You are with Air India in Mumbai. How did a Telugu film Nagaram happen?
I fly with Air India as cabin crew. But long before I joined Air India, I was into modelling. Here, I must thank my people in Air India for allowing me to pursue my passion of acting and modelling. Actually, I was lookin out for good Telugu films. I was quite attracted to the industry and had heard quite a bit about the stars here. My producers too were looking out for someone new. They felt I looked the part at our very first meeting. In fact, they confirmed that I would get the part the very first time I met them.
A part of the movie is set in Mumbai. Was that a factor while choosing the film?
Not exactly. First, I would go for the story. If I like it, then it is very important for me to know what I am doing and where. When I heard the script, I figured out that it was indeed a very good offer for a beginner. It was a very good platform for me to act as I knew I was getting good technicians, good music and a great part. Also, my co-star was good. I knew that the journey would be good, so I think these were the few reasons, why ended up doing the film.
How did you manage your work and shoots?
It was very difficult juggling work and shootings. There were times when I would just land in Mumbai, catch the plane to Hyderabad and then fly back immediately to get back to work. It is indeed very hard to take up two careers at a time. But I figured out that where there is a will, there is a way!
How difficult was it to act in Telugu?
Language is a huge problem. More so because we are acting and that requires us to emote and portray a character. If you do not understand a language then it becomes almost impossible to understand where to pause, where to pause and how much to pause. When you don't understand how a question is put, you do not know where to the expression for a question. These technical problems naturally pose hurdles in the whole process. But if you work with professionals, then it makes life easy. Also, I am good at languages. So, it was not really difficult to pick up my lines.
I must give some credit to my team and co-stars as they had loads of patience. In fact, my director would do the lines with me and my cameraman would give me the right cues. I must say so of my co-stars too. It is their involvement that made my life much much easier on the sets.
Now that you are a film old, do you understand some Telugu?
Little. Honestly, it is too early in my career, to say 'Yes, I have picked up Telugu'.
Tell us about your role in 'Nagaram'?
I play this girl called Navya who is doing her PHD on gangsters and their lives. She is a smart, today's girl, who is not scared of getting what she wants. She is a confident girl, who knows that she is capable of doing what others do. She is ready to work for what she believes in. The best part is that she truly believes in love and she is not a calculated person who wants a well-positioned person as her lover. She falls in love with this guy who is a gangster and she tries to help him come out of that world. In between, comes Jagapati Babu, who also tries to help them. But things go wrong and there is lots of your usual action and melodrama.
What according to you is the highlight of your character?
She is a very sensitive girl who wants things her way. But she also knows that she has to work for it. She really wants to change the lives of other people. She very selflessly tries to help them.
Then of course, there is my song, choreographed by Krishnavamsi sir. That is the highlight for me as it has been shot beautifully and
I am looking really good in the song. It is his forte and he is a known perfectionist. So, he has given it his best and it has come out really well. The audience will remember it forever and the song is going to stay on in their minds forever.
How was Srikant as a co-star?
Ohhh.... Srikant was a pleasure to work with. I couldn't have asked for a better actor. Though he is at the peak of his career, he is the best. He is a senior actor as compared to me, but he never made me feel bad about being new. He would include me in conversations and was very patient even when I got my scenes wrong. He would show me how to do my steps during song sequences. And that I think was very nice of him, as it was not his job to ensure that I did it right. I was very fortunate to have worked with Srikant in my very first Telugu film.
Tell us about your director...
It is CC sir or director CC Srinivas, to whom I owe my performance to a large extent. He made sure I rehearsed my lines in such a way that I looked like a real pro. I looked as comfortable as I would look if I were speaking in Hindi or English. He had a very weird, different way of helping me learn my dialogues. He made it look like I was saying my lines without thinking, but that was surely not the case. Also, he knew how I had to look exactly and gave precise instructions to the make-up guys. As we say, a film is a director's baby... this one is indeed CC sir's baby.
Any particular incident you cannot forget in your life, while you shot for the film...
There is this one funny incident which I will never, ever forget. This happened when we were shooting for a song in Bangkok. For one particular shot, I had to run on the beach and get on to the back of Srikant. For this shot, we had to dripping with water and so the crew members would pour water on us. This was the song choreographed by Krishnavamsi sir. Once in between the shots, I thought I heard action and started running. So, there was this guy who had to pour water on me and he too started running after me. Poor Srikant did not know what was happening when he saw us running. Even before he could figure out what was happening, I fell on him and the guy fell on us. The whole unit was in splits and blamed me for the incident. So, it was the most stupid and funny incident during the entire shoot.
What according to you, are the highlights of the film?
There are a couple of scenes that are bound to draw the interest of the audience. Then it would surely be the screenplay. You simply cannot predict what is going to happen next. Of course, then there is the story. Not to forget the cast. Last, but not the least, my song. That will be the highlight of the film anyday. It wouldn't be exaggerating to say it is one of the best songs shot ever.
Do you have plans to continue acting in Telugu or other south Indian films? Have you signed any film after 'Nagaram'?
Yes, I do want to work in other languages. But I want to concentrate mostly on Telugu films. But it would be too early to speak of future. Let's see. There is an offer. But again, as soon as I am allowed to to speak about it, then I will let you know what is coming up.
In the long run, if you had to choose between acting and flying... what would you choose?
Acting is my passion... I had always wanted to be in front of the camera, so much so that I am addicted to it. I can stand in front of a camera forever and ever. In future, if I had to make a choice, then I will give up flying for acting.
Was it easy, getting a break?
There are different levels of struggle -- for example, some people sleep on platforms and then make it big. Some get cast and then are eventually rejected. But I have been lucky so far. I managed to get my breaks without too many rejections. But I have to watch how my career goes in future.
What would Kaveri do in her free time?
I like going out. I am not the partying kind. But I am a outdoor person. I would any day read a book out on a beach rather than at home. Mostly, I take my car out and go out for a drive, go shopping and meet friends.
What is your take on body show?
I have always heard heroines say that when you are out on the beach, you cannot look correct wearing a burkha, or formal wear with boots in place. You have got to look the part. However, it all depends on the scene. If you are showing skin, then I think it has to be well shot and well presented. Then, you can end up looking much more beautiful than in any other outfit. There is nothing wrong in exposure, if it is done well!
Being a newcomer, you are expected to answer this one. Would you be comfortable wearing a swim suit?
Honestly, I don't mind wearing a swim suit. But for that, the makers have to give me six months, so I could work on body and tone it better. I feel if I have to look presentable, then I have to lose some weight. Otherwise, I will look bad on screen in skimpy clothes. When I am in perfect shape, I will surely do it.
Lastly, you had mentioned, acting was always your passion. So, did you get trained in acting or dancing or in any other aspect of filmmaking?
No, I have no formal trainin in acting. But I did learn dancing in Mumbai to make my body more rhythm friendly. I did not learn classical dancing, so I did take dance classes.