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|July 19, 2000||
'Films are the best thing to have happened to me'
She's in a league by herself. This 20-year-old actress from the south has an indefinable charm, something very different from anyone else in Bollywood. Quiet but not self-effacing, confident without being brash, soft-spoken without being pretentious, Kirti Reddy's deportment speaks volumes about her upbringing. Her grandfather, Ranga Reddy, is a respected politician in the south; her father is an interior designer and her mother, a fashion designer.
Kirti is in Bombay for a couple of days only, before she flies off to London to commence shooting for her second Hindi film, Rajiv
It will be a spectacular debut for the young actress, paired as she is opposite the Bachchan scion, Abhishek, in Vashu Bhagnani's
Kirti is in Bombay for a couple of days only, before she flies off to London to commence shooting for her second Hindi film, Rajiv(Mohra) Rai's Pyar, Ishq, Mohabbat. She's committed for a three month schedule till September, which means Kirti will miss the excitement of her first release in Hindi (she already has three successful films to her credit in the south).
It will be a spectacular debut for the young actress, paired as she is opposite the Bachchan scion, Abhishek, in Vashu Bhagnani'sTera Jadoo Chal Gaya. Kirti, who spoke to Lata Khubchandani, is quite excited about the film, which is scheduled to release on August 18.
How did you manage to sign your first film opposite Abhishek Bachchan?
It's been a major cakewalk. Actually, it so happened that I was in Bombay -- not with the intention of bagging the role or anything (smiles). Vashu Bhagnani got to hear about me from somebody in the south. As soon as I walked into his office -- he showed so much faith in me that I was very touched. We started shooting almost at once. This was in September last year.
How was Abhishek to work with?
He had absolutely no airs. He's like a buddy. You can talk to him about everything and anything; he knows a lot about most things. He has so many sides to him. He's a big prankster. It's fun being with him. I got to meet his parents and that was a privilege. I'm in awe of Amitabh Bachchan and I was very happy to meet him.
Are you comfortable before the camera?
Yes, absolutely. Films are the best thing to have happened to me. I'm not at all confused. I'm very happy with life and the way it's going at the moment.
What is your role in Tera Jadoo Chal Gaya?
I play a young city girl who works in an ad agency. She has big dreams and she's ambitious. Suddenly, reality strikes her and she realises she's living in an illusory world. The story is written by Ikram Akhtar.
And Rajiv Rai's Pyar, Ishq, Mohabbat?
This one is written by Shabbir who's a good friend of his. In this too, I have the central role. There are three men who're in love with me and it's about how men manipulate a girl to woo her. It has a lot of emotions. It's a thrilling role because the audience is going to be confused as to who wins the girl. And we're going to play that up. It's a love story and it's very nice.
How did you meet Rajiv Rai?
Rajiv happened to hear about me and he was looking out for a new face. Vashuji also informed me about this. So I went to met him. And, there again, he just looked at me and said, 'You're in my movie.' I didn't have to ask him, 'Am I there?' It's been good for me.
Your Hindi is poor. What are you doing to rectify that?
I did take some classes in Bangalore but I have to still improve.
What have you discovered about yourself -- are you a director's actress or your own?
I would love to work with directors who can tell you exactly what they want. But that isn't always the case. That's why you have to think about your role yourself and work out what you should do. But I'm fine both ways, though I'd be very happy if I knew beforehand what exactly a director wants.
We do have discussions on the kind of look or gestures I must use. I feel I must be remembered for the characters I portray and that can be possible only if I convey something specific through my body language, etc.
You're already known in the south. How does it feel to restart your career in Bollywood?
I feel like a newcomer. Even at home, I always felt I was learning. Doing films there has helped me. It's good in a way. And they're proud of me.
No, not really.
In the south, who have you worked with?
I did Devadai with Nasir and Vineeth and Ninai Virukun with Prabhu Deva. I also did Tholi Prema with Pavan Kalyan, which was big hit and won awards in the south.
Have you stopped doing films from the south now?
Yes, I am concentrating only on Hindi films at the moment. But if there's something really outstanding offered to me, I will do it.
How are you enjoying celebrityhood?
I'm enjoying it. But I still cannot believe I'm part of Bollywood and so many people are going to watch me.
What was your family's reaction to your joining films?
They were very apprehensive in the beginning and couldn't understand how I'd cope in the industry. But once they saw how happy I was, they were happy for me and have accepted it. They are proud of me and the fact that I've made it on my own.
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