You are still busy acting. Then why production, like Jayamala and Soundarya did? Are you too desperate for a national award?
I cannot speak for others, but I can only say that producing a Kannada film was in mind for a long time and everything fell into place this time.
Winning a national award is certainly a huge achievement, but that was not primarily the reason for my venturing into production. I was long interested in making a film, but until last year I had not thought over the specifics.
I wanted to work with a director like Girish Kasaravalli with whom I had not worked.
I had earlier met Girish and expressed my desire to work with him. Though he took some time initially to accept this proposal, he told me to read anthologies of stories written by some good woman writers.
I had read a story "Benki Male" written by Bhanu Mushtaq in her book "Karinagaragalu" and was impressed. Girish too had read the story and had contemplated working on a script based on the story. I said I was prepared to produce the film.
I told Girish that he could choose his own artistes. But I am happy he placed confidence in me and gave me the leading lady's role.
What will be your preference next, to produce Kannada films or act?
I am happy I get called by producers and directors to act in difficult roles. I would like to act in different types of films.
Recently, "Nalla" was well appreciated. The film's hero Sudeep and director Nagendra Prasad were the first to compliment me on my performance.
But Girish's films have not been commercially successful.
Girish's films, as I have seen, are as appealing in narration as any other commercial film, although they may not have some ingredients that are the hallmarks of commercial films.
Girish focuses more on details and narration and this will certainly strike a chord with the audience who want to watch serious films.
You are typecast in character roles in Kannada films and you should be feeling stagnant. Perhaps this is the reason why you decided to act in Tamil films after a gap of nearly 10 years?
Essentially I am called for roles that may look stereotyped, but I have not allowed stagnation to go deep into my mind. I will certainly give my best to whatever role comes to me.
In "Nalla", I had a small role of four or five sequences. The Tamil film offer came to me just like that and I took it. I had won the Tamil Nadu award for my acting in "Ingeyum Oru Gangai" in 1987.
The Tamil film "Solli Adippen" has Vivek as a hero. Vivek, who has excelled in comical roles, has turned hero for the first time. I have a good role in the film.
Earlier, I did have some good offers from Telugu and Tamil films, but I could not accommodate dates then. I am also acting in Kannada films such as "Siddhu" and "Shastri".
What is your next step? Turning into a film director?
Absolutely. I really want to become a film director, but it would certainly take another two to three years.
But I am already working on a script, which is deep in my mind. I am making some additions and subtractions in the story line to make a perfect script before I decide to turn into a director.
I will certainly do a lot of homework and prepare a complete script before going behind the camera.