She won the critic's appreciation with her very first film NENU. A talented actress, our very own Telugu ammai, Archana (first introduced to the industry as Veda) is also a good classical dancer. Here she answers to our queries about her recent films KOKILA and SRI RAMADASU.
Q: How did you come across the role of Sita in the movie RAMDAS?
A: I am very well acquainted with this story. I know all about the characters involved. I wanted to act in this movie right from when I heard that a movie called Ramdas was being made. And one day, quite unexpectedly, I got a call asking me to come for a make up shoot. This was after I heard that all the characters have been decided. So that’s how I landed up with the role of Sita in this movie. I feel very lucky and happy to be a part of this movie. Very rarely do we come across movies like ANNAMAYYA, AMMORU and RAMDAS. I am happy do have this kind of film so early in my career.
Q: How did it feel working with Nagarjuna?
A: Right from my college day’s Nagarjuna, Venkatesh and Chiranjeevi have been my favorite heroes. So I was very excited and happy that I was working with Nagarjuna. He made me feel very comfortable. I was not at all tensed during the film’s shooting. Even director Raghavendra Rao (whose movie PADAHARELLA VAYASU is my all time favorite movie) never made me feel nervous. Both of them despite being such great personalities and established stars are very down to earth.
Q: Glamour is given a lot of importance where heroines are concerned. But after doing the role of Sita in this movie what kind of role are you expecting?
A: I am doing other projects like KOKILA etc. see glamour is a part of the film industry. Some characters are glamour oriented while some might not require to be glamorous. As long as it looks good on screen and the character requires it there is nothing wrong about it. Sita’s is a nice character. I won’t call it a non glamorous character. In KOKILA I am doing a westernized, city girl character.
Q: How was your character highlighted in this movie?
A: Director Ragavendra Rao has choreographed my character well throughout the movie. But I felt that towards the climax my character is highlighted. It’s like a poetic composition.
Q: What was your experience like, working in this movie?
A: Like I told earlier, I never felt that I was working with such established people from the industry. Every day there was something new to learn. There were a lot of experiences. Every thing was done in a particular fashion. We would start the day with prayer on location, before shooting began. You know all the rules one follows while making this kind of movie. I started writing Ramkote. But still everything went on in a lighthearted manner. It was fun filled and nice.
Q: The co director of the film expired during the film’s making?
A: I was shocked when I heard the news about my co director. He used to narrate my dialogues and my scenes to me. It took me some time to digest the news. We all felt bad about what happened. The entire unit was so dedicated and we were doing everything the right way, but this happened. Every body was visibly upset, but the shooting had to continue.
Q: What is the highlight of this movie?
A: The music. In fact the entire movie is a highlight (laughing). After ANNAMAYYA, a movie with similar kind of story line is being made after a long gap. I am not saying that both the stories are similar. They belong to the same genre of movies. The music is a definite highlight. It is very good. And Nagarjuna’s performance is simply amazing.
Q: There are 20 keerthanas in this movie. How many of them feature you?
A: I have done a quite a few numbers. They come in bits throughout the movie.
Q: The language and mannerisms for historical movies is different. How did you work on those aspects?
A: The language is definitely different. It is not the colloquial Telugu we speak. It’s the Grandhikam type of Telugu. I was scared initially, but when I would repeat the dialogues a couple of times it became easier. I did not do any homework for it. As far as the mannerisms go, I have done a lot of stage shows as a classical dancer, so I am used to those mannerisms. It was not difficult at all.
Q: You did quite a few films after your first one N ENU but you are still remembered for that role only. Why?
A: NENU my first film is very close to my heart. The kind of appreciation I got for that movie, I did not get for any other film I have done. How well a movie does is not in my hands. The character I am doing need not necessarily be throughout the movie. As long as the role is good and I am satisfied with it I am happy. I am happy with RAMDAS. I am also doing a movie with Suhasini. It’s an off beat role, but I am satisfied with the work I have done. I am waiting for the movie to be released.
Q: How did you feel working with Suhasini?
A: She is a lovely person, a lovely human being as such. She is playing the role of my mother in the movie. And, touch wood, the chemistry between us was so perfect, it come across very well on screen. It’s very visible.
Q: Is it a women oriented movie?
A: No. it is not a women oriented movie or any message oriented movie. It’s a nice film. I’ll say it’s an off beat movie. It’s not a typical love story. It is a very intense movie. The story is the most important thing of this film. The story of this film is what holds the audiences mind.
Q: Tells us about KOKILLA?
A: KOKILLA is a fun filled, youthful movie. I was laughing all the while I was dubbing for the movie. The jokes are so good. The humor has come out really well.
Q: With three heroines in the movie, how is your character being highlighted?
A: I come in the second half of the movie. I am paired opposite Siva Balaji. I play the role of a very arrogant, westernized, city girl with lots of attitude. And how is it highlighted means I dubbed my own voice... (Laughing) so may be that will stand out.
Q: Your future projects?
A: At present I am waiting for the release of my movies. I have three movies in 2006. I am excited about their release. I am not tensed about these things. And future projects? I am waiting for good roles.
Q: You are a classical dancer. Are you looking forward for that kind of roles?
A: There is nothing like that. I have a whole list of the kind of roles I want to do. I will chose good characters from the movies that I am offered. I would like to do nice roles, intense characters. I did a very glamorous role in a Tamil movie, but never got such an offer in a Telugu film. But my role in KOKILA is a bit glamorous.