Pooja Hegde talks about the response to her role in 'Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo', working with Allu Arjun and Trivikram, her career, the choices she has made and more in this interview. Excerpts..
Calm & Composed
Trivikram is a very calm and composed director. I learnt how to be patient from him. He gives a detailed explanation to every scene and every line in a song. He is a person with no ego. That's a great quality. I get scared when a director shouts on the sets. But when a director is cool and smiling, we forget all the pressures and tensions. Trivikram never behaves like he is a successful director. So, I called him Guruji. I enjoy working with him.
I couldn't stop laughing when Trivikram garu was narrating the story. I loved the script and thought it is a popcorn entertainer. 'Aravindha Sametha' was a serious subject. Allu Arjun's previous movie, 'Naa Peru Surya', was also a serious film. I thought doing this fun subject will be good. When Trivikram garu said mine will be a strong character, I signed the film without any second thought. I believe it is a strong character. That character changes the way the hero's character thinks. 'Samajavaragamana' was shot very poetically. When the hero can't stop staring at my legs, I ask him to raise his head and he sees into my eyes. He then tells his colleagues, "First time Madam Kallallo choosaanu sir..Madam sir..Madam anthe". I liked that dialogue. It was justified. Is it okay to show navel when the heroine wears half saree or choli?
Comfort with Allu Arjun
I've worked with Allu Arjun for two movies. The comfort level between him and me increased on the sets. That reflects on the screen. So people think that the chemistry between us is good. I am a fan of Allu Arjun's work ethic. I am also enjoying working with Prabhas.
Dancing with Allu Arjun
I don't have difficult dance moves to do in this movie. I only did simple steps. So there was no question of matching Allu Arjun. I've worked with great dancers like Hrithik Roshan, NTR and Allu Arjun. I am going to work with Hrithik Roshan again. I feel that I've matched their skills.
I like the lead scene to 'Butta Bomma' song. I also like the board room scene. They are funny.
Dubbing for my role in 'Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo' was not easy. Because, Telugu is not my first language. But dubbing myself for my roles elevates my performance. I learnt how to mouth dialogues during the filming so that it won't be difficult during the dubbing. I don't like over acting. When dubbing artists dub for our roles, it feels like over acting. I respect good dubbing artists who elevate our performances. I even dubbed for 'Aravindha Sametha'. After that movie released an actress texted me asking who dubbed for my role and she wanted the same artist to dub for her. I felt it was a great compliment for my work. With Amulya character in AVPL, I've become more like a Telugu girl. Even Bollywood people feel that I'm a Hyderabadi. I haven't hired a tutor to learn Telugu. I speak with my manager and staff in Telugu. I get scared whenever I want to speak in Telugu in interviews like this.
I have the capacity to do four films at a time. Since I'm doing two Telugu films currently, I can do two Hindi movies. I want to become an Indian star. I don't want to restrict myself to one particular language. I will do movies wherever audiences accept me.
I didn't do a second heroine role in 'Housefull 4'. I did with Akshay Kumar for one half and Riteish Deshmukh for the other half. I didn't do slapstick comedy until then. So doing that movie was a great experience. That experience has come in handy for 'Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo'. I learnt how to draw attention towards us when there are ten big actors on the screen. I think I haven't done any second heroine role till now. People have accepted me in different roles in 2029. They accepted me as Sridevi in 'Gaddalakonda Ganesh'. They liked me as a college student and corporate woman in 'Maharshi'. They are now enjoying the boss role in 'Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo'. I think versatility is my strength.