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Published: Verve Magazine, Cover Story, November 2007
Photograph: Joy Datta

Bollywood siren Sameera Reddy has stepped out from the shadow of her model siblings into the sizzling world of the big screen. Recently seen schmoozing with the likes of Shakira and George Clooney at the Toronto Film Festival which showcased two of her films, the sultry star, who was also in the news for battling to save an orphanage, reveals to SITANSHI TALATI-PARIKH, that under all that glamour, she is just a simple girl with simple desires


“Being glamorous doesn’t turn my head, because I have been on the receiving end of never being looked at, of never getting a rose on Rose Day in college, of being alone. I am now more wary of superficiality.”

“It was a painful time when nobody even knew I existed – that there were just two Reddy sisters who were models, Sushma and Meghana.”

“We are so opinionated and headstrong, all with ideas about what’s best for the other! Now, when my sisters and I spend precious moments together, it is a riot.”

“Being sexy is just a facet, not the whole. I didn’t start out being a sex symbol, or think that I would be an actress. It was almost like an overnight change.”

“It isn’t fair to be under constant pressure of having to wake up every morning, roll out of bed and come down looking as if you have just stepped out of a Yash Chopra film! But it is a part of who we are and what we are expected to do.”

“I go with the flow, from bubble-headed bizarre roles in Telugu films, to serious acting in Bengali cinema, to masala parts in Bollywood.”

“I am meticulous about learning all the languages in which I act and I understand the meaning of every word that I speak.”

“Being an actor makes you an extrovert. It throws you into the water and forces you to learn to swim. The image is just an extension of what I am supposed to be – but it is really not who I am.”

“The adulation is fantastic – it is what makes all the baniyawalas and rikshawalas recognise me. But, one day it’s going to go away. The day most actors dread, is the day I feel I will be set free….”

“The turning point of my career was being a part of Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s film, Kalpurush. You can’t hide in Buddhadeb’s cinema, it is just you and your character and it is the true test of real acting.”

“I got a renewed sense of confidence when Buddhadeb chose to cast someone like me, when everyone else dismissed me as just a glamour doll.”

“Toronto was a crazy picnic. I went to the Festival with no expectations and ended up meeting all these international celebrities who are so unbelievably down to earth. Having dinner with them seemed like the most normal thing to do!”

“The Indian sari is the sexiest outfit in the world. Why wear Versace and Armani to International festivals?”

“I am mad about travel and I love places with history and culture, like Turkey. I like backpacking; I have spent a month in Thailand, where I learnt how to ride a bike.”

“I am a loner and an introvert. I love sitting by the poolside reading and writing in my diary – which would probably make a fantastic best-seller! I also enjoy knitting.
I shock myself. I can be unpredictable, because I am very impulsive. I follow a strict fitness and diet regime; yet one day I can wake up and decide to eat pani puri off the road, or fly to Paris, and actually do it!”

“I can say something, and then do something completely different.”

“I would never reveal my inner self to anybody.”

“My portable PlayStation is always with me. I love Need For Speed and car racing games. Sam’s Mission, a video game revolving around me, is a great kick, pun intended!
My love life suffers because guys are really intimidated by my image. At the end of the day, I am just a girl, who wants a simple guy she can come home to, not a model, actor or cricketer!”

“My role model is my mother, a part of my dad’s business, a social worker and a constant learner, whose energy even at the age of 61 makes me want to better myself.
In a world full of superficiality, taking care of orphan kids has been a reality check. The plasma TV, the diamond ring, every big thing became so redundant.”

“I emotionally blackmailed all my friends, found out what fancy new thing they were about to buy and made them put the money into the orphanage instead. I’m proud of them for coming through for me.”

“I am not a party animal. I like simplicity. My favourite thing in the world is plopping down with a big bag of popcorn and watching a movie. What really gives me pleasure is coming home to safety and comfort after a hard day’s work.”

“It is a tight slap in the face if you think that when you win the Filmfare Award you will be happy, or when you find the perfect man or lose weight you will feel good. None of that matters – happiness should begin right at this moment with no end goal in sight.”