She became popular with her FAIR N LOVELY ad with Rakesh Roshan. But it was not Rakesh Roshan but director YVS Chowdary who offered her, her first movie DEVDAS. Glowing with the success of her very first film, Illeana, now a busy actress takes time out to chat with Ragalahari.
Q: Tell us about your background?
A: Well... My father is a Goan. My mother was a Muslim before marriage. After they married she converted into a Christian. So I am a Christian. I was born in Mumbai. We shifted to Goa 7 years ago and now we are back in Mumbai.
Q: How are you celebrating the success of DEVDAS?
A: (laughs) I wish I could celebrate the success, but I busy right now with my shoots. I will probably go to Goa when I get the time, to be with my family. Or I will call them here. I haven’t decided as yet. Didn’t plan any thing.
Q: How did you come across this offer?
A: Chowdaryji happened to see the Fair n Lovely ad that I did with Rakesh Roshan. I guess I thought I fitted the role, so he approached me. We met and I liked the story so I signed the contract.
Q: What was your experience like working in DEVDAS?
A: It was an amazing experience. Especially working with Chowdaryji (director YVS Chowdary) he is an excellent director, very professional, very particular. He wants everything to be perfect and is also very helpful on the sets. I am very thankful to him. I am glad that he directed my first movie. He is very patient.
Q: So he is like your guru?
A: Yes… (Smiling) I think I will call him my guru.
Q: How does it feel to have worked for a big banner for your first movie itself?
A: Amazing…I am so proud about it. I guess I am just plain lucky. Very lucky.
Q: Tell us about your co-star in DEVDAS, Ram. This is his first movie also?
A: Yes this is his first movie. Ram is completely natural in front of the camera. He has been in this industry for quite some time now. So he knows a lot more than I do. He is very helpful. He helped me out with my dialogues; he improvised the scenes for me a couple of times. We got along well.
Q: Which is your favorite scene in DEVDAS?
A: I enjoyed doing the scene after the interval. The scene in which I confront my father. I scream and yell at him. I loved shooting for that scene.
Q: And which is your favorite song?
A: I like the song for which we shot on the beach in Thailand. It’s a romantic number. It was called Adigi Adagaleka.
Q: So you know Telugu?
A: I learned a few words. I can say things like “Bagunnara”, “Koorchondi” and “Cheppandi”. If you actually hear me speaking I am not that bad (smiling).
Q: You wore a lot of costumes in this movie. Which one is your favorite?
A: The South Indian ones are my favorite. Especially the half saris are beautiful. The yellow and blue one I wore in the temple is lovely. They are very graceful you know. The typical Indian outfit.
Q: You got offers from big banners even before DEVDAS was released. How do feel about it?
A: Lucky. I guess I am very lucky. Even there was lot of publicity for DEVDAS. So my pictures were published often. I guess they saw me there. So I guess I owe it all to the press and their publicity.
Q: What kind of characters do you prefer to do?
A: I would like to be different. I want each movie to be different. I don’t want to do the same kind of simple kind of girl roles all the time. I want to try something different.
Q: Tell us about your character in POKIRI?
A: Hmm…. I don’t think I will tell u about it. The director is the better person to talk about it. He might not like me to talking about it.
Q: How does it feel working with Mahesh Babu?
A: It feels really nice working with him. He is amazing to work with. He is very helpful on the sets. I mean most people would think, because he such a big star, he will have attitude and all that. But he is a very nice person. He helped me on the sets.
Q: Are you planning to do only Telugu movies or other languages also?
A: I am open to other languages also but at the moment I am concentrating on Telugu movies. I am doing a Tamil movie also. So let’s see.
Q: Tell us about the Tamil movie?
A: It’s actually a Tamil and Telugu movie. It’s a movie of Mr. A.M.Ratnam’s banner. His son Jyothi Krishna is directing it and I am acting opposite Ravi Krishna.
Q: What kind of movies do you like?
A: To watch? I love comedies. Romantic comedies are my favorites.
Q: Who are your favorite actors?
A: My favorite actress is Kajol. She is my all time favorite. And actors…. They keep changing. Sometimes it’s Hritikh and sometimes it’s Saif Ali Khan. Presently it is Saif Ali Khan (laughs).
Q: And Directors?
A: I don’t really have a favorite director as such. As far as movies are concerned I like Karan Johar’s movies.
Q: What are your hobbies?
A: Oh... I love to read. I love water. I do a lot of swimming. And also singing and dancing. I love singing and dancing.
Q: What are your positive and negative points?
A: Mine? Oh well… I am a very friendly person. I cannot really be proud or anything. That is my positive point. I am friendly, always smiling and laughing. And what are my negative points? I am real moody. I am very short tempered. If you catch me in one of my tempers, that is it. Your whole day is ruined. That is my negative point.