A lot of people don't know that I had a special appearance in 'Keratam'; that was my first Telugu film. I only shot for four to five days. When they called me, I said, 'I can't give 60 days for a movie. If you have something for one week or 10 days, then I can accommodate.'
We shot 'Telusa Telusa' song in Bolivia. It took us 50 hours to get to the location. We shot in high altitudes, and oxygen cylinders were kept handy.
I was a national level golf player. I gave up golf after a while when I wanted to model, as I would tan while playing it. I love watching movies and hanging out with my friends in Delhi.
For me, fitness is not just about hitting the gym; it is also about an inner happiness and an overall well-being.
It's not an easy task to match Charan. He is really a good dancer, and he comes straight to the sets without rehearsals.
I personally do not drink. To drink or not to is one's own choice. So long as it doesn't affect others, it is okay.
My mother often tells me not to drive back home late in the night. But like all youngsters, I suggest that there is nothing to worry. I tell her I have my driver, I have my security.
I consider Rashi Khanna and Regina Cassandra as my best friends. They say there are three Rs in the Telugu industry: Rakul, Rashi, and Regina. All three of us debuted in the same year, and while we all compete for the same roles, we are still the closest, and we confide in each other.
I have a lot of love for nature, trees, animals and greenery, and I feel that if I did not exist, there'd be no greenery on the face of the earth.
I believe in hard work, not luck factor. The best efforts will reap the best fruits. Nobody can take all the credit. We don't even talk about the efforts of the director, the writers, other technicians, etc. They all together take a film to another level.
People ask if success changes one overnight. I am just doing my job, and I worked way too hard to get here. I didn't get it easy.
I dubbed for 'Nannaku Prematho' because in that film, I was doing a London-based character, and even if some mistake happens with pronunciation, people would excuse it.
Fitness starts at home. What you eat is what you will look, just as what you sow is what you reap. Eat good food: eat fruits, vegetables, healthy grains, and don't go for sweet and trite food.
'Bruce Lee' didn't work, and there were apprehensions about what the fans might say. People might have commented that Charan could have waited for some time before selecting me again. But that's what makes it a real achievement to me. People want to work with me because of the comfort level; nobody would work with you again otherwise.
After becoming an actor, it's the privacy that I miss.
Hema ji is a dedicated artist and a perfectionist who continues to rehearse on her lines till she gets them right.
When people say good things about me, judge me based on my behaviour and work, that makes me happier than a film's success would.
I am blessed to have worked in big-budget films at an early stage of my career.
Girls shouldn't drink because their bodies are not made for drinking and smoking.
I like to work hard and complete my films one after the other.
I've seen 'Legend'. I like a different kind of cinema, but when done with conviction, anything looks good.
A lot of people tell me, 'You are from North; how do you manage to get along in the South?' I don't know what to say to them. I've always felt at home here, and by learning to speak Telugu, my connection with the place has gotten that much stronger.
I think there is an army clock ticking in me. I value time. I always want to be on time. I don't complain about things, saying, 'There is no caravan here,' etc. For example, they could only arrange a tent on the location of 'Pareshanu Raa'. I understand the importance of money. I respect my work a lot. Not that I am the only one who works hard.
I understand only three things - films, fitness, and food.
We are in a world where men and women are on the same platform.
I don't know whether they will give me a project just because I am cooperative and behave nicely, but it really helps. I never demand for anything or never throw tantrums at work.
I'm either shooting for films or commercials, attending events, or meeting people, so on and so forth.
Beauty pageants work as a platform from where you can reach out to many.
If I don't get healthy food, my staff cooks for me.
Walk up and down the stairs ten times a day. Do an hour's walking. Release toxins just so that you feel happy. Drink a lot of water; sleep on time.
'Winner' is a commercial family entertainer with a strong emotional core. Teju couldn't hold back his tears after watching the movie. The horse race portions were mostly shot in Turkey.
For newcomers, modelling is like a stepping stone to acting. The exposure and experience in modelling helps... But for acting, we have to show a lot of hard work and dedication towards it.
There's competition at every phase of your life. The day we start thinking about it, you lose your peace of mind. I don't compete with anyone.
I am not looking for a life partner right now. But if I've to list out the requirements, I have a huge list. But the first requirement is he should be tall and should be taller than me; even I wear heels.
My father will never say no to a character, as I never go to him and talk about a character for which he won't give the nod.
