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'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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.'
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.
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.
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.'
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.
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.
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.