Actress Gautami Tadimalla, who made a smashing comeback to acting after 19 years with last year's Tamil drama Papanasam, says she never felt disassociated from the industry as she was constantly in touch as a designer.
"Even though I was out of action as an actor, I was very much connected with the industry via my work as a designer. I never felt cut off or disassociated, thanks to my designing assignments.
Since the 2010 Tamil film 'Dasavathaaram', I've been working as a designer," Gautami, who mostly works as a costume designer on Kamal Haasan's films, told IANS.
Calling it the best phase of her career, Gautami is really looking forward to do the kind of films she always wanted to.
"People say this is my second innings. But I think I'm in my prime now because I get to do what I always wanted to do. There was a phase where I did several films in just seven years. I don't have to worry about doing so many films at this stage of my career. I want to do one film at a time and enjoy the process," she said.
Excited about her forthcoming Telugu release Manamantha, she says her role in the film was exclusively written for her. The film, which hits the screens on Friday (August 5), also releases in Tamil as Namathu, and in Malayalam as Vismayam.
"When director Chandra Sekhar Yeleti approached me with the offer, he said he had worked on the script for two years, keeping me in mind for the role of Gayatri. I was bowled over by the script and immediately gave my consent to be a part of it," she said.
Talking about the film, the 48-year-old actress said, "It's an anthology of four stories. There's a lot of isolation in today's world and four completely distinct lives are woven together through this film.
You may call it the Butterfly or Domino effect. There is no link between the characters but it blends seamlessly through the course of the film."
The film also stars Malayalam superstar Mohanlal, and she says nothing has changed about her Iruvar co-star.
"Nothing has changed about him. He is always chilled-out and so much fun to work with. Both of us had a lot of catching up to do on the sets," she said.
Asked if she considers herself to be lucky to be paired with stars such as Kamal Haasan and Mohanlal even after so many years, she said that it doesn't matter to her whom she works with.
"As much as I'm happy to be working with Kamal and Lal, I look forward to working with a great team. I'm more interested in working with new talent, directors who are willing to experiment and push boundaries," she said.
When not designing costumes or donning the greasepaint, Gautami is busy working for 'Life Again' - a foundation which she co-founded to create awareness about cancer.
"The whole purpose of the foundation is to find a better way of living life to the fullest. Most of the health issues we face today are due to the lifestyle we follow.
There are several methodologies to overcome the negativity and it worked for me big time. I have actively been practicing this for almost seven years in my life and it is very effective," said Gautami, who is a breast cancer survivor.