Tamannaah on Khamoshi, Devi 2: My performance is fluid when I work with Prabhu Deva

Hemanth Kumar

Jun 01, 2019 12:46:18 IST

In a career spanning more than 14 years, Tamannaah has been part of some of the biggest hits in Telugu and Tamil cinema, and with films like Baahubali, F2, Oopiri to her credit in recent times, the actress has proven that her star power is intact. However, her career in Bollywood is a different story. Her last Hindi film, Entertainment, released back in 2014 and it didn’t quite do well at the box office. Although she has appeared in numerous films which were dubbed in Hindi since Baahubali released in 2015, Tamannaah has been too busy in Telugu and Tamil cinema to give another shot in Bollywood after Humshakals and Entertainment.

Now, her upcoming film, Khamoshi, directed by Chakri Toleti, will mark her return to Hindi cinema after five years. Ask her if she’s nervous about how the film is going to be received in Hindi, Tamannaah offers a different perspective about her choices. “A film is a film. It doesn’t matter which language it’s made in, and I don’t pick films based on the genre. Today, we are forced to make content which will work in every market. And the explosion of digital medium has ensured that our content reaches to a wider audience. And language hasn’t been a top priority for me. I look at each project individually. As long as I get interesting characters to play, it doesn’t matter what language it’s shot in,” the actress avers.

Tamannaah on Khamoshi, Devi 2: My performance is fluid when I work with Prabhu Deva

Tamannaah. File image

In Khamoshi, Tamannaah plays Surbhi, a deaf and mute painter, who’s the trustee of a palatial mansion that belonged to her ancestors. Amidst a property dispute with her family members, Surbhi must survive at any cost when a murderer, played by Prabhudeva, enters the mansion. The actress says that she was quite impressed with the script and how director Chakri Toleti made everything feel authentic. “What I really liked was that Chakri didn’t try to commercialise the film just because it had Prabhu sir and me. There is no song or dance routine. Chakri kept it very authentic, and the treatment of the script is quite international. I’ve never played a character like this before in my career, and the situation that she finds herself is quite interesting. Moreover, I feel that it’s my most authentic look. There’s no make-up at all, and every emotion felt quite real while shooting for it. I just had to react to the situation that I find myself in. It’s a very tight script,” Tamannaah says, adding, “Since I was playing a deaf and mute character, there was a trainer on set throughout the shoot. Whenever I would go off the track with my expressions, the trainer would quickly correct me. It was an interesting process.”

Although the film was shot back in 2017, Tamannaah remembers the generosity of the crew, quite vividly. “We shot the film in UK and it was biting cold. Not many know that I fell really sick during the shoot, but Chakri and the whole crew made me feel quite comfortable. On top of that, we had a lot of night shoots because most part of the film unfolds over the span of one night, and I don’t have the habit of staying awake late in the nights. That was quite tough,” she says.

In the past couple of years, the actress has signed a string of horror comedies or films which have a supernatural element; however, she isn’t a big fan of true blue horror films. “I don’t like jump scares in films, and I can’t watch a horror film alone. I got so scared after I saw House Of Wax that I stayed away from anything to do with wax or waxing for nearly a month (laughs). Although I’ve been part of films like Devi, Devi 2, Khamoshi, and couple of more upcoming films, there’s no gore in these films. Khamoshi is more of a thriller. Devi and Devi 2 have a supernatural element, and they are fun films. My upcoming film Raju Gari Gadhi 3 is a horror comedy and I’m also part of Tamil remake of Anando Brahma (2017 Telugu film starring Taapsee) which is again a comedy film with a tinge of horror,” Tamannaah reveals.

When she shot Khamoshi in 2017, Tamannaah had previously worked with Prabhudeva for Vijay’s Devi, which was also dubbed in Telugu as Abhinetri. The two share a great rapport and Tamannaah says that his presence makes her performance better. “Since Prabhu sir and me worked in Devi, we understand each other’s approach better. I know how he would react in a certain situation and what school of thought he comes from. And he’s the kind of actor, who lets his co-stars perform without any inhibitions. That’s why I think, my performance gets better when I work with him. It’s a lot more fluid when he’s around.”

Incidentally, Tamannaah and Prabhudeva-starrer Devi 2 hit theatres on 31 May. The actress underlines the fact that both films are completely different from each other. “They have different stories to tell and my role and performance are quite different from each other. I hope the audience too feel the same way,” she adds. In Devi 2, the actress plays a housewife who goes out of her way to help her husband, played by Prabhudeva, who gets possessed by a ghost. “I enjoyed acting in Devi 2 a lot more because, unlike Devi which was more about Ruby, I got to explore the characterisation of Devi more here. She’s a simple village girl and the way her character graph evolves is interesting.”

Off late, the actress has been busy shooting for Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy, her next big film in Telugu. The film, starring Chiranjeevi, Amitabh Bachchan, Nayanthara, Vijay Sethupathi, and Sudeep to name a few, has Tamannaah playing a key role and her excitement about the film is palpable. “The roles offered to me are definitely getting better. More than me, the directors are excited about creating a new look and characterisation for me. Sye Raa isn’t just a costume drama. Each character has its importance and a graph. I must thank Sushmita, Chiranjeevi’s daughter, for styling every character beautifully. It’s a blessing to have her around,” she says.

Having begun her year with a blockbuster in Telugu with F2, Tamannaah has quite a few films lined up for release this year including Vishal-Sundar C’s next, which she says will be a slick, urban action film. And she isn’t slowing down anytime soon. “I’m listening to more scripts now so that I can start shooting for them later this year. People keep telling me that I need to take a break, go on a holiday. I think with the amount of work I have, a long flight journey is my longest vacation. The films and characters that I’m doing are so interesting that I keep forgetting to take a break,” Tamannaah signs off.

Updated Date: Jun 01, 2019 13:04:12 IST