Tamil's Abhi is now Kannada's Kanasu
From being just a 'Holiday Heroine' (she started her career when she was still in school and used to shoot only during vacations) to becoming an award-winning actress, Amoolya has indeed come a long way.
Kannada cinema's teen sensation who is fresh from the success of Premism tells rediff.com how she hopes to take her career graph a notch higher with her next release Nannu Nanna Kanasu directed National-award winning actor Prakash Raj who turns director with this movie.
Prakash Raj's directorial debut is a remake of his own Tamil production, Abhiyum Naanum. Nannu Nanna Kanasu releases this weekend.
How did you get the role?
I had just wrapped up the shoot for Premism when I got a call from the Nannu Nanna Kanasu unit. I saw the original Abhiyum Naanum and identified with the character I was offered. I heard that Prakash sir was going to direct it. So there was no question of saying 'no'.
'I learnt to ride a cycle for this film'
How is Prakash as a person and director?
He is a very chilled out and funny person. I remember when I went to give my first shot, he didn't say 'action'. Instead he said "Amoolya pack-up!"
As a director, he is very clear in his thoughts and is very understanding. He pushes you to give your best. It was a dream come true for me to work with such an eminent actor. Nannu nanna Kanasu was more like a picnic for me. I totally relished the experience.
Tell us about Kanasu, the character you play...
I play Prakash sir's daughter and share a very close bond with him. The film celebrates the father-daughter relationship. I felt very emotional while shooting for some of the scenes. I feel I have given an as-real-as-it-gets kind of performance in the film. I say a lot through my expressions as well. I loved a scene where Prakash sir and I converse through our expressions. In this scene, you'll see me riding a cycle... I didn't know how to ride one before this.
Image: A scene from Nannu Nanna Kanasu
'I share a good rapport with both Ramya and my film crew'
Did any scene take you back to the times you had spent with your father?
None in particular. But all the while I got a feeling that these conversations and incidents have happened between every father and daughter. However while shooting, I did miss my father who passed away recently. He was very supportive of me. Despite being a busy businessman, he used to volunteer to take care of the house as well since my mother accompanied me on my shoots.
He was a very hard-working and helpful man. I realised the kind of love and affection he had earned only on the day he died. The number of people who came to pay their last respects said it all. My brother and I hope to live up to the standards he set.
Were you initially apprehensive about replacing Ramya, who was to play Kanasu?
I took this role because I liked it and felt that there was scope for performance. Also, I share a good rapport with both Ramya and my film crew. I don't know what transpired between them. I read an interview of Ramya's where she wished me luck. All I'm thinking about now is being a part of quality films.
Image: A scene from Premism
'I don't have a dream role'
Premism was a step in that direction...
Yes. That film gave me a makeover not just in terms of looks and acting, I got rave reviews for my sophisticated look. While in my debut Cheluvina Chittara, I looked more like the girl-next-door, here I looked glamorous. I straightened my hair for the film and am planning to retain it as my fans feel I look nicer this way.
Also, when I watched the film, I felt that there was no artificiality in my acting. In fact a woman who had come to watch the movie spotted me in the theatre and told me that from now on, she'll ask her friends to see all my films. Kannada films and heroines have finally arrived, she said.
Will your real life dream boy be like your love interest in Premism?
I have never given that a thought. Right now I want to concentrate on my studies. I have not even signed any films. I'm spending quality time with my family and am happy doing just that.
Did you always want to become an actor?
I started out as a child artist and enjoyed being on the sets. So when I was asked to play the leading lady with Ganesh, I readily accepted.
Are you looking at doing particular kind of roles?I don't have a dream role, but I'll only sign films that challenge the actor in me. Whatever role I do, I'll give it my 100 per cent. However I am very particular about the banner and director.
Image: A scene from Nannu Nanna Kanasu
'I am answerable only to my family and myself'
Do rumours, controversies and link-ups bother you?
No. I am answerable only to my family and myself. My father always asked me to ignore unwanted things and concentrate on my work and that's what I'm doing.
What is your chill out mantra?
I am a home bird. I don't even enjoy shopping -- my mom and sister-in-law shop for me. I like watching movies, especially those of late actress Soundarya. She was so graceful and classy. I wish I had had a chance to act with her. At times I do feel like bunking classes and going to coffee shops and cinema theatres, but I can't do that.
When I am very bored, I ask my friend to take me on a road trip on her Scooty, but my mother has forbidden her from acting according to my whims and fancies! I do take off to my village in Mandya at times. I just love being amidst nature.
Your character is called Kanasu (dream), what is your dream?
Nothing. I just believe in taking life as it comes. Let life take its own course, I'll try and enjoy each moment.
Image: A scene from Kanasu