Pooja Hegde struck gold with her last film in Telugu, Duvvada Jagannadham, which starred Allu Arjun in the lead role after the film became one of the biggest hits of 2017 in Telugu. Directed by Harish Shankar, DJ brought out a lot of new aspects in Pooja, specially dancing, which she hadn’t done as much in her previous films. Pooja Hegde has now signed three films with top stars of Telugu cinema – Mahesh Babu, Jr NTR and Prabhas. While the one with Mahesh Babu is being directed by Vamshi Paidipally, the one with Jr NTR will be written and directed by Trivikram Srinivas and the one with Prabhas will be directed by Radha Krishna. In an exclusive conversation with PINKVILLA, Pooja Hegde speaks about her upcoming three big films and how she plans to prepare for them.
You have signed films with top three stars of Telugu cinema. Does it bring any pressure?
The characters that I’m playing are very different in each of these three. And there is pressure only in terms of the star power the films have. I’m used to the pressure situation now.
You have and will be dancing alongside finest dancers in India. How are you preparing for it?
Definitely there are expectations when you are dancing alongside these kinds of stars. It was fun dancing with Allu Arjun and I’m sure it is going to be the same with NTR as well. And I’m up for the challenge.
Tell us about the special number is Ram Charan’s Rangasthalam.
The Rangasthalam number is very high on energy and is a peppy number. The song is like a double shot black coffee kind of song which gives you instant energy. As a dancer, I had to really keep up to the beat. The kind of moves that we have in our South films can break your back because they are so tough and rocking. (Laughs)
There is a myth that female lead actors do not have much to do in top stars’ movies.
All the three characters that I signed now are strong characters. I feel that its not always the screen time but the kind of impact you create in the time given. As long as the character that I’m getting is meaningful and has an importance in the story, I’m ok with that. The three films that I have signed now have great importance and I agreed to do hence. I’m genuinely excited about all the three and I can’t wait to start working on them.
You have roots in Kannada. Will we see you in Kannada films too?
If there is something interesting that’s coming along, I will definitely look at it. I have reached a stage where I feel movies are movies whatever the language is, and content is really important.
One thing that stands out for you in the three actors – Mahesh, NTR and Prabhas.
They all are amazing at what they do. Mahesh Babu is a very good looking star. And Prabhas is now a PAN Indian superstar after Baahubali, and he is super tall (Laughs). I have been told that NTR is a one-take artist and that scares me a bit. I think I will have to prepare really hard and mug up my lines so that I’m not nervous when I’m on sets.
Trivikram’s films have catchy punchlines and subtle expressions which bring out humor. Has he asked you to prepare specifically any such thing.
Nothing as yet but I’m looking forward to it. In fact, my dad is a very big fan of Trivikram Srinivas’ films and Pawan Kalyan. He has watched Attarintiki Daaredhi a million times already and he always listens to the song Deva Devam on his phone. He is excited that I’m working with Trivikram Srinivas now. And I’m sure it will be exciting to work with him since he is a master filmmaker. I feel the actors’ performances can go only as far as the director takes it.
You are now rated the Most Desirable Woman of 2017.
It makes me feel great. Who wouldn’t want to be desirable? It’s a great feeling and I hope it’s one that is going to last. Especially because I was always a tomboy while growing up. I would wear braces and my hair would be unkempt, and I was extremely goofy. So I’ve to say that the goofy, tomboy in me is very happy.