Anupama Parameswaran talks Tej - I Love You, working with Karunakaran, and Kannada cinema debut
Anupama Parameswaran is a ball of energy and has earned quite a few nicknames from almost every star she has worked with. “Ram used to and still calls me Upma!” she laughs, recalling her conversations while working with her Vunnadhi Okate Zindagi and Hello Guru Prema Kosame co-star. But her brand new nickname is, perhaps, even more amusing. Apparently, Sai Dharam Tej, her co-star in A Karunakaran’s Tej - I Love You, calls her 2B2. “It stands for 2nd standard, B Section, Roll Number 2,” she reveals and bursts out laughing that sounds more like a sign of approval for the nickname. “I gotta agree that it’s a lot of fun when the mood is so jovial on the sets; however, there’s a certain disadvantage that comes with it. Even if I’m serious about something, they don’t take me seriously.”
The actress is eagerly awaiting the audiences’ reaction to her latest film, which she says is a pure love story and quite different from what she has done so far. Although her debut role in Telugu — as Nagavalli in Trivikram Srinivas’ A Aa — had shades of grey, she has pretty much stuck to romantic and family dramas in the past couple of years. Whether it’s Premam or Krishnarjuna Yuddham, most of her films have presented her as the girl-next-door. However, she denies being stereotyped in that category.
“My role in Vunnadi Okate Zindagi was very different from what I had done in Shatamanam Bhavati or Krishnarjuna Yuddham. I have done 10 films so far in Telugu, Tamil, and Malayalam; however, you never know how each film and character will shape up in the end. You just go ahead based on your gut feeling. A lot of things should come together for a film to work. We can only choose roles that we are offered, and I think I have approached each role to the best of my abilities,” says Anupama.
In Tej - I Love You, Anupama plays Nandini, who, she says, is a lot like her. “I’m hyperactive and talkative in real life, and Nandini is 200 per cent of what I’m off-screen. She’s very loud, bossy, mature, and emotional too. The film has a wonderful love story and a family drama, a first for me. This is also a film that I shot for more than 50 days, the longest I’ve shot for any film since Shatamanam Bhavati. Naturally, I’m quite attached to the whole team,” Anupama confesses.
When she had to shoot her introduction scene for the film and director A Karunakaran realised that she was a little under the weather, he postponed the shoot for a while. No wonder, she’s quite emotionally attached to the team and says, “I was really touched by their generosity because I’m still quite new to the industry, and people don’t usually do that. It makes a lot of difference when someone of his stature does such a thing for a young actress like me.”
One of the reasons why she came on-board was the director himself. Anupama says she’s never sat through a narration as engrossing as Karunakaran’s. Admittedly, she had seen some of his previous films like Tholiprema and Happy before he met her at her home in Kerala. “Five minutes into the narration, he was jumping around while enacting how he had envisioned my role. It was a lot of fun seeing him get into that zone (laughs). And he’s a genuinely a funny person. It was an instant yes from me when I heard the story,” she admits.
Her co-star, Sai Dharam Tej, too lived up to his reputation of being quite energetic during the shoot. “He’s a livewire on the sets. There’s no difference between his real and reel life personality. All of us got along really well, and we would always fight, make fun of each other, and I’ll never forget the nickname he gave me!”
While her upcoming Telugu film Hello Guru Prema Kosame is still under production, Anupama recently signed a Kannada film, Nata Sarvabhouma, where she’s paired opposite Kannada superstar Puneeth Rajkumar. And with this, she has joined a league of select few actresses who have acted in all the four South Indian film industries. “To be honest, I never thought I would do a Kannada film, primarily because I didn’t know the language. I’ve always wanted to learn the language before I start shooting because I can’t handle prompting. I didn’t want my lack of understanding of a new language to be a distraction for my work. But I loved the script which Pavan Wadeyar narrated and Puneeth is a big star. It’s going to be a great start for me in Kannada cinema,” Anupama reveals.
“The trick to learning a new language,” Anupama says, “is quite simple. I start watching films in that language without subtitles. Sometimes, I would watch the same film 3-4 times. And once you get a hang of the language, you learn your lines, and start interacting with people around you in their language. That’s how it worked for me when I made my debut in Telugu. Of course, Trivikram Srinivas garu was a pillar of support of me and he helped me throughout the shoot and dubbing process. It requires a lot of effort, but it’s totally worth it.”
While her own career is going great, Anupama is all praise for her peers in the industry, starting from Samantha in Rangasthalam to Sai Pallavi’s work over the years. “No one could have done a better job than Samantha as Ramalakshmi in Rangasthalam. I’m bad at going out or meeting people regularly, although we end up meeting in person during award ceremonies once in a while. However, we keep in touch and chat about our films. The point of discussion is almost always our films and work. We always encourage each other and try to learn from each other. I guess there’s no end to it as long as cinema exists,” Anupama signs off.
Tej - I Love You, starring Sai Dharam Tej and Anupama Parameswaran, is slated for release on 6 July.
Updated Date: Jul 06, 2018 10:18:24 IST