'DJ Tillu' last year made her an overnight star. Neha Shetty, who was more recently seen as the female lead in 'Bedurulanka 2012', awaits the release of 'Rules Ranjann' next. The Kiran Abbavaram-starring entertainer is directed by Rathinam Krishna, AM Ratnam's son.
In this interview, Neha talks about the key merits of the October 6th release. She is elated that her first-ever dance-based song, 'Sammohanuda', has garnered 32 million views so far. The song, shot on Neha and Kiran, is expected to be one of the key highlights of 'Rules Ranjann'.
My mother is into numerology. She asked me to change my spelling from Neha Shetty to Neha Sshetty, which is what I am doing on social media.
I was born in Mangalore and brought up in Bengaluru. Everyone knew that I would become an actress. 'Mehabooba', which was directed by Puri Jagannadh sir, was my first movie in Telugu. Before that, I had done Ads and a movie in Kannada. A stint with Sakshi newspaper was my first project in Hyderabad. I became a model and also won the Miss South India title. After 'Mehabooba' in Telugu, I went to New York to do an acting course.
I feel my expressive eyes are my biggest asset. I am yet to identify my weakness. I have been a little selective on the script front. The script is what matters the most.
I am feeling grateful. I hope I am on the right path in my career. Since 'Mehabooba', I have come full circle. I was new to the industry once upon a time. My debut movie didn't work out well. Radhika in 'DJ Tillu' was a tricky character. Had something gone wrong, the audience would have hated me. I must thank its director and co-star (Siddhu) for that. Despite that being a tricky character, the response from the audience was great.
In 'DJ Tillu', my character was bold and she did what she felt was right. She was a selfish character, which I don't think is negative in itself. Sometimes, you have to make selfish decisions to progress in life. In 'Rules Ranjann', Sana wants to explore the world. She wants to step out of her small-town constraints. It's a glamorous character. That said, she is more of a girl-next-door, bubbly, cute woman.
'Rules Ranjann' is not a typical love story. There is a new conflict point, there is lots of comedy... Come October 6, you will know what I am talking about.
My director followed a set routine. He is rule-oriented, focussed. As someone who comes from a film background, cinema runs in his blood. He is going to prove himself with 'Rules Ranjann'.
I am friends with my co-stars. Siddhu is hyper-active by nature. He is hard working. Kiran Abbavaram is quiet, polite, humble and talks less. At the same time, he works really hard. Our chemistry in the movie has worked out very well. Kartikeya Gummakonda (my 'Bedurulanka' co-star) and I share a lot of common tastes.
Music director Amrish has given the best for 'Rules Ranjann'. 'Sammohanuda' is the result of collective creative contributions. Shreya Ghoshal's voice, too, has played a major role in its success. Shooting for the song was challenging. The picturization involved me to dance in tough circumstances. Until this song happened, I didn't have a glam girl image. In southern Indian, a glam girl can be seen in saree as well. In my previous movie, 'Bedurulanka', I was seen wearing a half saree.
In Vishwak Sen's 'Gangs Of Godavari', which is a period film, I will once again be seen in traditional attire. I am balancing glamour and other types of looks in movies.
People have been asking me if I am part of 'Tillu Square'. My fans want me to be seen in the comedy caper. But its story is different and so, I am not part of it. I am glad that my fans accepted me in 'Bedurulanka'. They realized that I can perform a village girl's role as well.
I don't know if it is God's blessings, or my parents' blessings, or the audience's blessings but I am fortunate to have got a film like 'DJ Tillu' early on in my career.
When I bagged my first Telugu film, I watched about 60 Telugu movies over a period of three months to learn how the language sounds and is spoken. Four years later, my understanding of the language has improved.
I like movies with comedy. I have doubts about my comic timing, as of now. I also want to do an action film (Laughs)...
I have been a very big fan of Sridevi. She started out young and never had any boundaries. Like her, I want to keep my options open. I can't turn down a period film just because I want to do a glamorous role.
I don't give a damn about trolls. I understand people have their own opinions in this world. I don't let others' opinions affect me or my decisions in any manner.