When I am going out, I am in ponytail, jeans, tees. I am just like any girl-next-door. Beauty is not external; it's internal. When you are a happy soul, you would be beautiful any time.
Speaking in broken Telugu is one thing, and dubbing is another.
Reviewers are entitled to say if they liked the screenplay, performance, and execution of a film or not. But when they say things like the film doesn't cater to a certain audience, it leaves people wondering if they should watch it.
My dad is from the army, and so we studied all over. I had done an Onida campaign at the age of two, as my mom always had this inclination for me to model, but my dad was clear that I could model only when I turned 18, so immediately after school, I started modelling.
I always feel that I compete with myself.
I don't think one should attribute the success and failure of a film to a single actor. When you decide to do a film, you weigh the pros and cons before taking a call. Only when you run out of patience, get insecure, and feel your career is heading nowhere do you sign anything that comes your way.
Boyapati is one of the few directors who can pull off a masala film like 'Sarrainodu'.
Everyone gets a raise when they do well. No one asked me what I got for my initial films. There was a time I got paid Rs. 6 lakh. I charge what producers are willing to pay me.
Before I came to Bollywood, lot of people told me that here things are not very professional, but I've had no such experience.
A newcomer needs to be careful as to what kind of role they choose. If you choose something different, you will end up getting typecast. That's why I chose to play a character my age, to keep my options open for the future.
A lot of hard work goes into making a film. It's not all fun time, as people tend to think. There are always stereotypes attached to every profession, but I found out this industry breaks them all.
Hindi film and southern film industries are doing well when it comes to technical know how. By and large, they are pretty similar and are close knit industries.
My first film would have been 'Rough,' and it got delayed. 'Venkatadri Express' released first and became a big success. I signed 'Venkatadri' after 15 days of shooting for 'Rough'. I had lot of faith in the script, and I feel luck plays a major part.
In 10 months, I was replaced from three films. That's when I realised I need to take my work seriously. It's a blessing I didn't get things easy. If I had, I wouldn't realise the value of success.
If I wasn't an actress, I'd never wear make up. I liked being ready in half an hour and arrive on the sets. Even for a no-makeup look, if one has a dark under-eye on a particular day, a little makeup is used. I had no scope for that as well.
There's work for everybody, and I believe every actor gets what he/she deserves. Honestly, I just want to work as long as I can and do great films and act with every good actor around.
I'm quite fluent in Telugu now, but there's a difference between talking and dubbing. While dubbing, the diction must be in sync with the emotion in the scene and would impact my performance.
Tollywood is where I made a name for myself, and it's all thanks to the love and affection my fans have showered on me. The least I can do in return is to learn to speak the Telugu language correctly.
I don't get tired of my work because you can't get tired of something you love and enjoy! But, having said that, I wish to get a break of four to five days, or at least three days, switch off my cell phone, and do what I want to.
I am the kind of person who is happy to be doing work. When I miss a 'Brahmotsavam' or an 'Autonagar Surya', I feel bad for a day, and that's all. I don't want to name the films I have missed, but it's true that those which I missed didn't do well.
I wanted to greet people in Telugu, so I asked someone how to say 'How are you' in Telugu. In fact, I instructed my entire staff to speak to me only in Telugu. So, there were times when I would ask them to translate certain words for me in Hindi, but the effort paid off.
If the girl is good looking and talented, and for some reason the film doesn't work, she gets a second chance. But if subsequent films don't work, she gets branded as an 'iron leg.' The whole thing gets negative.
I work out every day. My friends say that I became an actress by chance; I should have become a gym trainer. I am the most grumpiest and irritable person if I don't work out for two days. You cannot have a conversation with me.
In Bollywood, you have to do one film at a time, and there are no mixed schedules. And doing four films at a time is out of the question. Telugu film industry works very differently. But the kind of films I'm getting here are better than what I've been offered in Bollywood.
I think female-centric films shouldn't be only about thriller or horror. Angelina Jolie has been doing all kinds of stuff.
I'm lucky to be getting a lot of good work in Tollywood. And I won't say I'm choosy, but of course, you have to select the best, and I'm trying to grab as many good films as I can. There was a time when I had to let go of some films which I regret now.
I did modelling for a year, but then I always wanted to be an actress.
I don't take it very seriously. You shouldn't let your success get to your head or failure get to your heart. This is most commonly said. But people don't really practise it. I don't see myself as a celebrity; it has not sunk in. I just see myself as someone doing a nine-to-six job like a techie.
I love to play golf and watch movies in Tamil and Telugu whenever I get time.
