Interview : Ileana – I felt AAA is the right film to come back to Tollywood
Published on Nov 11, 2018 6:23 pm IST

Ravi Teja-Sreenu Vaitla’s Amar Akbar Anthony is gearing up for a November 16th release. On this occasion, we had a detailed interview with the film’s female lead Ileana. Here is the transcript.

Q) Which aspect of the film made you sign this project?

A) There were many good reasons to sign this film. Firstly, it’s definitely the script and my character. This is the first time that I’m playing a very unusual role which has many sub-layers in it. I can’t even reveal my character’s name right now, but all I can say is that this film is going to be very special in my career. Last but not least, this is my fourth film with Ravi and working with him is always a memorable experience for me. So is the case with our director Sreenu Vaitla.

Q) Tell us about your comeback?

A) The gap was not intentional. While doing Julayi, I got Barfi from Bollywood. I felt that film’s script was so pleasant and refreshing and I went ahead with a gut feeling. Later, I got a couple of offers from Telugu, but I rejected them because I didn’t like the roles. Other than that, there was no particular reason to stay away from Tollywood. There were times where rumors floated around that I was rejecting Telugu films wantedly. After spending almost six years of a successful career here in Telugu films, why will I hesitate to come back? So the gap was not at all planned and it just happened. When our director narrated AAA’s script, I felt that this is the right film to come back to Telugu and signed it.

Q) Being in films for more than a decade, has your perception towards picking up films changed?

A) Definitely Yes. During Devadas, I was just twenty years old and did that film without much interest. I even signed Pokiri just because Mahesh’s sister Manjula forced me to do it. Later, that film went on to become one of the highlights in my career. So, that was my mood at that time. But over a period of time, my passion for cinema had eventually grew stronger and I started choosing films with utmost care. In the process, I even made a few mistakes, but it’s okay. Everything happens for the best and I have no regrets for what had happened earlier. At the end of the day, life is a learning process. We make mistakes, rectify them and move on, becoming even more sensible.

Q) What changes did you notice in Tollywood this time?

A) I haven’t noticed any major changes, but one thing that has improved a lot is film promotions. Earlier, we used to give hardly one or two interviews. But things have changed now and everyone is promoting films aggressively. It’s a good sign of change as we get a chance to get in touch with audiences through various media.

Q) For the first time, you have dubbed for your role in Telugu. Who’s idea was it?

A) It was completely my director Sreenu Vaitla’s idea. Initially, I was very nervous and told him that I can’t dub. But Sreenu insisted and his assistants also helped me a lot while dubbing to get it done in a proper manner. I’m excited to listen to my own voice in Telugu.

Q) What kind of roles are you looking forward to portray in the future?

A) Any character which has enough importance in the story. Earlier, I used to have a few dream roles. But I’m ready for any kind of role now. If directors trust that I can do justice to a women-centric role, I’m open for that also.

Q) Your take on the #MeToo movement?

A) I support it and feel that every individual should come out and speak openly about the facts. It may be women or men, the pain will be the same. So everyone should have the right to express.

Q) Tell us about your relationship status?

A) It is happy and will be happy (laughs). Other than that, I don’t want to speak much about my personal life.

Q) Next projects?

A) As of now, I cannot reveal details as I am yet to sign on the dotted lines. The production houses will make it official once things fall into place.

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