Sameera Reddy has come a long way from her glamorous, sexy avatar to playing deglam and serious roles. Sameera speaks about her latest role in Red Alert:
Tell us about going deglam in Red Alert: The War Within.
I was not given a chance to go deglam before this film happened. But going deglam is not to prove that you are a good actor. Rani Mukerji was anyways a good actress, even before she did Black. So was Abhishek Bachchan. Every glamorous actress is good but she's not given a chance. So, it's not as if suddenly overnight I became a good actress when I started doing deglam roles.
Was it difficult playing a naxalite in the film?
It was very sad. Every woman out there has a story. Nobody wakes up and just becomes a naxalite. Every person over there has a reason to be there. I realised so many things. As an urban girl, I didn't know much about so many other issues going on in the interiors. None of my friends knew about this. We're very self-absorbed, caught up in our lives. Getting our salary is all we worry about. But the naxalites are crying out for attention – for someone to hear them. Nobody's a terrorist. You become one. I have read the biography of Osama bin Laden, and I know that some things happened to him in his childhood and later in life.
But then does that mean that you sympathise with a terrorist like Ajmal Kasab – since everyone has a story?
There is no sympathy because there is no justification for violence. Everyone has a story, but you have to deal with it. It's your karma. You do not blow up people just because something was done to you.
Did playing a rape victim upset you?
My character Lakshmi gets raped in a police station. I was shocked to know that such things happen. The day the scene was shot when Lakshmi gets raped and is in the bathroom, I had a problem. Rape is something nobody wants to think about. That upset me for a day. But I never talk work at home with my parents, as they're very sensitive.
Are you acting in Race 2?
I don't know anything as of now. Acting in the first part was difficult because I had to play a dumb girl. It was one of the most difficult roles I've played in my life – to just be blank. Everyday I used to wake up say, I don't wanna do this. It was so different from what I am as a person. I just swallowed hard when Anil Kapoor's character's sexist comments were made, and went ahead with it. Musafir and De Dana Dan were easy and fun roles, though.
So, which is your best role as yet?
I did a Tamil film called Vaaranam Aayiram, a beautiful love story between actor Surya and me. That character was real and very me. And it was a very strong role and there was so much connection. And in Hindi, the film which I'm very proud of is Yeh Hausla. I'm waiting for it to come out.