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Brother-sister camaraderie in 'HanuMan' is cute: Varalaxmi Sarathkumar

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After Telugu films like 'Krack', 'Naandhi', 'Veera Simha Reddy', and the recent 'Kota Bommali PS', Varalaxmi Sarathkumar will next be seen in the pan-Indian Sankranthi release 'HanuMan'. Set to hit the cinemas on January 12, the superhero movie has her playing Teja Sajja's sister. In this interview, the actress says that her style of comedy in the film is not obvious. "The brother-sister banter in 'HanuMan' is cute," she says.

I have a mass hero-like fight in 'HanuMan'. My character breaks the mold. It is not stereotypical. You have seen a glimpse of my role in the trailer. The action scene I am part of is impactful because it also involves the hero, Teja Sajja. When director Prasanth Varma narrated the story, he didn't narrate my part as an action role. I followed my gut and did the film.

The scale of the project multiplied as the shoot progressed. At first, this was pitched to me as a Telugu project. The shoot alone took place over more than 18 months. This is a multi-lingual release. At the end of the day, all the effort we put in is meant to receive the appreciation of the audience. Prasanth Varma is a focused director. Teja and Varma share a strong rapport because they have previously worked with each other. Producer Niranjan Reddy's appetite is what made a grand film like 'HanuMan' possible. Producers like him make better directors!

The sets on the Hanuman Studio, erected for 'HanuMan', were huge. I was witness to the shoot of a big-canvas Kusthi fight when I first visited the set.

Even my negative characters in Telugu films haven't been hated by the audience. In 'Veera Simha Reddy', the venom-spewing sister had a certain rationale for her hatred. To this day, nobody has told me they hated my character. In 'HanuMan', I am playing a loving sister in contrast. I have been asked by the audience to improve my Telugu. Since I am a Tamilian, I have to work on the language. I understand where the feedback is coming from.

A lot of films are in the pipeline. A Kannada film and 'Sabari' are among my upcoming projects. I may not be the lead character in my films, but my character is there in the conflict plot point. Acting is a drug to me. I always yearn to approach each role with the conviction that the audience will find it believable. My characters become a part of my identity. I am referred to by the names of my characters in films like 'Krack'.

Three of my Telugu films are Sankranthi outings. This was not planned. I feel truly blessed about this coincidence.

I am not playing only negative roles. 'Mansion 24', the thriller streaming on Disney Plus Hotstar, was uniquely positive. I am an observant actor. Be it anywhere I am, I observe others.

I have long stopped planning and having expectations. There was a time when I planned my moves, including my personal life. There was a pandemic in 2020. Who could have anticipated it? After the Tamil film 'Podaa Podi' (2012), I have never planned anything. I am up for any language. I will do even Bengali cinema if something exciting comes up there.

It is a false rumour that I was offered Sriya Reddy's character in 'Salaar'. I would never say no to a Prabhas film! 

Updated on January 10, 2024