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Interview with Amala Akkineni
Date: 13 September 2012, Hyderabad
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Amala Akkineni is the most soft-spoken and a good-willed lady you unusually come accross in film industry. She never says no and has the unique way of expressing her opinions with the most amicable smile. Chat with Amala for a couple of minutes, your attitude and orientation towards life will change (at least, temporarily). He is our exclusive chitchat with the most elegant and beautiful actress of Telugu cinema - Amala about her film Life is Beautiful.

What kept you away from film industry for 20 years and what prompted to act in a film now?

I had entered film industry at an age of 18 and worked for over 50 films in various South Indian languages in 7 years. I had such a hectic life that I missed many small things in life. I was burnt out during that phase. Once I get married, I wanted to stop acting career and start a new phase.

I wanted to live my life for a bigger cause. I entered into social service and brought awareness about animal welfare. I had also participated in many HIV awareness campaigns 15 years ago. I am also working for Bala Vikas which helps in empowering rural women when their husband die. Whatever I had done so far is like a tiny drop in ocean, but gave me immense satisfaction and sense of fulfillment.

I keep meeting Sekhar Kammula in social related projects. He has casually called me one day and asked me if I were interested in acting in Life is Beautiful. I said no. It took him 5 months to negotiate with me and convince me. I was convinced when he has shown me the footage of 3 kids in LIB and said that the mother for these kids is missing. He has asked me to fill that gap. I liked it and worked for 7 days to complete my part.

How is like acting in films after a gap of 20 years?
It is very different. The technology has changed. We used to have monitors only for vital and risky shots in our days. Now, each and every shot is being monitored using monitors. I did a few rehearsals before doing the actual take without camera. There by, I got acquainted with the other actors and kids. I have dubbed the character myself.

Tell us about your character in LIB?
I have done role of a traditional Telugu lady. She is a widow and working woman. She is a mother of 3 kids. She has a lot of inner strength and family values. She guides her kids gently. There are a few sweet dialogues between mother and kids.

Since you have acted in film again, are there any chances of seeing you opposite Nagarjuna in one of his forthcoming films?

I have Nagarjuna with me in my personal life. I don’t want to monopolize his professional career too.

When can we expect Akhil in movies?
He is currently pursuing film studies in LA. He is an 18 year old boy. We are giving him enough space to decide his career himself.

What were the most important movies in your career?

1. Pushpaka Vimanam: Working for Pushpaka Vimanam was like attending a film school with Kamal Hassan and Singeetam Srinivasa Rao as teachers. Kamal Hassan used to be so considerate that he used to act in background during my close-up shots so that I can give the right reactions to his actions. I am always grateful to Kamal Hassan.

2. Shiva: Nagarjuna is my most favorite actor and producer. It was also a different film.

Tamil/Telugu film Agni Nakshatram/Gharshana is also one of my important films.

You had seen Shirdi Sai. What is your opinion on the film?
It is full of goodness. I am moved the way Nag has portrayed Sai Baba role. In my opinion, Shirdi Sai is the peak point in Nagarjuna’s career. My heart is full after watching that movie and I am proud of Nagarjuna. I loved the subtle moral teachings in Shirdi Sai. I am happy that Nagarjuna is planning to use his remuneration of Shirdi Sai for charity.

Are you open to do more films?
I feel that my social work is a bigger cause than acting in films. Life is Beautiful is an exception.

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