She appeared in Jr NTR’s Baadshah as Kajal Aggarwal’s sister, a lead role in Prema Ishq Kaadhal and as Nani’s fiancé Yevade Subramanyam. And then Pellichoopulu happened in her life which changed the path for her. Actor Ritu Varma has had a great journey in Telugu cinema since then and life has changed by leaps and bounds for her, both professionally and personally.
In a freewheeled chat with Pinkvilla South, Ritu Varma speaks about her experience of working with Gautham Menon and Vikram in Dhruva Natchathiram, and many more things.
How did Dhruva Natchathiram happen and how has the experience of shooting for it been so far?
As you know, Gautham Menon bought the remake rights of Pellichoopulu for Tamil and he watched the film too. And when they were thinking for the lead actors for Dhruva Natchathiram, I was considered for it and was asked to fly to Chennai for the look tests. And that’s how I got a role in Dhruva Natchathiram. Gautham sir is one of my favourite directors and Vikram sir is one of my most favourite actors, and working them is like a dream come true for me. They’re really sweet and make everyone around them very comfortable. I learnt how to treat everyone around from these two people a lot. It’s been a wonderful experience so far. Dhruva Natchathiram is going to be a special one for me.
It’s over a year now for Pellichoopulu. How have things changed for you, professionally and personally?
It has changed a lot actually. This change had happened when I worked with Tharun Bhasker, the director, earlier as well. I didn’t have any plans of making acting as my career back then. Tharun and I worked on a short film in 2012 called Anukokunda and that was the first time I faced the camera. The response was amazing after the short film was released and I started getting offers for films. And that’s when I thought I should give films a try, and my life changed back then also. And it has repeated again with Pellichoopulu. Tharun gave me a strong character in Pellichoopulu and a lot of people got to see my potential as an actor. And post Pellichoopulu, I now have the tag of a performer. It feels wonderful when these kinds of roles come my way. We share a wonderful journey right from the time the film released to the milestones it has achieved one after the other. I won my First Filmfare this year and it’s been an overwhelming journey.
You’ve worked with a lot of young directors. What’s that one special element which you’ve noticed in them?
All these directors gave me the freedom to perform. With Tharun in Pellichoopulu, he knew what he wanted even though it was first time as a director for him. But working with Gautham sir, I was really nervous but right from the first day he made feel comfortable. He just gives a scene and says do it according to you and gives a lot of freedom which gave me the confidence. So, I think worked some really good directors and very happy about it.
You worked with a young bunch of actors here and now you’re working with an experienced actor like Vikram. How does he approach his roles?
Vikram sir’s enthusiasm and thought process for every single shot is just amazing. He doesn’t hesitate to ask his co-actors if they would want to practice the dialogue before they go for a shot. Vikram sir’s passion shows off in his work and he wants every shot to be perfect. Even after so many years in the industry, he is still like a child and full of energy while on sets. He has the same levels of enthusiasm for every shot throughout the day. I wonder if I could be like that after so many years. It’s really amazing.