Pooja Hegde romanced Mahesh Babu for the first in Maharshi and the film has turned out to be a massive blockbuster. Her praise-worthy performance comes after giving hits like Aravindha Sametha Veera Raghava with Jr NTR and Duvvada Jagannadham with Allu Arjun. This makes Pooja one of those few actresses who has bagged hits with top stars of Tollywood. And her repertoire will have another glittering addition with Saaho, wherein she shares the frame with Baahubali actor Prabhas, which will soon hit the screens. Post the success of Maharshi, BollywoodLife caught up with Pooja Hegde and had a quick chat about the film's triumph at the box office. From working with Mahesh Babu to being a part of the blockbuster film, Pooja opens up about her cinematic experience in an exclusive interview with us. Read on:
How does it feel to be a part of such a magnanimous project, which earned great numbers at the box office and was also Mahesh Babu's 25th film?
When I signed Maharshi, I didn't know that it would be Mahesh Babu's 25th film. The story was narrated to me more than a year ago and I just wanted to be a part of the project because of its great story. Going by the response, I feel happy that I decided to be a part of the film.
Mahesh Babu has this quirky sense of humour and he often pulls pranks on people close to him. How was your experience of shooting with him?
No pranks were pulled on anyone during Maharshi but his way of talking is quite witty. Mahesh Babu has these one-line remarks that he comes up with, which are super entertaining.
In Maharshi, you share a unique relationship with Allari Naresh's character, which translates into how the three of you'll behave. How did the director brief you on that?
From the narration, it was understood that these three people are different from each other and have different paths in life. They meet in college and become good friends, but their bond ends with one scarring incident. I am happy with the way people are enjoying the chemistry between us. I feel glad that we managed to nail that aspect.
Mahesh Babu has a totally different personality in the second half of the film. Which one is your favourite?
As an episode, I love the college phase. But his character evolves in the second part of the film, which is more enduring I feel.
There's a scene where your family interrogates Mahesh Babu, which involved big stars and veteran actors. How was the experience of shooting it?
I needed a few minutes to myself, but after that, I was good to shoot. It helped me concentrate on the task at hand. Besides, it has been my good luck and destiny to have got the opportunity to work with stars like Jr NTR, Allu Arjun, Akshay Kumar and now Mahesh Babu.
You've worked with Jr NTR, Allu Arjun, now Mahesh Babu and will soon be seen with Prabhas. The graph is only going upwards.
The weather is really good up there. I have learned a lot from every film I did. And I think Prabhas is one of the nicest people I have ever met. I'm not saying actor or anything, just as a person, he is a very humble and grounded person and great to work with. Also, It may sound like a cliché but I genuinely get excited by the script, more than anything else. Yes, there is a check-list which has actors and filmmakers I want to work with, but at the end of the day, it is the script that matters. Time and again it has been proved that content is the king and as an actor, it is very important for me to focus on that. If you look at Maharshi, I'm not there throughout the run time of the film. That's because I thought it was a great script to be a part of. Telling a success story from a different angle was unique. Besides, I thought that my character had a significant role to play in the plot. I’m in a phase right now where I want to be part of great films and enjoy my time on sets, every day.
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There have been opinions that Maharshi has taken reference from several other movies. Your comment on it.
Honestly, it doesn't matter at this juncture what people say, as the film is doing really well and the audience is enjoying it. Also, I think the director would be in a better situation to answer that. At the end of the day, a love story is a love story. What matters is how you tell it. Whether it is Romeo-Juliet or Ram-Leela, it eventually is a narrative that needs to be told. It is important how you introduce a new element in the story, which makes it appealing and enhances the project. One needs to understand whether the audience is happy or not. Also, I'm pleasantly surprised with the number of people who have praised my performance. I thought I had a tad bit role, but then good reviews is all we want to hear at the end of the day.
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