Lucky I didn’t do Laila-Sameera Reddy
Sameera Reddy speaks her mind for the first time on item number controversy in new movie
Upala KBR (BOMBAY TIMES; May 8, 2012)
Sameera Reddy has received a positive response to her role and bike stunts in Tezz, her latest release. While she is upset that her item song Laila went to Mallika Sherawat, Sam is determined to put that behind her. Here, she talks about her “sexy” avatar and why she has moved on.
You’ve got good reviews for Tezz.
Ajay Devgn complimented me for the bike chase and even sweetly referred to me as one of the “heroes of Tezz” during the promotions. Action is integral to Tezz, and I was right at the heart of it. Coming from the Singham man himself, it was the biggest compliment I got. I put my 100 per cent into the role, so I knew that that would pay off. The reviews vindicated my hard work!
Of late, you’ve lost a lot of weight and are looking svelte and sexy.
I prefer a naturally toned body. For that, I swim about 70 laps everyday. I toned up for Tezz as it was a very tough role and I had to be as agile as I could be. To steel myself through the stunts, I also added power yoga and pranayam for mental balance. The scene in the white-water rapids has a segment where I hide underwater. This was in Scotland, where the water was freezing cold. And we did the stunt again and again to get the timing right. It really boils down to mental endurance, once your body tunes out. Also, I have always been a careful eater. Post Tezz, I have continued the regimen and it has paid off.
Were you upset that the Laila song (promised to you) went to Mallika Sherawat? Priyadarshan felt you would have done it better.
I was disgusted when the news of Laila going to Mallika was confirmed. I am flattered that Priyan sir thinks I would have done justice to the song. I am an actor first, so a song does not matter. I don’t know Mallika and have never interacted with her, but a lot of people who saw the Laila song felt it stood out like a sore thumb. In hindsight, it worked out for the best! I was lucky I didn’t do the Laila song.
Do you feel you’ve been given a raw deal by the producer in Tezz?
I am grateful to them for the opportunity. I had fun working on the film and I am glad I got appreciated for my hard work. Laila left a bitter taste in my mouth because I know I could have done it better than anybody else in the business.
Apparently, you had a bad accident while filming a bike scene?
Yes. It happened in Scotland. While taking a turn in a hilly forest area, the rig broke and the bike went skidding at full speed. I got flung off. If I had left even one leg on the ground, I would have either lost the leg or would have toppled the bike and had severe head injuries. The entire crew was shaken up and the shoot packed up. I still have the scar on my left leg. It was extremely scary. Ironically, it was the last shot of the stunt sequence.
Do you feel you have given your best till now?
I have enjoyed immense of love and support from my fans. Whenever the going got tough, they kept me going. I also have a huge following in the South. I have done two Bengali films as well. I have been lucky to be a part of some fabulous big banner projects in Bollywood. From being a little dumpy kid in awe of my sisters, I am blessed to have come this far. The only thing that niggles me is that I have yet to sink my teeth into a Bollywood role that is really meaty. Cinema today is exciting for actresses since roles are being written for women and the script is becoming the king of the box-office. Director Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s Bengali film Kaalpurush, where I played the title role of a simple housewife won the National Award while my other path breaking film, Yeh Hausla, with Nagesh Kukunoor, is still awaiting release. In it I play the role of a peasant who, when exploited, leads an uprising.
You have been touted as one of the highest paid actresses in the south.
I have a parallel career — a successful one at that — in the South. It’s very rewarding.
It seems you are one of the most in-demand actors on the stage show circuit?
Thanks to Shah Rukh, the show business has become an integral part of an actor’s career. I am a trained kathak dancer and I come alive on stage. Choreographers know I can pull off the toughest of sequences. And thanks to Musafir a floodgate was opened! I have been lucky to be a part of films where the music was super popular — from Musafir, Taxi 9211, Race, De Dana Dan. I’m happy to be in demand because I enjoy doing televised and live performances. Revving up a live audience is an incredible high. I quite enjoy this part of the business.
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