Exclusive: Nene Raju Nene Mantri is our attempt to break the stereotype, says Catherine Tresa

The Sarrainodu actress will be seen playing an important role in Nene Raju Nene Mantri directed by Teja.

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Nene Raju Nene Mantri starring Rana Daggubati and Kajal Aggarwal

Actress Catherine Tresa is a busy bee these days with handful of projects under her belt currently. The film that’s lined up for immediate release is Nene Raju Nene Mantri starring Rana Daggubati and Kajal Aggarwal directed by Teja. The story of the film is said to be revolving around Jogendra, played by Rana Daggubati, and his encounters in life.

In an exclusive interview to Pinkvilla South, Catherine Tresa talks about Nene Raju Nene Mantri and her upcoming projects.

You have two films up for release tomorrow – Nene Raju Nene Mantri and Jaya Janaki Nayaka. Tell us about them:

I have done a special song in Jaya Janaki Nayaka because Boyapati sir thinks that I’m a good dancer. I couldn’t dance in Sarrainodu because of the kind of character I play in the film, an MLA. She has a lot of respect and an image that she had to carry. So, he made me do one in Jaya Janaki Nayaka.

In Nene Raju Nene Mantri, I play a character called Devika Rani and I had to put in a lot of effort to prepare for my character. The character, Devika Rani, was tough to play for me because she was far different from me in terms of her head space, mannerisms and behaviour. I have not done such a role so far in my career and Devika Rani is a very mature character to play. A lot of things would sound and look subtle but they would be huge onscreen. So, I had to take a lot of care personally to play this role.

What is Nene Raju Nene Mantri all about?

Nene Raju Nene Mantri is our attempt to break the stereotype that we get to see in Telugu cinema these days. We all, Rana, Kajal and myself, had to step out of our comfort zone and play our roles in the film, and that’s how the script was developed too. The characters in this film are as similar to how we are in life and have a lot of grey shades. The reason I say grey shades is because when we are cornered and circumstances turn dire, people snap and completely turn over.

This film is contemporary, on your face and blunt. The film makes a whole bunch of points which will hit hard which is typical of Teja sir. Certain moments in the film might make people a bit uncomfortable, but the film will make the viewers sit at the edge of their seat and will have a lot of goose bumps moments.

Catherine Tresa at a recent event

How was it like working with director Teja?

Teja sir is an amazing person and it was a great experience working with him. He has the quirkiest and wider sense of humour, and I love that about him. But when it comes to work, he is an absolute task master.

You also have Kathanayagan in Tamil alongside Vishnu Vishal that’s coming soon. How is it shaping up?

The shooting is a 100% complete now. It is a light-hearted romantic entertainer. We have recorded quite a few interviews for Kathanayagan so far and they were all hilarious. The first question we are asked most of the times is – tell us about the story of the film – and then Vishnu or the director would be, ‘actually, there isn’t one’.  We are not saying that we have a great story and all, but just being honest by saying that there’s a good point in the film. It’s a light-hearted film and it is what you look for in a Friday entertainment. I play an urban middle-class Chennai girl in Kathanayagan. She’s bold and has quite an attitude, and I enjoyed playing this role. I shot for Kathanayagan while shooting for Kadamban, between schedules. It was a refreshing experience to come to Chennai and shoot for Kathanayagan.

You walked the ramp at Woven 2017. How was the whole experience?

I think it is a nice initiative that Samantha has taken up. I had walked the ramp a few years ago which was also to felicitate weavers and when I did that I felt that that they had been side-lined so much. And when Samantha phoned me up and asked me if I could do that, I said I will definitely do that. Handloom looks pretty any which ways and I really liked the outfit that I wore. The best part was I didn’t even do a trial for this outfit and it worked out really well on the ramp.

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