Heroes doing item songs will be eye candy for girls: Tamannaah Bhatia
About a decade into films, Tamannaah Bhatia can claim, without sounding a bit self-important, that she has shown versatility. In an industry that has a disproportionate premium on a heroine’s glamour quotient; Tamannaah is one rare actress who has essayed tough roles, so to speak. “In the period drama Baahubali, I have played a warrior, having also angelic portions. In Oopiri, I am seen in a Western contemporary avatar. Prabhu Deva’s tri-lingual that I am doing is a female-centric film. I want to prove that I am a versatile actress. It’s not just about being a heroine. I always strive to offer something interesting to the audience,” says Tamannaah, her panache intact.
Year 2015 was a phenomenal one in her career. “Life before and after Baahubali is pretty much the same for me, as a person. But as an actor, I have become more responsible and conscious of the kind of roles I play. I never expected Baahubali to become so big in Hindi. I don’t know if people take me more seriously now. But yes, there is a lot of acceptance nationally,” Tamannaah quips.
Talking about her Telugu-Tamil bi-lingual Oopiri/Thozha, Tamannaah says that it was like acting in two different versions. “For me at least, both the takes were completely different. I don’t know about Nag sir and Karthi. I could never do the Tamil and Telugu versions exactly the same. I didn’t even try to do that. The mannerisms of a person who speaks Tamil is different from that of a person who speaks Telugu. Even the pauses are different; expressions could change.”
How was it dubbing for herself for the first time in Telugu? “Well, a lot of coffee helps in getting through. It was great. Completing your performance with your own voice is so important. I value dubbing a lot more now. Because it’s not only my facial expressions, but also my voice’s.”
Hasn’t it been a taxing routine for this busy bee? “See, I can’t even tell you how neck deep I am in work. I don’t even have time to fall sick. Working for bi-linguals and tri-linguals is very time-consuming. Baahubali was made on an epic scale. Oopiri took a year to do. I feel I am over-burdened. I don’t want to do 10 films. That’s not my deal. I have got to do films in two or three languages, something other actors might not have got,” Tamannaah says, quite candidly.
The much-adulated beauty has done item songs in the past. Is she open to do such songs again? “It’s not like I wait for them. As for male stars doing such songs, why not? Southern stars are gifted dancers.
If they do such songs, it will be eye candy for the girls,” she says, matter-of-factly.
The diplomatic actress responds to rumours with a smile. “I don’t know when I was approached for Chiranjeevi garu’s 150th film and when I turned it down. When I read such baseless gossip, I tell myself, ‘OK, good! I did that’. We don’t know certain things about ourselves, but the media does!”
As for the make- over for the role of Keerthy in Oopiri/Thozha, Tamannaah says that she went by her director’s narrative. “Vamshi (Paidipally) told me that once you start looking like the character, 50 per cent of the job is done. He gave me very tight clothes to wear. So tight that `naku oopiri ravatledu’ (I couldn’t breathe). At the end of the day when you see the character, she looks so strong,” Tamannah ponders.
Taking up challenges is a favourite avocation for Tamannah. For Oopiri, she took the lead to dub for her character. “I myself came up with the proposal to dub for my character. The reason is that everything about Oopiri is so organic. It’s like being there. I felt that it would be nicer to hear the person who spoke those lines. I hope to dub for myself in future as well. As of now, I want to concentrate on one language. As I get better at it, I will do it in other languages,” reveals Tamannaah.
Acting with Nagarjuna and Karthi was an experience in itself for her. “It’s a huge feat for an actor to do the role essayed by Nag sir. Two assistants were assigned to observe the movement of his fingers, toes, etc. He had to control his entire body. After this film, many other actors will get inspired to do films belonging to distinct genres. As for Karthi, we have acted in two films before. After four years, he is exactly the same. If anything, he has only evolved as an actor. I get pushed to perform better when he is there. He is an actor who is the balance between the methodical and spontaneous styles. He amalgamates the two. I am intrigued watching Karthi. He brings in his own perspective”.
Drawing a parallel between Nagarjuna and his star son, she says, “I see a lot of Nag sir in Chaitanya. He is very dignified, chivalrous, and so patient.”
In her career spanning a decade, Tamannaah has no big regrets.
I wish I had done the role played by Kajal Aggarwal in the Telugu film Mr. Perfect
I was offered the film, but I couldn’t do it for some reasons but I would have loved to do that role,” she says.
Brimming with confidence, the ace actress, of late, has been listening to Oka Life from ‘Oopiri’. “That fills me with optimism and energy,” signs off Tamannaah.