New Telugu girl on the block

New Telugu girl on the block

A software engineer by profession, Pujita Ponnada, is the latest Telugu face to have entered Tollywood. Born in Visakhapatnam and raised in Chennai,...

The noted web face talks about her switch to films, role in ‘Tuntari’ and shooting alongside Nagarjuna for ‘Oopiri’

A software engineer by profession, Pujita Ponnada, is the latest Telugu face to have entered Tollywood. Born in Visakhapatnam and raised in Chennai, the svelte girl caught the attention of several filmmakers courtesy her short film ‘Upma Tinesindi’.

“I came to Hyderabad three years ago for my professional career and I played the lead in ‘Upma Tinesindi’ last year. Though I was initially reluctant, the film’s director Srinu Pandranki’s persistent requests made me to do it,” she recollects fondly, adding, “After it hit the web, I got a lot of movie offers, commercials and soap operas and that’s how I bagged a role in ‘Tuntari’ too.”

The spunky debutante admits to have been apprehensive to sign the film initially. “Yes, I was. I got film offers when I was in Chennai too but my parents were averse to films. They wanted me to be on the academic line as I was good at studies.

While they didn’t express any shock when I said I will be doing a short film, the feature film entry did perplex them. It was tough convincing them. I told them to watch ‘Maan Karate’ (‘Tuntari’ is a remake of Tamil film ‘Maan Karate’) and when they saw what I’ll play in the film, they were okay with it. I took a three-month leave from office to shoot for ‘Tuntari’.”

The actress plays her real life name Pujitha in the film, directed by Kumar Nagendra of ‘Gundello Godari’ fame. “It’s a key role and the film unfolds with her. It is about the part she plays in transforming a careless guy (Nara Rohith) into a professional boxer.”

Admittedly, her stint in the short films platform came in handy. “The experience helped me to deal with different kinds of people on sets. It was a major learning curve because I was shooting for a film on such a big setup and alongside familiar faces for the first time. But director Kumar and his team were of great help.

Despite shooting in unfavourable conditions in Chikmagalur, Karnataka, and losing out on time, Kumar never lost his cool. He was always calm, positive and smiling.” She will also been seen as an art gallery executive in Nagarjuna and Karthi-starrer ‘Oopiri’. Animatedly reminiscing her meeting with the veteran star, she shares, “A good friend of mine is a family friend of Nagarjuna garu.

I’ve met him several times at parties. When I started shooting for the film he was looking at me and said, ‘I have seen you somewhere?’ And when I told who I was, he was like, ‘Oh my God! You are that person.’ In fact, my parents were on the sets that day. They were thrilled to have met him. He was such a down-to-earth person that we sat together for three hours. It was more memorable as it was my birthday too.”

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