Even before ‘Express Raja’, her Sankranti hit, opened in screens, actress Surabhi has managed to bag a plum project ‘Gentleman’, alongside Nani. Throwing light about her part in the romantic thriller, she shares, “I play Aishwarya, a young entrepreneur. She’s a strong woman from a rich family but has her values intact and takes life very seriously.

She’s also generous and compassionate. This is the first time I’m playing a role with a lot of substance.  I have considerable screen space and my look is classy. I sported a blend of ethnic and urban casuals.”

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Surabhi underwent a comprehensive reading session to get closer to the role. “Since the film unfolds as an intense drama, the entire team had a thorough reading session to understand the plot and characters better. Even the film’s director Indraganti Mohankrishna sir used to rehearse with us. The film will take me to the next level,” she promises.

How was it working with Nani? “I was very excited to work with Nani after seeing his earlier films and I’m glad that I got the opportunity very early (in my career). He’s very inspiring. I remember the team celebrating his birthday on the sets in Kodaikanal,” she recalls.

Commenting on another co-star Niveditha Thomas, she points out, “I share a lot of scenes with her and our on-screen chemistry will take the audience by surprise. People say that no two actresses can get along well but it’s wrong. We would be the first to come to the sets and eventually became good friends.” 

The Delhi actress bonded well with the director over music. “Working with Indraganti is amazing. He’s highly educated and at the same time very passionate about to cinema. I got to learn several things from him particularly about expressions during intense scenes. We bonded well over music and used to indulge in long chats about composers, hit numbers, etc,” gushes the former model who paints, sketches and plays piano at leisure.

Surabhi insists she wants to switch to commercial films. “I want to move on from the girl-next- door roles for full-on commercial films,” declares the actress, who is gung-ho about her recent trip to the Old City. “During the visit I had the opportunity to explore the city and went to Charminar. I brought some bangles, artefacts, jhumkas and other earrings.”