Sameera Reddy is quick. So quick that in her eight year's as an actor in the Indian Film Industry, she has got twenty films to her credit, and still counting. What's more, Reddy didn't think twice before signing on for Red Alert. "Laxmi is a great character" she says. I recall my first meeting with her in Mumbai for 'On a Date with Sameera Reddy' when we met at Candies in Bandra. At first glance, Sameera, elegant but dressed down in tight jeans and a pink top, seems to have little in common with tousled, tell-it-like-it-is, in-your-face Laxmi. That's what I gauge would be her persona in Red Alert. Here she is, once again gracing the screen with messy hair, no makeup, and a saree, and still looking like a total babe. Beneath her polite veneer, Sam, as we all love to call her, displays a disarming lack of pretence. Bollywood primps and perks are not her thing. She may be a movie star, but she is Sam off the sets. And that's exactly how Sameera wants it. This special correspondent chats up with the alert Sameera Reddy who is in fierce competition with herself in the film that's going to get her the critical acclaim she is so looking forward to. Didn't we say that Reddy the movie star is different from Reddy the actor?
Red Alert - The real acting
I think Kalpurush is what gave me the start to what people term 'real acting'. It was a Bengali film I did a couple of years ago. It also won the National Award. So whenever I get an offer like this, I try it out. Red Alert gave me that chance once again and then Nagesh Kukunoor is giving me a chance to act in his next film too. So yes, I am driven by stronger roles now because I feel this is my learning curve to critical acclaim.
Seema Biswas completely inspired me on the sets of Red Alert. What an actress she is. Seema comes from the league of extremely marinated actors who dip themselves in characters forgetting who they are, and the strength with which she drives her part helped me a lot.
When I started off, I didn't know much about the movement at all. I realised that I am a pretty girl of Mumbai and didn't read much about what really goes inside the country. I was really wrong, and I got to know it all when Anant Mahadevan came down to narrate me the film. He told me the plight of the farmers and more. That was one of the biggest tings we discussed.
I play the role of Laxmi in the film. My character gets raped and is kept in the police station. That's when the naxals attack the police station. She is a simple girl. The system (police) that had to protect her violated her. The naxalites saw that and took her in their gang. She is groomed to become a naxalite. There is a story behind everything. There are things that drive you to do something. Red Alert tries to tell us that there is a reason to why people take up arms and become naxalites.
I've not bothered watching Ayesha Dharker's Terrorist or Bandit Queen. I have noticed that when I do my research, I may pick up a few things from other actors that I don't want. I go with my gut instinct because I am very instinctive. I honestly do not try to research with movies but the real life stuff. Like trying to read a lot of newspapers, etc.
Red Alert - The underdog.
Why Raajneeti worked was a lot to do with its great ensemble cast. It was larger than life and had to do well in the acting department. Success today depends on a lot of buzz you create. I definitely feel that the masses are changing and the multiplexes have given a new lease of life. Red Alert is an underdog and you never know when it suddenly rises to greatness.
Football / Wimbledon
We all know what's going on in the world of football. FIFA has become like our films. You never know which team is going to come on the top and win the World Cup. I was supposed to go to South Africa for the finals but I am not able to go due to the promotions of two of my films which are releasing back to back. One is a Malayalam film with Mohanlal and after that Red Alert. My sister is going to occupy my seat. But my unprecedented support goes to Argentina as I want them to win the World Cup. I saw the French Open live a month ago. I was in Paris. I was in the Rolland Garros watching Nadal in flesh. It was a great experience to see the Spaniard in full form. I am hoping to see once again, a Federer and Nadal showdown in the finals.