When I heard the script of 'Loukyam,' I was laughing, as it was such a laugh riot. So all this made me sign the film.
If I am meant to do a Bollywood film, I will get it. If not, I won't. I really don't differentiate between industries. As long as I get roles that give me a high, I enjoy it.
I love being in Hyderabad, as I never get bored like I do in Mumbai.
It's wrong to say that there is no performance in a glamorous role. Even a glam role takes in a lot of effort. There is a fine line between being glamorous and being vulgar; you have to feel comfortable in what you wear.
I'm greedy for work, and at times, I wish a month had more days, or the day had more number of hours, so that I could work more. I'm happy to be busy.
I was a filmy kid. I was two when I faced the camera for the first time. My parents realised it pretty early, and I'm really thankful to them for their support and help.
We are in an industry where, unfortunately, there is very limited scope for female-oriented roles. If we don't have options, how can we pick and choose roles?
I would love to experiment with roles. But when people say that we are not doing anything different, it is because directors do not approach us with diverse roles.
I am a total beach person, and that's why I just love coming to Vizag. The city also reminds me of the peaceful defence colonies of my childhood.
Events are the best opportunities to experiment with clothes, as we have to stick to a character in films.
Growth is a sub-conscious activity, and I learnt a lot in this course, and I'm always open to learning and grasping new things from people. I'm learning with every film, and my confidence levels and technique is also getting better with each film.
For being in a relationship or to be linked up with somebody, you need to have time. I hang out with my friends just at my leisure, but there's no time to get into any link up.
I did the Kannada film when just out of school. I didn't know anything about the South Indian film industry at that time, and I did the film to earn some pocket money. I realised then I like acting.
A stylist understands our body language; they know what works and what doesn't. I'm happy this concept has caught on in the South film industry.
I'm a big foodie and would love to indulge in such things. I've been to many restaurants in the city, and although I can't eat often, I know what's available where.
I have an interest in languages and make an effort to learn.
I've been to Chennai several times for modelling shows and shooting ad films. It's a great place to come back to because the people are warm and welcoming. I've never had the opportunity to actually see the city, but whatever places I've been to have really caught my attention.
I can memorise lines quickly. Knowing Telugu now has helped improve my performance.
When I initially moved to the city, I had to stay in hotels for almost two years. I was fed up of that life, and it was then that I decided that I wanted a home in the city, so I shifted base permanently.
Most of my work is based in Hyderabad, so it makes sense that I own a house here. Another reason I want a home here is because I want to have my own kitchen so that I can cook, since I hate food from hotels.
Charan is very hard-working and non-egoistic, given the family he comes from. He is very open to listening, and he surrenders himself completely to the director. It was lovely to work with an actor like that.
After the Visakhapatnam and Araku shoot, I am leaving for Ahmedabad and Bangalore, followed by Hyderabad. This is the time I can work hard, so I never feel the pressure, as I am a workaholic.
I used to get 2000 as pocket money, and I was being offered a car and an opportunity to make lakhs, so I said a yes. I was a kid and got homesick over my 40-day schedule in Bangalore and decided that I would only do films in the South if they were 10-day roles.
I am not in a hurry to do Hindi films. If it is destined, when it has to happen, it will.
When I won't have work, say, after seven or eight years, or when I retire, I can't imagine leaving Hyderabad, because I love this city that much.
I never feel insecure when there are two female leads.
I learnt tennis, swimming, basketball and several others, but the sport I loved the most was golf.
I'm open to all kind of scripts. As long as there's enough scope to perform, I'd take up the offer. In fact, before Yuvan and 'TT' happened, I got an opportunity to work with a top actor-director combination. But my height proved to be a setback.
I am always friendly with my co-actors and even other actresses, too.
Even though I've danced with actors, it wasn't the same with NTR.
I love to travel. This is the time for me. When will I do it if not now?
Working with Sukumar was amazing. He's someone who trusts his actors and allows them to experiment with dialogues and scenes. When you're working with him, you learn a lot subconsciously, and that helped me in discovering the actor within.
Sukumar comes from a very different school of working style. He never shoots with set dialogues and scenes. Most of it is improvised on the spot. He'd tell me, 'Rakul, if this is your character, how would you behave? Show me.'
Before the release of my film, small or big, the feeling is always the same.
I didn't comment on any actress, and I have never compared myself with any senior actresses. Moreover, I have said many times that I have learnt a lot from my seniors. Don't spread rumours and false news about me.