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    Gopika: Light heart and heavy roles

    Wednesday, October 20, 2004
    She is chirpy and always wears a gossamer-light smile.

    For the still in the teens Gopika, life has not been the same after she did the now famous Lajjavathi song in 4 The People in Malayalam. Then Cheran''''s Autograph in Tamil happened. And suddenly offers poured in from everywhere, and Telugu was chief among them.

    Gopika has had two releases in Telugu so far --- Naa Autograph and Letha Manasulu. Both cannot be classified as hits. But Gopika is now being classified as a star material.

    What does the heroine think about her rise here and elsewhere? Check-out in this interview:

    How does it feel to be a top actress in such a short span?

    It is all unbelievable. Frankly, as like most of the actresses, I had not intention of joining films. But I won a beauty contest back in my hometown Thrissur and a couple of ads for a popular jewellery shop. Soon enough the film offers started and before long I was off.

    But from Malayalam you went to Tamil and then only you came to Telugu. Explain this journey

    I guess it is all a logical process. After seeing my 4 The People, Cheran (the Tamil film director) sought me out for his film. After all the tests, I was made one of the heroines in his film Autograph. Though there two other actresses including Sneha, my role was spoken about very highly. The Malayalam-based role went down well with masses. And when they decided to do the film In Telugu, it was natural that I played the role. In fact, except for Bhumika, all of the three other heroines had worked in the Tamil original.

    Take us through your first Telugu film's experience

    What do I say except that fact that I have had great memories of the film. I don't know whether it is a hit. But I know for a fact that I have been accepted well. My role has been appreciated. It is a simple but powerful character. It is the pivot on which the movie sits. The natural innocence and strong will of the character is a wonderful combination. I enjoyed every minute it. It appeals to the sensitivities and sensibilities of every one.

    On Letha Manasulu

    Well, this is another author-backed role. In the Tamil original Deivayani played it. Then again, it is a powerful character of a woman who has to take on her husband's other woman. Then again a lot of thought had gone into the characterization. I guess there was not even a single coarse dialogue in the film.

    Between the two, which role do you identify with more?

    Difficult to tell. Both have a beautiful side to them. Tenderness is at the core of both the characters. I guess it has to be Naa Autograph, because it is more slice-of-life. It is from everyone'' life.

    How was it working with stars like Ravi Teja and Srikanth?

    Absolutely fine. Both are professionals. One is a mass hero and another has family hero sentiment. Both put me at ease and never behaved as big stars with me. In fact, it has been a pleasant experience working in Telugu. The people have been nice and sweet.

    Your next film, Yuvasena, too is a remake. Does it feel bad to be doing only remakes?

    I guess I have to make do with what comes my way. Ideally, I would want to do roles that are new. But having said that, these roles were one time new and fresh. So somewhere down the line I have to make compromises.

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