Thursday, November 30, 2023

CELEB TALK : A woman of grace and substance

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Actress Anasuya Bharadwaj proved once again that she only speaks her heart out as she conversed with The Pioneer’s SHIKHA DUGGAL about movies, brawls with Vijay Deverakonda, handling criticism, family, and more.
Pride of her parents, support for her partner, and the creator of new lives — the most talked-about actress, Anasuya Bharadwaj, is our next interviewee for celeb talk. You can most certainly call her a wonder woman because she’s busy bringing in numerous shades of colour into her life. Straight from the sets of PUSHPA 2, after consecutive exhausting night shoots, one of the popular television presenters in the Telugu television industry gave us her invaluable time for this interview. And as the interview went on, we were delighted and glowing.
Like any other child, even her early years had lifelong emotional impacts. Not really understanding what? Mrs. Bharadwaj tattles exclusively, “My timidity acted as a mislaying for some time. I had no friends! Except for my husband now. I have been a homebird all my life. My near and dear ones are surprised to see my extroverted nature having wings of its own now. What changed me was my enrollment in NCC! My father was always busy with his political career, and we were three girls back at home. So, I had a restricted childhood.”
Her father had been very much like a disciplinarian. But she found her life partner at NCC! The RANGASTHALAM fame expressed, “My husband was in the air wing. I was very naive, so I was enjoying the attention he was giving me.”
She got married to a Bihari, and the couple was in a courtship for almost nine years. However, in the process, she had her share of hiccups as she explained, “My father gave up on his persistent nature. My grandmother and mother were in full support! But I needed my father’s approval. I was dependent on him. A full-blown ‘mahabharat’ happened in my home, so I started working as an HR executive immediately. I was living as a paying guest.”
But even after all this, she does not doubt her upbringing for a second! Because when people come up to her and say, ‘Oh, you don’t look like a mother of two kids’, she doesn’t understand this compliment at all. This has to be a lifestyle, just like the way her mother had three daughters. Going to the gym shouldn’t be your luxury; at least that’s what her dad swears by.
Now we were equally interested in knowing how she went from being an easily frightened girl to a courageous woman today. The KSHANAM fame tipped off: “My father was always busy with his meetings and political campaigns. And my mother was all by herself, so she wouldn’t want us to go out and explore. Hyderabad and my NCC camps were my only world. But no regrets! Being an Army officer was never my calling. I was meant to be in the entertainment industry and shed that apprehensive nature behind, finally. Otherwise, it would be a loss to this industry (she laughed out loud because she doesn’t mind blowing her own trumpet).”
Later, Anasuya became a news presenter at Sakshi TV. Because her father was a Congressman and the channel was subsided by them. “The channel took me for a better grooming session. People around me found me so prim and proper that they encouraged me to be an actress here. I became their mannequin. My hairdresser and stylist have been in my family for the past fourteen years. But there is a lot that meets the eye in this industry,” the MBA graduate elaborated further. “I still don’t think I have arrived.
I don’t have an agenda in this industry. Sukumar’s writing took me by surprise, so I went ahead with it. I don’t repeat my roles! Kshanam was a path-breaking movie; we finished the shoot in just a year, and it opened a new arena for thrillers. Then Jabardast made me a household name, but something very shocking happened with me; my life was being probed publicly.”
She saw a lot of negativity in just a short time. She was being claimed as a sex bomb, she was being called a prude, and Twitter had exploded. Today, she clarifies through us: “I don’t approve of my fans prying into my personal life. C’mon, guys, I was a newcomer. What really happened was that I had to take a hiatus from such a popular show because, 10 episodes later, I conceived. My in-laws were worried!
Meanwhile, unfortunately, we had to reject the Pawan Kalyan movie. Now I am a no-filter person. I have only one face as an actress! This news went out and made headlines. I was receiving an unnecessary backlash; I don’t know for what? Besides, I was handling my hormonal changes. I slipped into depression during my pregnancy. Forget about postpartum!”
She was also called a stripper for the way she styles herself on the show. She just allowed her costume designer to experiment with her for the television show. It spiralled into something else! She had no idea about a half-saree either; she was just following her designer’s looks. She became an overnight sensation. But what’s sad is that she is still slut-shamed because she is an opinionated woman. However, it is her fans that has been her pillars of strength. “My fans are my family. I talk to most of them once a month. They have been consistent in supporting me since the time I slipped into depression. They don’t character shame me, at least. I have so many fan pages; I never expected this!
Sometimes, when my family is busy, the fans become my source of strength and a jolly time. They go to any lengths to meet me, even if the store opening is in the extreme interior. There are some actor-turned-politician fan pages tagging me these days to make me feel embarrassed in terms of popularity. What’s the need? I have become this soft target amongst Telugu actresses. Dude, it hurts me,” explained the television host.
Furthermore, Anasuya shared that she really cannot understand why a few actors in the industry are not taking up the social responsibility of who they are. Just yesterday, she came across a suicide note from a fan who was ready to kill himself for Ram Charan. She had a personal anecdote to share: “When few actors had the stomach to come on-screen and smoke, then give a stupid disclaimer, it really was ignorant of them. This was the whole agenda for placing a finger on Arjun Reddy.
The way Vijay presented himself at the press meeting was awful. The entire NOVOTEL was yelling cuss words; this didn’t happen with Shahid Kapoor. I took this very personally. You are an actor, Vijay; you can’t glorify this. It was even more disgraceful that none of the media took offence. Our brawl continues…”
She in fact called VIJAY DEVERAKONDA personally, saying, “What an iconic speech. You deserve all the attention, but next time, don’t get carried away by the overwhelming response. His reply was, ‘I didn’t mean it; it was casual’. We were friends before Arjun Reddy. The movie really turned him into a different person; these are actually my learnings from this industry. I wasn’t wrong.”
She doesn’t have a Bollywood movie in her filmography yet, and Anasuya calls her PR game very lame and funny. She did get some Bollywood offers, but she’s eyeing something else. Now she has a meatier role and longer screentime in PUSHPA 2. Most of her scenes will be with Faahadh Faasil. “It’s not easy to be a South Indian actress. You can be replaced at any moment!” concluded the graceful lady.
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