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'Love To Do More Telugu Films But Only The Right Ones...': Melanie

IndiaGlitz [Tuesday, December 31, 2013]
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Melanie Kannokada is a bundle of talent. Born in the US for Indian parents has been an American by birth but Indian by heart. One of the most multi-talented and even represented the US national teams in Karate championships.

Her modeling and acting career took of with a role in the popular film Sex And City 2 and continued to do Tv and Films for the past three years. Her leading role of Seeta McKinsey in 'Love Lies and Seeta', an independent film by a fellow American Indian Chandra Pemmaraju has won her the best leading actress at Indiefest 2012 and a nomination at the World Music and Indie Film Festival.

She was chosen after audion to play Shalini, the female lead character and she's got rave reviews for her realistic portrayal of the character. While she is so multi-talented, her heart stays in the film industry and she is clear about her goal.

Excerpts from the interview with her...

I Have Been Multi-Talented

I am born and brought up in Chicago but my family roots are in Kerala.  As I grew up, I became a martial artist, a pianist, a dancer, and also very much into math and physics. I attended Stanford University and earned my degree in Mechanical Engineering, but eventually I decided to leave the engineering profession and to explore my childhood dream of becoming an actress. Acting is now my full time profession, but I also am involved in a lot of charity work.

D for Dopidi Just Happened...

I was in Hyderabad for a screening of an independent film I acted in - Love Lies and Seeta. Just then I was approached by the filmmakers Raj and DK about their film D for Dopidi and the role of Shalini.

Initially I Was Alien To India ...

The whole experience was quite foreign to me and did take some adjusting. The language barrier was a challenge at first. Also there was the discomfort of not having any friends or family in Hyderabad.  However, the D for Dopidi team was amazing - they made me feel more than welcome and and took great care of me. And by the end of my time and I had a great appreciation for Hyderabad and the Tollywood industry.

I Learnt What A Team Means...

Everyone was a pleasure to work with! Raj and DK are visionaries and did a superb job pulling this all together. Siraj was such a friendly director and was extremely easy to work with. Sundeep, Varun, Naveen, Rakesh - all four guys were so fun and talented, it was a blast.

Loved Telugu Though Didn't Understand...

I actually only had a few days to prepare. I hadn't seen the final script or my dialogues until I landed in Hyderabad (from LA) just 2 days before my first scene. Luckily, I didn't need to do much work on my character of Shalini. But since I'm not fluent in Telugu, learning the dialogues was a challenge to do in such a short time. I worked with Siraj, the director, and other team members to get the language down as best I could. It was hard at first, but became easier as the days went on and I fell in love finally with the beauty of the language.

Nothing Like Watching Yourself On Screen...

I was really impressed how everything came together - the comedy, the music, the cinematography, all top notch. I saw it at a screening in Chicago with my family and we all loved it. And I was proud that the Chicago audience was loving the movie too.

Want To Balance Between American And Indian Projects...

I've been approached on a few, but just waiting for the right one. It's challenging since I also have projects in the US. But I'm trying to find a balance between both industries.




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