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Interview with Shraddha Das
Date: April 23, 2009, Hyderabad
shraddha das

We hardly find any actress from Mumbai to be so determined and passionate about making a bright long term career in Telugu. She grabbed five Telugu films in a gap of six months. She learnt Telugu and fighting her way up to become a notable heroine in Telugu cinema. Checkout’s exclusive interview with this upcoming actress Shraddha Das -

I am basically a Bengali. I was born and brought up in Mumbai. I graduated in Mass Communications with a specialization in journalism from SIES (South Indian Education Society), Mumbai. I was a nerd at school and was very fond of studies. My father also asked us to concentrate on studies.

Life changed for me after Sushmita Sen won Miss Universe. She was an inspiration for me when I was a kid. She is the perfect definition of beauty with brains. I wanted to be like her. Generally, Bengalis are known for their inclination towards various arts. I learnt singing and dancing. I used to sing and compere local events in free time.

While doing my graduation I worked in theater. I attended workshops conducted by the NSD (National School of Drama) artists like Piyush Mishra, Chittaranjan Giri and Salim Shah. I acted in print adverisements like McDowells, Aristocrat and over 400 catalogues. After that I got grooming in Gladrags academy.

During the last year of my college, I got an offer to work for a film titled Lahore which focuses on India-Pakistan relationship. The shooting of this film took place for one and half years. This film is due for the release in this summer. It has won an award at Houston Film Festival.

Target and Siddhu from Sikakulam
That was when I auditioned for a Telugu film titled Target. I didn’t know anything about Telugu film industry. I accepted that film and acted in it. I attended the premiere of Gamyam at that time and Allari Naresh noticed me. He recommended me to his film Siddhu from Srikakulam. But I was betrayed. They told that it was the role of a heroine and I realized later that my character in that movie is worse than that of a second heroine. I didn’t leave that project in midway because I didn’t want to be branded as unprofessional. I was very upset for doing such a bad film.

Arya 2
A still of mine came in Times of India during that time. Allu Arjun saw my photo in Times of India and recommended me to the director Sukumar for an important role in Arya 2. They were looking for a glamorous girl for the character Shanti. They took around 3 months to confirm me for that role. I feel that Arya 2 is turning point in my career. The way Sukumar shows me in such a way that glamorous does not mean exposing. There is substance to it. Sukumar is one of my favorite film personalities. I would like to thank Allu Arjun for recommending me.

I signed Diary – a sequel of Mantra. Diary is a psychological thriller like Mantra. The entire team of Mantra is repeated except for the director and the heroine. I don't wear any make-up in this movie. My character transforms from a timid girl to a daring girl who scares you. There are various shades and variations in that character from the beginning to end.

In Adhineta film, I did the role of a village belle. It is a regular commercial heroine character. I did this character to satisfy myself that I could also do masala heroine role.

Five films happened in a gap of six months

You lost 18 kgs after Target film. How did it happen?
I was 68 when I did Target and I am 50 kgs now. I reduced weight because I have been working continuously for the past six months. I also learnt martial arts (kickboxing, taekwondo, sword fighting and karate) from Kaushal – Moses (who worked for Abbas Mastan films).

I drink boiling water (mostly Green Tea) all the time. I am very particular about my diet. I avoid eating carbohydrates during night. I eat only proteins (egg whites and soya panneer) in the night.

What do you want to see yourself as in future?
I am not here just like any other Bombay girl. I am not here for money. I am here to stay. I want to become the number one heroine of Telugu film industry. I will surely attain that position one day. I am learning Telugu language and keeping myself updated about happenings in Telugu film industry all the time. Even in my dreams, I think about my profession. I want to work with all the best actors and the best directors.

Why are you so passionate about acting in Telugu film and pursuing career here?
I am always passionate and dedicated about whatever I do. I want to be perfect. I want to act in all kind of roles. I want portray all emotions on screen. In Telugu film industry, everything works on the basis of merit. I love this place. I have a drive to prove myself as best actress. I want to call Hyderabad my first home and Mumbai my second home.

Who are your role models?
I like the way Sushmita Sen carries herself. I want to be like her – beauty with brains. I also like Priyanka Chopra and Rani Mukherjee for the way they fought their way up.

What are your dream roles?
I want to see myself doing Fashion, Black, Jab We Met and Kill Bill kind of roles

What kind of films do you like?
I love romantic comedies and horror flicks.

What are your hobbies?
Swimming and watching Telugu TV channels to learn Telugu. I also read lots of books on positive thinking.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Hyper sensitivity is both my strength and weakness. It’s my strength because acting comes easy to hyper sensitive people. I can cry without using glycerin in emotional scenes. It is my weakness because hyper sensitivity is not a healthy trait.

Tell us about family?
I have a younger brother who studies in college. My parents are proud about the way I handle myself. My brother is jealous because my father gives partial treatment to me. My parents are my worst critics.

What are your favorite restaurants in Mumbai?
I love Thai food and I like to go to Thai Ban when in Mumbai. I also like Bombay Blue that serves Mexican food.

Do you have a boy friend?
I have decided to marry a guy of my father’s choice. May be after 10 years, I will get married. I believe in arranged marriage. I feel that love marriage is not possible in the profession I am in. That is why you will never hear me linked up to any actor.

Why is it so?
My entire atmosphere is surrounded by film people. And the relationships are plastic and temporary in film industry. I am extremely bad at judging people. If I fall in love here, he will end up being a bad person. I trust the judgment of my parents.

Do you want to say anything to the visitors of
Yes. Please don’t judge me by the spicy photos posted in Watch my films and judge me by my performances. Lots of quality Telugu films (Adhineta, Arya 2, Diary and many more) are lined up now. Please watch them. I like a lot and I visit it around 8 times a day. It is the most updated Telugu film website with authentic news.

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