Is having a great fan following on social networking/microblogging sites directly proportional to your popularity? Or is it the star power and levels of interactivity?
Honestly speaking, I am on Twitter for the public and for my fans. I want to get direct feedback from them to better myself, and to stay connected with them because they are the people who matter when it comes to the fate of a fi lm. I am not a numbers game person myself. For that matter I never did well in math!
You have a spate of delayed projects and releases in Tamil cinema – Kadhal 2 Kalyanam and Vada Chennai. Is it affecting your foothold in Kollywood in a big way?
I hope not! I am in no way the cause for either fi lm’s delay. Kadhal 2 Kalyanam is a really cute fi lm and I thoroughly enjoyed working in it. It was a lot of fun. It is a nice feel-good fi lm with a fresh take on the journey from falling in love to marriage. I cannot wait for it to release! As for Vada Chennai I have no idea. As far as Kollywood is concerned I like the technicians, the scripts that the fi lmmakers come out with and the roles that are written for women. Language has never been nor will ever be a barrier for me. I can speak in Malayalam, and, even read and write in Kannada, Telugu, Tamil and Hindi. So it really does not matter.
Who would you say are your mentors and close friends in the fi lm industry?
I don’t have any mentors but I defi nitely have friends. There are Sashi, Udhay, junior Udhaya, Dhanush, Charan and my best friends Anjana and Dipthi. They are all my very good friends.
Let’s talk about your entry into politics. How serious are you about it, being part of a political party and bringing about a change in the society?
I believe that the change that you want to see has to come from within you fi rst. I would defi nitely highlight issues like irrigation, education, urban development. The best thing you can give any human being is basic education. If you have education and knowledge you can do anything.
*(The actress highlighted her interest in contesting the elections for a Parliamentary seat and has been invited to speak at the World Economic Forum during this year’s annual meeting of new champions which is the seventh annual meet of the communities to be held in China in September)
Let’s talk about your association with cricket – your brand ambassador-ship of the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Well, it is a fun thing. Siddharth (Mallya, son of Vijay Mallya) is taking care of everything. These two months each year is a lot of fun. I like being a part of it all – going to the stadium, watching matches, meeting fans and the like!
We know you have a boyfriend – what can you share with us about your personal life and your relationship?
I am very happy. I am always in a state of bliss. Relationships are nurtured, and I have no intentions of getting married. I really don’t believe that because you are working and that you are independent, you have everything. Why does every girl need to be asked, ‘When are you getting married?’ It is foolish. Mentally, I am in a very evolved state right now. I have crossed that stage when I took pleasure in buying so many things for myself. I try to give as much as possible, and I don’t like to gloat about it. I think satisfaction has to come from within, and if it is not from the heart, then you’re defi nitely not going to do it well.
You’ve crossed milestones in your career. You’ve done great fi lms, earned admiration and respect. What next? Bollywood?
What next? Nothing else, but work and work! As for Bollywood – I don’t harbor dreams of acting in Hindi fi lms. What is important is that I do something that interests me. I am not extremely ambitious to do PR work and marketing for my fi lms. I let my work speak for itself. I do whatever interests me.
Do you think actresses down south are given their due?
I can’t really comment about other actresses, but I am very much satisfi ed with how my career has shaped up. I am very content.
Who do you look upon as your greatest competition?
Myself and none other. I just compete with my own serious fi lm line.
Have you seen ‘Heroine’? How much of the fi lm would you say relates to the South Indian fi lm industry?
No, I have heard that it is a very boring fi lm. I have no idea about how it relates to the Indian film industry, if you ask me.
Did you ever anticipate that you would become the Golden Girl of Kannada Cinema?
Never even in my dreams! It happened and that’s it; it just happened. I think I was at the right place at the right time. Hard work, dedication and professionalism have gotten me where I am today.