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Khushbu Sundar about 'Rama Banam', her dream actors, and more!


Khushbu Sundar will be seen as Gopichand's 'Vadina' in 'Rama Banam', which hits the cinemas on May 5. In this interview, she says that she doesn't play a character if she doesn't understand it. In 'Rama Banam', she will be seen as a courageous person who is a lot like how Khushbu is in real life. "I can't take it if my family is disrespected. I become a tigress if my family is targeted. That way, Bhuvaneshwari (her character in the Summer release) is what I am like in real life," Khushbu says. This is her first outing with Gopichand. "Gopichand is also from Madras. So, that connection was there and we used to interact in Tamil on set. He is a mischievous person with a twinkle in his eyes," says Khushbu. Getting candid, she reveals that she would love to romance Chiranjeevi and Balakrishna onscreen. "These are the only two heroes I never got to work with," Khushbu avers, adding that Amitabh Bachchan is her dream hero.

The most important takeaway from 'Rama Banam' is its awareness about the ideal nature of family relationships. I am a family person first and foremost. Building a united family is extremely important. The importance of family relationships is what 'Rama Banam' conveys through organic characters. In the age of fast foods, we have forgotten about the utility of healthy eating habits at home. You can grow a lot of vegetables at home. 'Rama Banam' touches upon this message, among others. A family that stays together in times of crisis with good health, is the one that lasts.

My characterization in 'Rama Banam' is distinctive. Bhuvaneshwari is my name in the film. She cares for her family and lives for it. I play Jagapathi Babu's wife in the movie. He is such a sweetheart. I have known him for so many years. As a child artist, I worked in the banner owned by his father twice or so. People Media Factory, the makers of 'Rama Banam', is a lovely banner.

There was a time when all South Indian language movies used to be made in Chennai (then Madras). After industries got developed in Hyderabad and other places, I had to make a choice to move or stay put in Chennai. I did the latter owing to my family commitments.

I was supposed to do Venkatesh's 'Chanti' but coudln't do it for want of dates. That's one beautiful film that I missed back then. I was jealous when I coudln't do 'Cheeni Kum' (Hindi). I am jealous that she got to romance Amitabh Bachchan. To this day, I have got Big B's pictures in my room. I am a huge fan of his. When I was a child artist, I got to sit on his lap in a film.

I am a spontaneous actor who depends a lot on the director. I am not a method actor. I don't do rehearsals or practice at home. Sometimes, you prepare for one thing and what you are asked to do on set is entirely different. So, I believe in spontaneity.

The mindset of the audience has undergone a change lately. People remember characters more than artists these days. I did 'Agnyathavaasi' but the audience didn't accept me and Pawan Kalyan in a mother-son role. That's why it didn't work. My character in 'Vaarasudu' ('Vaarisu' in Tamil) was removed at the edit table. It was a 18-minute role that was making the running time of the movie longer. So, they edited the whole thing despite Dil Raju spending so much money on my portions with Thalapathy Vijay. I want to work more and more in Telugu. The length of my character is not important. But it has to be important. They have to be relevant.

When I entered the film industry, the makeup culture was different. We, as actors, knew how the makeup was done. We knew how to change into a different dress even in the washroom. Makeup materials were put to optimal use even when there was no power supply. We knew how to work around with meagre resources while shooting for, say, a temple scene. We knew shortcuts and tricks. We couldn't afford to waste much time on costumes. Today, things have changed. Hairstyles have become more beautiful. There is so much to learn from today's crafts. Actors are not expected to be over-the-top like before. If you go overboard, people call it a TV serial performance.

The media writes about me only because they know writing about me sells. I don't believe that any publicity is good publicity. These days, everybody wants me to be judgemental based on half-baked online information. People don't really know what I really am as a person.

I value my work, I worship my work. It has been 37 years since 'Kaliyuga Pandavulu' came out. If I have held onto my acting career, it is because of my commitment to my job.

I have always been for Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam cinema being given their place. Indian cinema shouldn't be made synonymous with Hindi cinema. Every cinema, including Bengali, Marathi and others, have been slowly recognized lately. India is about South India also. I am glad today that our cinema is getting globally recognized.

When I am doing a TV show or appearing on a non-film platform, I can be me. I can laugh as I do it in my real life.

On whether she will contest in elections in Tamil Nadu: It is up to the party (BJP) to take a call. I can be a multi-tasker. Even if I become a people's representative, I will continue to take up acting assignments.

Updated on April 18, 2023