a lot. That’s one of my most memorable moments.
Q: What is the best compliment you received?
A: Many people said that I have very attractive eyes. Attractive in the sense that even if I don’t say anything my eyes speak. That’s the best compliment I got.
Q: Do you lie sometimes?
A: Lie? I mean when I am teasing somebody or while joking, yes. But I never lie bluntly as such.
Q: Are there any favorite heroes and directors that you want to work with?
A: In that case I have a huge list about which heroes and directors I want to work with (laughs). Actually I don’t have any specific director or hero as such. I want to work for the right opportunities. With a good hero, a good director and a good banner; like that.
Q: Who is your favorite hero?
A: I like Nagarjuna a lot. Also Chiranjeevi and Pavan Kalyan. And so many others. In the new generation I like Prabhas a lot.
Q: And heroines?
A: In heroines I like Sridevi a lot. And Rekha. In the present generation I like Trisha.