You are only as good as your last film
Regina Cassandra, can’t wait for Selvaraghavan’s Nenjam Marapathillai to get released
Regina has been busy shuffling back and forth from Telangana to Tamil Nadu for shooting and promotions. With quite a few Tamil films lined up, including the one she’s very excited about—Nenjam Marappathillai—her career is on a definite upswing.
Excerpts from the interview below:
From doing a cameo in Kanda Naal Mudhal, you’ve come a long way.
It’s been a roller coaster ride, but an amazing one. I’ve learned a lot over the years and I can see the difference in my ability. Who I am today isn’t who I was then.
Though you started with Tamil films, it was in Telugu cinema that you first became popular.
Even I find that fascinating. Even though I speak English at home, I consider myself to be a Chennai ponnu. But that said, even in Chennai, these days, I find myself talking more in Telugu! (laughs). Telugu cinema has given me my big breaks, but Tamil cinema has been good to me too. Both industries are special in their own ways.
How different are they?
In Telugu films, the heroine has to look a certain way. Even if I played a girl from an underprivileged background, I’d have to wear jewels and expensive designer clothes. That’s not the case in Tamil. For the xerox-kadai ponnu look in Kedi Billa..., I was able to wear simple clothes and the audience here related to the character. Managaram, for instance, did so well in Tamil, but the reception to the Telugu version, Nagaram, was fairly muted in comparison. I was actually asked why I looked like a regular girl instead of a ‘heroine’!
After experimenting with other genres, you have returned to comedy territory with Saravanan Irruka Bayamaen.
I want to pull off commercial films as well as story-driven films. I’ve always wanted to balance the two, and I’m glad that it’s happening. It’s a film in which I’ll be seen as a proper Tamil heroine. I really loved working with the team. Udhay is an amazing co-star and a great person as well. Despite also being the producer, he doesn’t get stressed out easily.
We haven’t heard a lot about your next, Nenjam Marapathillai.
It’s my first horror film. I prepared for it by staying alone in a beach house in ECR. On the day of the film’s poster release on Twitter, we were sent e-mails of the pictures just some two minutes ahead of the unveiling. Selva(raghavan) prefers to maintain the mystery like that. He knows what he wants, and how to get it. We’re all eager for the film to hit the screens. The delay is not his fault. He finished the film on time. But due to unfortunate circumstances, it is getting delayed. I’m sure it’ll be out soon.
What is like to work with senior directors like Selvaraghavan, as opposed to newbies?
I know what it feels like to be a newcomer and not be given an opportunity to showcase my talent. If I trust a new filmmaker and have confidence in the script, I will work with him. In fact, I’m doing a Telugu film with a new director, new hero and a new production house, for this very reason. I want to be a part of new age cinema. The only difference I feel is that veterans know what they want and have it all figured out. New directors improvise a lot. In today’s industry, you’re only as good as your last film anyway. So it doesn’t matter.
Any dreams of doing women-centric roles?
Sure, and I’ve been approached with such films from both Tamil and Telugu cinema. To shoulder an entire film isn’t yet what I can do now. Whatever a film’s outcome, I have to first learn to deal with it. It all comes down to experience. I don’t feel like I’m there yet.
What projects are you working on?
I’m doing Silukkuvarupatti Singam and Gemini Ganeshanum Suruli Raajanum with Vishnu Vishal and Atharvaa, respectively. I’ve also got Madai Thiranthu (1945 in Telugu) with Rana Daggubati which is in midshoot. I’m also working on a Tamil-Telugu bilingual, Hare Rama Hare Krishna.
You were also supposed to get into Bollywood with Aankhen 2?
The film is on hold as of now. But there’s another big news about my Bollywood debut that I will reveal in July