Rajul Hegde in Mumbai
Bombshell Sameera Reddy who plays a Naxalite in her forthcoming film, Red Alert-the War Within, is all set to hit the screens in a non-glamorous avatar.
The film directed by Ananth Mahadevan also stars Sunil Shetty, Vinod Khanna, Naseeruddin Shah, Seema Biswas, Ayesha Dharker and Bhagyashree.
She tells Rajul Hegde all about her experiences. Excerpts:
You are known for your glamorous roles. So what made you do this de-glam role?
I did this film with Buddhadev Dasgupta called Kaalpurush which was not glamorous at all. It won the National Award and changed my life. I began to understand the nuances of acting and it changed me as an actress.
Now, I am driven by stronger roles because I feel this is my learning curve to critical acclaim. May be that is one of the reasons I agreed to do Red Alert.
Bollywood is fun; there's dance and music. It was fun doing films like Race where you are completely dumb. But to actually get into a role and understand the reason behind doing it is something else. It's a very different high.
'I play the role of a simple girl Lakshmi who gets raped'
Tell us about your character.
I play the role of a simple girl Lakshmi who gets raped and is kept in the police station. That's when the Naxals attack the police station. The Naxalites take her and groom her to become one of them. There is a story behind everything that drives you to do something.
Were you skeptical about doing the role of a Naxalite?
It is a very hard hitting subject and you can't take it lightly. I had to make sure that I did not hurt anyone's sentiments. People will ask you if you are supporting the Naxals or the government. In this film we are not taking anybody's side. What we're doing is raising an issue and telling you how it is. It's an attempt to educate people on what's happening in a remote part of the country.
'I always go with my gut instinct because I am very instinctive'
Was it difficult to play a Naxalite?
Yes. I have a soft face so it was difficult to portray myself as someone cold and hard hitting. It was challenging to play a Naxalite and to use a gun.
Did you do any kind of research for this role?
Honestly I don't do any research for films. What I do is read up on the topic and anything given to me by the director. I always go with my gut instinct because I am very instinctive.
'Seema Biswas is too good'
The film has an ensemble cast. How was it shooting with your co-stars?
This is my third film with Sunil Shetty. I've always wanted to work with Naseeruddin Shah but sadly I don't have any scenes with him. Seema Biswas is too good; I a big fan of hers. She inspires me.
We heard that you are into underwater photography?
Actually I am a scuba diver and I scuba dive every 3 months. So I do lot of underwater photography. Actually I want to launch a website to educate people on scuba diving. I am working on it but I don't think Indians like it.
I have finished Nagesh Kukunoor's Yeh Honsla. It is one of my best films.