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So What Went into the Making of Devi 2? Hear it from Tamannaah Bhatia Herself

So What Went into the Making of Devi 2? Hear it from Tamannaah Bhatia Herself

If all goes well, Tamannaah Bhatia will have six film releases in 2019 alone. Here, she talks about her diverse roles, co-actors and why she is in no mood to go slow.

Tamannaah Bhatia has her plate full this year. She is currently gearing up for the release of two films—Khamoshi and Devi 2.

Khamoshi is a Hindi thriller in which she has gone de-glam for her role of a deaf and mute girl. Meanwhile, Devi 2—the sequel to the successful 2016 film Devi—is a bilingual horror comedy. Interestingly, both the films feature Tamannaah and Prabhudeva in the lead roles and were initially slated to release on May 31. However, to avoid clash, Khamoshi’s release has now been postponed to June 14.

Ahead of two major films, Tamannaah talks about working with Prabhudeva, starring in six films in one year, the superstar father-son duo Chiranjeevi and Ram Charan, and her forthcoming projects.

How was it working with Prabhudeva? What has been your biggest learning while working with him?
He is a very sharp actor. You have to be on your toes all the time. He pushes you to give a better performance. And he works at a really fast pace. I think I do my best when I work with him. But what I really like about him is that when he is acting, he doesn’t get into any other aspect of filmmaking, which is quite strange because he himself is a director and a choreographer. He could very well do that but he doesn’t, which I really respect him for. After working with him when I work with other people, I feel like everyone else is slow, which they’re obviously not. It’s just that he works so fast.

Prabhudeva—the director, the actor or the choreographer—which one do you like the most?
I haven’t worked under his direction ever but he has choreographed for me and I have acted with him. So I’ll choose between the actor and the choreographer. He is a very supportive co-actor, he is very relaxed, chill. But when he is a choreographer, he is a very strict person, which makes everyone do their best. It’s actually hard to choose because he is so good at both, but I’ll say choreographer because that is his USP and nobody can beat him at that.

You’re playing a deaf and mute girl in Khamoshi. How challenging was it to get the character right?
We did a four-day workshop during which we went through the scenes, decided how the body language of this girl should be. I had to learn sign language because that’s how she communicates in the film. It was another interesting skill set to learn. Now it’s no longer just about learning lines and performing, but it’s also leaning a skill set and using it in the film, which is actually the fun part.

With you and Prabudeva in both the films, how different are Devi 2 and Khamoshi?
Khamoshi is a thriller but it’s not gimmicky. They have not put a song and a dance in the middle of it just because it’s Prabhu Sir and me. It’s a very internationally treated film, which is racy and keeps you at the edge of your seat. It will give you the feeling of watching something that’s really happening. Also, I am not wearing much make-up in the film. I’ll look a lot like how I normally look, which is very different from how I have been portrayed on celluloid so far. It was nice to play someone who looks a lot more like me.

Meanwhile, in Devi 2, I am playing a South-Indian housewife who is village-bred and is very naive. It’s a horror comedy. It would take me three hours to do my make-up because I had to change the skin tone of my entire body and face. It required a physical transformation and a performance completely different from Khamoshi. Even if you don’t understand the language, Devi 2 is an extremely entertaining film—it’s horror comedy but it’s not slapstick.

At a time when actors star in one or two projects a year, you will have six films in 2019 alone. You had four releases even last year. Do you not worry about being over-exposed?
I am a really greedy actor. I want to make the most of my time and I want to do a lot of movies. I try to do as much as I can to a point where I don’t physically burn out. I am working pretty much round the clock. It is an exciting phase of my career.

After Khamoshi and Devi 2, I am doing Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy—which is set in a completely different era, my character is completely different too. Then I am doing an urban action film based in today, in which I get to fight the baddies, look good. There’s also Raju Gari Gadhi 3, which is a franchise. Then there’s the remake of Anando Brahma, a Telugu film which had Taapsee Pannu in the lead. Finally, there’s the Telugu remake of QueenThat is Mahalakshmi—which should also release sometime soon.

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Talking of Sye Raa, you are one of the few people who have worked with both Ram Charan and Chiranjeevi. How different are the father and son?
Chiranjeevi Sir is extremely normal, grounded, and simple. He is not at all like a star. It’s unreal. If he doesn’t feel happy, he will do 15-20 takes to get the right expression. He is so senior but he never makes you feel intimidated. He still wants to prove himself as if he’s a newcomer, which is so endearing. It takes a lot to still have the same enthusiasm for work even after so many years. He is more passionate about his work than even our generation of actors.

Charan, on the other hand, is relaxed, very cool to work with. He is very today, like you and me. But he does full justice to every character he plays, the hard work that he puts. I think it comes a lot from his father. He has imbibed that from him—being there, doing what it takes to get a good shot. They both don’t compromise at all. It’s nice to work with people who go all the way to get it right.

Amitabh Bachchan is also playing a cameo in Sye Raa?
It is not a cameo. He is playing an important character in the film. Despite Sye Raa having a large ensemble cast, all of us are playing significant characters in the film. But he and I don’t have any scenes together. I am very excited about this one.

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