In an exclusive interview, Amala Akkineni talks about her comeback and the responsibility that comes with being an influential celebrity.
There’s an inexplicable aura around Amala Akkineni which makes you smile instantly the moment you greet her. Her demeanour and the conviction with which she talks about animals, as the flag bearer of animal rights in Andhra Pradesh, along with her acting credentials has made her a household name in the State.
Now, for the first time in 19 years, she’s all set to make her comeback in Sekhar Kammula’s Life is Beautiful. So what convinced her to take up the role? “I think it was Sekhar’s persistence. We had met quite a few times at several events and one fine day, he called me up and told me that he wanted to cast me in his film. Initially, I thought he was joking and I didn’t take him seriously for a long time. The calls never stopped; the film’s casting director would give me an update every week.
That’s when I decided to listen to what Sekhar had in mind for me,” Amala Akkineni says. She plays the role of a single mother in Life is Beautiful, who does everything she can to bring up her children.“It’s a very inspiring role, to be honest. I have met so many rural women who have gone through a lot of ghastly things in their lives, yet they continue their battle for survival. In a way, I could relate to the character I was playing. It’s a short and sweet role. Thankfully, it didn’t take too much of my time since I had to dabble in several other activities as well,” Amala says.
How did Nagarjuna react when she decided to make her comeback? “He was as surprised as I was,” she laughs.We ask her if she has observed any changes in these 19 years of her hiatus from films. “Of course, the technology has changed a lot. We don’t have to wait for 30 days to see the rushes. With the latest technology there’s more scope to see your performance on the monitor and do the required corrections instantly. Moreover, film-makers are spending a lot more time in promotional activities. Back then, heroines were hardly part of audio launches or even promotions for that matter,” she recalls.
Today, Nagarjuna and Amala are easily one of the most influential couples in tinsel town, which means that the duo has the power to do what they want to. We ask her how they channelise this power to make a difference. “You know, as cliched as I may sound, with great power and affluence, there’s always a huge responsibility.
Recently, Nagarjuna gave me everything he made from his role in Shirdi Sai and asked me to allocate the money to social causes. He didn’t really have to do it, but I think something touched his soul after he did that film. And everytime I go out and see a small hut on the side of the road, I think about the problems they face and wonder if they are making enough to send their children to school. So, I guess, both of us are constantly trying to make a difference in every possible way we can,” she signs off.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Hemanth writes primarily about Telugu cinema, although he finds inspiration from the works of filmmakers like Woody Allen. Apart from writing, he spends most of his time on Twitter discussing about cinema, travel and life in Hyderabad.