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Sreeleela: I enjoy acting, and it is no stress for me- Cinema express

Sreeleela: I enjoy acting, and it is no stress for me

The actor gets candid about her journey in the film industry and her growing popularity in Telugu

Published: 16th May 2023

In 2019, Sreeleela made her acting debut with AP Arjun’s Kiss. Winning the hearts of the Kannada audience right from her first film, Sreeleela took all the right steps as Bharaate, By 2 Love, and the upcoming pan-India project Junior with debutant Kireeti Reddy solidified her position in the Kannada cinema. One such right step for the skilled dancer and medicine student was spreading her wings to Telugu cinema, much like some of her illustrious predecessors, Rashmika Mandanna and Shraddha Srinath.  

While Sreeleela made her Telugu debut with Pelli SandaD, her sophomore project, Dhamaka, won her hearts in Telugu cinema too. Juggling between multiple projects, Sreeleela is currently onboard Ram Pothineni’s next with director Boyapati Srinu, a project with Telugu superstar Balakrishna, Vijay Devarakonda’s maiden collaboration with Gautam Tinnanuri, and the much-awaited Pawan Kalyan-Harish Shankar reunion, among others. With the projects in hand, it is clear that Sreeleela is turning into a force to be reckoned with.

Despite her busy schedule, the talented actor maintains a positive attitude, and thanks her mother for efficiently managing her schedule and easing up the burden. "To be frank, I enjoy acting, and it is no stress for me. People have done it all before, and I know there is nothing that I am doing new. So, I am just loving how I get to switch between so many characters. One day, I am playing a next-door girl, and the next day, I am playing a brat. What has really surprised me is how the audience has started addressing me by my character,” says Sreeleela.

Considering how Sreeleela’s stellar lineup in Telugu includes films with superstars like Balakrishna and Pawan Kalyan, younger stars like Nithin, Ram, and Vijay Deverakonda, and up-and-coming stars like Panja Vaishnav Tej and Kireeti Reddy, it is clear that Sreeleela is the toast of Telugu cinema right now. "Sharing screen space with these actors has only helped in developing my acting range. I observe each of these actors, their preparation, and their behaviour on set. It is fascinating how each actor brings in something different, and I am enjoying this process of observation and learning. Genuinely, it has been a blessing to work with each one of them," says Sreeleela.

Sreeleela will soon start working on VD 12, her upcoming project with Vijay Devarakonda. "I was thrilled when I heard the story. It is very interesting and will definitely be a standout film in my career,” says Sreeleela, adding, "Right from the time I saw Jersey, I wanted to work with Gautam Tinnanuri. In fact, I see this opportunity as the result of my heartfelt manifestation about collaborating with him," she adds.

While Sreeleela calls Kannada cinema her home, she is comfortable with Telugu too, and asserts the importance of learning languages to perform well. "Even if it is a French film, I will learn the language and be a part of it. I believe that is what makes it real," says Sreeleela, who goes on to reveal that she is receiving offers from Malayalam and Tamil cinema too, but has put them on hold. With so many offers coming her way, is there a specific kind of role that she wishes comes her way? "I love rom-coms, and if there is a compelling story that comes my way, I would love to do it. Another dream of mine is to be part of period films, which I hope happens soon."

In Kannada, Sreeleela has completed the talkie portions for Junior, which is directed by Radhakrishnan, and marks the acting debut of political leader Janardhan Reddy’s son Kireeti Reddy. "I never want people to feel that I am too busy in Telugu and will not work in Kannada. They should know that Sandalwood is my home. When Kantara was released, I felt close to home because even when shooting for the Telugu films, I had many from the cast and crew appreciate Kannada cinema. I am never truly away from Kannada cinema,” says Sreeleela, adding, “I have been getting a lot of women-centric film offers in Kannada, but I don’t think I have developed the abilities to shoulder a film yet. I do dream about such roles, but it is important to be practical too."

It is interesting how Sreeleela has joined the small but growing list of medicos-turned-actors that already has names like Sai Pallavi and Aishwarya Lekshmi. "I think both the professions I have chosen for myself come to the same endpoint. They are different directions to the same core. Both these professions are directly related to people. While cinema is to entertain them, being a doctor is helping them. At the end of the day, it is still a service."

Wrapping up the conversation, Sreeleela dreamily ventures into a more personal zone as she opens up about being an old-school person stuck in the modern digital era. "I don’t identify myself as a Gen Z at all. I feel I belong to that era when Rekha, Sridevi, and Lakshmi ruled the silver screen. They are all my favorite actors. People ask me who my favorite is, and when I respond with their names, they look at me like I am from another planet. Even my playlist comprises songs mostly from black and white movies," signs off Sreeleela, giving us a brief glimpse into her world away from the glitz, glamour, and superstardom.

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