Pooja Hegde has two big films in her kitty this year. The actor will be seen in Mahesh Babu’s Maharshi, which is up for a May 9 release, while by the end of the year, Pooja will be seen in Housefull 4, which has an ensemble star cast including actors Akshay Kumar, Riteish Deshmukh, Rana Daggubati and so on. In an exclusive interview with indianexpress.com, Pooja talked about her upcoming films.
Here are excerpts from the interview:
This year, you have two big releases – Maharshi in Tollywood and Housefull 4 in Bollywood. Are you excited?
I am so nervous! Maharshi releases on May 9. Mahesh Babu films always do well. It is a very big film. Housefull 4, on the other hand, is going to be crazy. It is going to be a laughter riot. It is a beautiful looking film.
We have heard a lot about Mahesh Babu. How was your experience?
He is very clued into what works in the industry. He is a very good director, which not many people know. I think he should direct a film soon. He will be a very good director.
How different are your characters in Maharshi and Housefull 4?
My characters in both the films are very different. In the Mahesh Babu starrer, I play a girl who is very simple and is happy about small things in life. Although not complicated, she is a bit bossy. The Housefull 4 character is completely opposite. It is another kind of character and in fact, a very different kind of acting. Sometimes in some of the scenes, I have done over the top acting because that is what the comedy scenes demanded. So, they are two very different films.
This is your first time with Vamshi Paidipally too. Tell us about the collaboration.
Vamshi sir is very passionate about what he does. I was the only clown on the sets because I was always laughing and joking. For me, it was all about having good energy on the sets. He has written a very good script and I hope people will connect to it.
Has working in Tollywood helped you in Bollywood?
You know, experience is experience. The more you are in front of the camera, you learn a lot more and that is what’s important. It is a great industry to be in. Having said that, have I arrived? Well, I am glad that people think so but honestly, there is a long way to go.
On Housefull 4 sets, who was more fun in the entire star cast?
Akshay Kumar sir, for sure. He has the energy of a 16-year-old. He is always up to something. He is always playing something on the sets in between the shots. His energy is infectious.
Did you feel intimated by anyone on the sets? You are fairly new in comparison to others. Was there a moment you were bullied?
I was very intimidated because there are people who have been in films forever. Whether its Kriti or Akshay or Riteish, they have been in the industry for so long that I feel like a baby. I am just trying to learn the ropes. I have to self talk and self motivate before coming on the sets. I was also bullied by Akshay sir and Riteish sir. When the two get together, they are just unstoppable. They are pranksters.
The film has been taken over by Farhad. Did you feel any difference in the working methods or their direction? Also, when two names from the crew came out in the MeToo campaign, what were your thoughts?
I think our producers handled it really well. #MeToo as a movement, I think is great. We should talk about it as a movement in general rather than just one incident. Being a girl from the industry, I hope it does not fizzle out.
What is next in Bollywood and South Industry?
I have big projects coming up in Bollywood but will wait till the official announcement to talk more about it.