Pooja Hegde on shooting for Aravinda Sametha, Prabhas' film and Housefull 4 at same time: 'I want to absorb everything'
Sometime in September this year, Pooja Hegde found herself driving on the Ahmedabad-Jaisalmer highway in the middle of the night. She was racing against time to join the sets of her ongoing Hindi film, Housefull 4 in Jaisalmer. Nearly 10 hours later, when she finally reached the set, the crew reminded her that she is pushing the limits as far as juggling between multiple shoots is concerned. “There are a very few direct flights to Jaisalmer,” Pooja laughs, adding, “It became a running joke on the Housefull 4 set, because there were days when I was working three shifts, like how yesteryear actors used to do. I’m part of some really big films in Telugu and Hindi, and I didn’t want to miss anything. One time, I ended up shooting for Aravinda Sametha, Mahesh Babu’s Maharshi and Prabhas’ film all on the same day. If I wasn’t shooting in Hyderabad, then I would make it a point to dub for my role in Aravinda Samantha, or fly back to Houseful 4 shoot. It was really hectic, but it was exciting.”
Pooja is all praise for filmmaker Trivikram’s style of working, which she says makes it quite easy for actors to get into the shoes of their respective characters. “We would discuss a lot about the backstory of the character and she’s someone whose emotional quotient is higher than her intelligence quotient. He’s quite receptive when it comes to giving actors freedom to bring their own style to the character. In the film, I keep telling Jr NTR that I need space, and Trivikram liked my mannerisms so much that he retained that as a recurring theme,” the actress recalls, adding, “I wish I could be like Aravindha. She’s mature, sassy, and witty. The character seemed so real. It was a lot of fun playing her.”
In recent times, actresses like Samantha, Keerthy Suresh, Anu Emmanuel and Rakul Preet Singh among many others have made a conscious effort to dub for themselves. And now, Hegde too joined the list with Aravindha Sametha. The actress confesses that she had thought about dubbing for herself while watching some of her earlier films. “As an actor, dubbing is quite crucial, and your performance too changes because your own tone changes a lot of things. Every actor has their own style when it comes to delivering dialogues, and Aravindha had a certain attitude which I could relate a lot to. I wanted to get it right, but in the end, it was Trivikram’s decision to use my voice or not because film is bigger than anything,” she says. Apparently, a couple of other dubbing artistes had completed significant portions. However, when Trivikram tried to retain Hegde’s voice, he was more than pleased with the results. “I had to put in a lot of effort to sound like a Telugu girl. It’s all new to me, and I hope I’ve done a good job. It’s not easy to do all this in a Trivikram’s film considering how beautifully he writes the dialogues.”
Considering that it was her first collaboration with Jr NTR, Pooja says that she had to be all the more well-prepared before her shot throughout the filming process. “His reputation of being a single take artiste precedes him, isn’t it?” she laughs, adding, “I had to memorise all the lines and try my best to not fumble during the shoot. He’s so damn good, be it the way he carries the emotion in a scene or delivering his lines. For a change, I guess I had more lines than him in every scene that I had to shoot with him (laughs).”
For the past few days, she has been shooting in Italy for her upcoming Telugu film with Prabhas. Looking at the giant strides she has made in the past couple of years, especially in Telugu, it would not be an exaggeration to say that she has hit a purple patch. Ask her if her life has changed in the recent past, Pooja says, “I’ve always been quite serious about my work and there is no way that I can take whatever is coming way for granted. What has changed in recent times is that I’ve become more passionate about films. I’ve had the opportunity to work with some really big directors like Trivikram Srinivas, Vamshi Paidipally, and actors like Jr NTR, Prabhas and Mahesh Babu. So, I end up spending as much time on the sets as I can and try to absorb everything that’s happening. I’m like a sponge. I hope all this has changed me as a person too. But more importantly, I want my work to speak for itself.”
Updated Date: Oct 15, 2018 07:48:00 IST