KISS debutante determined to be a doctor
Sixteen year old Sreeleela’s first movie is an offbeat look at relationships; she chats about her accidental entry into movies and her determination to become a doctor
The spotlight is on the young actress Sreeleela, who is getting ready to face the camera at the tender age of 16. She has been picked by director AP Arjun for his next movie KISS, currently being shot, in which she is paired opposite Vicky.
Interestingly, those who have observed her on the sets say that she is a heroine in the making. As the director is completing the talkie portions of KISS, she gives her first ever interview to CE.
Sreeleela says that she has always wanted to be a doctor and is still working on it. “Honestly, I don’t think I would have made it to the film industry by myself,” she says. “But people who believed that I could do well in this field encouraged me and helped me land this project, KISS.” The debutante has been training in Bharatanatyam since she was eight and half years old, and says people from the industry have seen her on stage and said that she has an expressive face and even called her a ‘pucca heroine material’. She adds, “I hadn’t thought of being anything other than a doctor, this career move has come as a big surprise even to me.”
After completing her talkie portions, she will be heading for the song shoot, which the filmmakers have planned in San Francisco. Sreeleela says that she is thankful that the team puts in so much effort to make sure she is comfortable on the sets. “There was a rapport we shared on the sets that helped me give me best for every shot,” she says. “If people on the sets are saying that I have potential to be a good actor, I just feel blessed. It is true that I am able to replicate the director’s vision, like a photocopy. I have an expressive face thanks to my training in dance, and at home I am a drama queen. I imitate a lot of people, and entertain others.” Though she was never too interested in watching movies, she now makes it a point to watch all the Kannada films, mainly to get the right diction and slang.
This first-year pre-university student is confident of juggling her studies and career in cinema. “It is all in the mind and I want to get ahead in my life,” she says. “Of course, a few people who were close to me and my family did say that I should not get into the industry this young. But my mind was made up and I was confident that I could act and study well at the same time. My mother has placed her trust in me, allowing me to pursue my interest in acting, and now I will do my part and get my MBBS.”
Sreeleela was keen not to be cast in a run-of-the-mill story, and therefore picked AP Arjun’s unconventional story. She admits though that the title had made her wary. “When we heard it first, my mother and I said a big ‘No’. I remember my mother telling the director, ‘She is a child’ and I always felt that I won’t be able to carry it off.” But all her anxieties vanished after she heard the story. “KISS is not vulgar by any stretch. There is a lip-to-lip kiss, but it is relevant to the story, and there is a message that a kiss, even when planted on your cheek or forehead, can forge a relationship,” says Sreeleela, adding “It has been difficult telling people that my first film is KISS, they look at me strangely. But their notions will be dispelled once they watch the film.”