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Constant reinvention

Glam-doll, vamp and goddess. Ramya Krishna packs in a lot of punch



Back with a bang with three films.

IT IS still fresh in our memory, how Ramya Krishna as Nilambari, the arrogant shrew matched the charismatic Rajnikant take-for-take in that milestone movie, Padayappa (Narasimha in Telugu). This multilingual actress, who combines glamour and grit with equal élan, has currently signed an offbeat film with Janaki Viswanathan, the maker of the award winning film, Kutty. Besides, she is back to Telugu films, with three of her movies in finishing stages. If she had enthralled the Tamil audiences with her performance as a village tea stall owner in Parai recently, she had entertained the Telugu audiences with an item dance in that runaway hit, Simhadri.

"People ask me why are you doing these special dances in films when the going is good for you as a heroine. Why shouldn't I? I am not doing them because I am hard up for work. These things make a difference to your career. Way back, I did a special dance in the Nagarjuna-starrer, Allari Alludu. The song was so popular, it created a craze and brought in repeat audiences. These things do matter. See, how popular now the song in Simhadri has become," Ramya Krishna makes a point on the sets of Maa Alludu Very Gooddu.

Talking about her current assignments in Telugu, she says each role varies from the other. "In this film I play secretary to Rajendra Prasad, a widower. In Tiger Harischandra Prasad, it is an innocent village belle's role opposite Harikrishna. And Dondu Donde is a fun film with Srihari. But it is a challenging role. Again, I am doing an item song with Mahesh in Nani," smiles Ramya.

But is she not missing the euphoria of Padayappa, a role that took her to the zenith of popularity? "That film happened to me after 15 years of my career. You can't expect a role like Nilambari every time. I am sustaining in this field because of that film. I am recognised wherever the film was released thanks to that role. Again, I cannot afford to get typecast. One has to progress. That way I am lucky to get a wide variety of roles in all the languages. I do not want to boast, but tell me who else has played a goddess, a negative role and a total glamour girl at the same time? I consider myself lucky to get such roles and being accepted by the audience."

So, is she is selective these days? "On the contrary, from the beginning I was never selective. I did whatever came my way. I did not plan my career. I had no idea to be in films. I was a Bharatanatyam dancer. Generally, for a classical dancer, it takes time to get noticed. I thought by getting into films, I would get more invitations to dance. Initially, it did help. But, I soon became too busy as an actress to spare much time for dance," smiles Ramya."In my case, it was a slow evolution as an actress. It happened over the years. I learnt with each film. I was not a star overnight. Besides mainstream cinema, I would like to get into offbeat roles too. I have signed Janaki Viswanathan's next Tamil film. It is an interesting role where I will play a 20-year-old, a 40-plus person and finally as a septuagenarian."

She is averse to taking up sister or sister-in-law characters that most heroines do after reaching a certain stage in their careers. "After a certain time, they either retire or jump at these roles. I do not think of this as growth. It is a kind of regression. We have to look into subjects that suit us and then progress, like in Hollywood."

Why was her marriage such a quiet, private affair? "It was a surprise for me too. We were planning to get married next year. And then suddenly, it all happened. I haven't moved my baggage from Chennai yet, as I was busy here shooting continuously since then," smiles Ramya.

After Chandralekha, there was no film with Krishnavamsy. Was it a deliberate attempt? "No. Not like that. Perhaps, he could not find a suitable role to cast me. In case he is making a film like Antahpuram again, I will demand the role and get it (laughs). The role Soundarya played is a life time role for any heroine," she says.

Ask her about the secret of her success, pat comes the reply, "I believe in destiny. Along with it, it is hard work and the strength to sustain. Maybe, I am blessed. Of course, my hard work is there, but there are so many people who are more talented. It is only destiny that willed for me to be here and reach this place."

M.L. NARASIMHAM

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