Eesha Rebba: I was stereotyped by the industry
In this exclusive interview, Esha Rebba speaks about filmmakers' perception of her career choices, as well as her survival and struggles in Telugu cinema
In an industry that largely revolves around men and their heroics, it's a rarity to come across scripts written specifically for female actors. Eesha Rebba is thus understandably excited to be headlining her first female-centric film, Raagala 24 Gantallo. “It’s been my long-time dream to work in a female-centric film,” she starts off.
The Warangal girl says the suspense-thriller shows her in a different light. “When director Sreenivas Redde narrated the script, he assured me that the entire story is centred around my character, Vidya. The film revolves around my character and I will be seen in every frame. I was bowled over by the twists in it. My role has grey shades and that's the reason I have accepted this film,” says Eesha.
The actor found the project challenging on more than one front. “We travelled a lot and worked from 6 am to 2 am every day. My character displays a wide range of emotions as well. So playing this part was physically and mentally exhausting. Around the same time, I had to shoot for my other Tamil film as well. It has really taken a toll on me.”
Shooting down reports that she did not bother to promote Ragala 24 Gantallo following a rift with the makers, she says, “I am always available to promote my films. The fact is that I was not in the city when they released the promotional song of this film. I got back to promotions and am trying my best to market our film to a large audience.”
The 29-year-old actor agrees that she's yet to break into the big league, but remains optimistic. “It's really difficult for a Telugu girl to survive in the industry, to be honest. We don’t get many opportunities. Nevertheless, I am happy to work on exciting scripts that I've been fortunate enough to get,” she says, adding that she only signs a film if she can relate to the character. “I have to also be pleased with the story and believe in the director’s sensibilities and conviction as well.”
Eesha feels she has been unduly stereotyped as a traditional (Telugu) girl, who is uncomfortable doing glamour roles. “Ever since I started my career, I was put in a certain category and people had the wrong perception. Being a Telugu girl, I was stereotyped in terms of my dressing style, looks and the kind of cinema I could do. Many people told me that I could only play a sari-clad traditional woman and could not pull off glamour roles. However, I have no issues with doing glamorous roles, as long as they are important for the story,” claims the Awe actor.
She feels that unlike their male counterparts, female actors get a limited scope to experiment. “Female actors don’t have as many options and we have to choose among the projects that come our way.”
Eesha, however, does not regret her choices. “I choose my scripts personally at my own discretion. I always give my 100 per cent and I don't regret anything. I hope to continue to make good cinema in the days to come.”
The actor is set to make her digital debut with the Telugu version of Netflix’s Lust Stories. “It was a highly successful series in Hindi. The Telugu version is not a remake of the Hindi version. It is an anthology of four different short stories. I am doing the segment directed by Sankalp Reddy, and contrary to reports, I am not reprising Kiara Advani's role. My short also has Avasarala Srinivas, Ashima, and Satyadev, with whom I share a good vibe,” says Eesha.
Esha also has a new Telugu film in the offing, but prefers to keep mum about it for now. “I have signed a Telugu film and you will get to know the details soon. Apart from this, my Tamil film Aayiram Jenmangal, co-starring GV Prakash Kumar, is complete and will hit the screens on December 25,” she concludes.