Despite getting offers after "Varsham" you are doing a Telugu film after a big gap. Why is that?
After "Varsham", I wanted to do an exciting role. So I refused a few offers. I also became busy with Tamil films. I signed both "Samy" and "Gilli" while shooting for "Varsham" and both turned out to be huge hits. I learnt a lot about acting while working with Vikram. Vijay too became a good friend later.
After being drenched in the rain for eight days to shoot a song in "Varsham", I began to hate water. I hated it for quite a long time. I even discontinued my favourite hobby - swimming. Our hard work, however, ended up as a masterpiece.
You have again teamed up with M.S. Raju. How do you describe "Nuvvu Vasthanante Ne Vadantana"?
It was great working with Raju in "Varsham" and he has offered me a meaty role. I play a village girl who falls in love with a non-resident Indian. It has great music and is directed by Prabhu Deva. It is an all-round movie and sure to be a winner.
What is happening in your Tamil film career?
After Priyadarshan's "Lesa Lesa", I was flooded with offers. I signed four films. But my first release turned out to be "Mounam Pesiyadu", which unfortunately failed to impress. The Tamil media wrote me off, but I overlooked their comments.
"Samy" re-launched me in a big way. I followed it up with another run-away hit "Gilli" and silenced my detractors. Even after three years, people call me by my character's name in "Samy".
But the burden of stardom was too much for me. I had no time for myself. I was shooting 30 days in a month. Initially I was carried away by the public adulation but later I got scared. I even thought of quitting acting. But after a good break, I started enjoying my work again.
Recently you were in news for all the wrong reasons. How did you cope with it?
I was really disturbed by the false reports. A journalist friend told me that a website was carrying morphed photographs showing me in an obscene way. I was petrified. Even TV channels carried the shots and I filed a case against them.
Earlier I was linked with my co-stars Vikram and later with Vijay but we all laughed it off.
I was hurt when the media tore my family apart because without their constant encouragement, I wouldn't have been what I am today. But I have decided to ignore rumors and concentrate on my work.