Salony Luthra, who shot to fame with the critically acclaimed 'Bhanumati Ramakrishna' (2020), talks to Ragalahari about receiving a SIIMA nomination in the Best Debut Actor (Female) category. She also throws light on her acting choices, her decision to play a certain kind of characters, her travel experiences, why she considers Nature her biggest source of inspiration, and more.
How does it feel to receive a nomination for 'Bhanumathi Ramakrishna'?
I am very thankful for the nomination. I am grateful for it. It is also so amazing because my co-star Naveen Chandra called me up and congratulated me. Even in Tamil, I had a similar debut win (for her performance in 'Sarabham', which fetched her an Ananda Vikatan Cinema Awards nomination). The team of 'Bhanumathi Ramakrishna' is very excited about my nomination. It's like I am holding the flag for the film high!
What is the best compliment you have received from your friends?
They are very happy to see my journey. I have always been appreciated by them. They have told me to take up only those projects that help me as a performer.
'Bhanumathi Ramakrishna' had a voice for the female lead. Have you received similar stories in the last year?
I just finished working on 'Goda' for UV Creations. The film has got a strong female character. I think it's quite unique. I am looking forward to its release.
What kind of roles do you like to play in movies? Given that the film industry has a lot of glamorous roles to offer, do you like to give them a try?
How you saw me in 'Bhanumathi Ramakrishna' is how I am in real life. There is so much glamour anyways in movies. I am happy that I got to play a realistic character in my Telugu debut. I might land glamorous roles in the future. I have a lot of dream roles to be done. I want to play empowering roles in movies. I want to play characters that leave the audience with something. I am always on the lookout for inspiration in life. That's what my characters should be like for others.
You come from a theatre background. How do you approach your characters?
As an actor, I really enjoy performing any type of role. I choose a script carefully and imagine myself living the character that is offered to me. I imagine the character's vulnerabilities, its highs and lows. That's how I try to get into the skin of the character.
You describe yourself as a 'Nature baby'. Tell us about that?
I always turn to Nature for everything even when I am listening to a script, or while working on a character. Sunsets and sunrises mean a lot to me. Every day is a new day. I feel Nature personally is very healing. It inspires me to give my best. When you look at Nature, it gives you so much clarity of thought. It gives me a lot of encouragement to perform and better myself, both personally and professionally.
You enjoy traveling. What is the most recent lesson you have learned from others?
I enjoy traveling because it helps me meet different people. As an actor, I enjoy observing people. We take life very much for granted. These last two years have been a revelation. We have realized that life is so fragile. Most recently, during my travel, I came across an old man who is in his late 70s. He shared something very profound with me. He told me he had worked non-stop in life, and that he now wants to express gratitude and treasure his memories. He worked hard and was not focussing on his relationships. The experience taught me to be more expressive. Your words of encouragement can go a long way in motivating people who are feeling low. That's the biggest service one can do. You might not get that opportunity again.
Besides 'Goda', what other projects are you doing?
I have finalized a new script offered by UV Creations. So, it will be my second movie with the banner. The scripts that are coming my way in Telugu are sensible. Tollywood is quite a happening place where nice stories are being told. The Telugu film industry has got a lot of talented actors and I want to work with them all. I am really looking forward to working with the amazing actors. I hope to contribute to cinema with them.