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Victim shaming should stop
Sanjjanaa Galrani the diva who played the second lead in the movie Bujjigadu has definitely made a mark and impressed audience with her performance She continues her good work carving her path in the film industry She shares the horrific experience she went through while shooting for her first film in an exclusive interview
Sanjjanaa Galrani the diva who played the second lead in the movie ‘Bujjigadu’ has definitely made a mark and impressed audience with her performance. She continues her good work carving her path in the film industry. She shares the horrific experience she went through while shooting for her first film in an exclusive interview.
How is actress Sanjjanaa off screen and on screen?
Off screen I am a boy and when it comes on screen, I must work so I must be very feminine and soft. I am very emotional however, but more of a tom boy.
Whom do you take as an inspiration?
I have friends who never watched Telugu films and they feel in love with Ram Charan because of his acting. I feel he is phenomenal actor and a performer. I am not talking about the looks because everyone has good looks. He is my latest love and my evergreen love is Mahesh Babu. Prabhas is a darling and Jr NTR is so energetic that you get inspired looking at his films.
Which directors are you looking forward to work with?
Many. Rajamouli Sir is a dream director, Trivikram Srinivas, I love his intelligence and scripts, Koratala Siva is yet another and Sukumar’s ‘Rangasthalam’ made me go bonkers. Such films prove that Telugu is predominantly the number one cinema in India. Hindi movies are also good, but not as good as ‘Rangasthalam’ or ‘Baahubali’.
Tell us about your upcoming projects?
Right now, I am working on ‘Swarna Khadgam’ which is a product produced by the producers of ‘Baahubali’. It is the biggest budget Television soap made in South India. Arka Media is making it because they wanted to re-use the technicians of ‘Baahubali’.
Can you share what you think of #MeToo movement?
I had a #MeToo movement too. This was when I debuted and entered films. I was approached to do the remake of movie ‘Murder’ in Kannada, which was my first film in the industry. I saw the film five times and they told me that they were making a south Indian version of the film.
They told me that there would be one kiss in the film because we must justify that the wife has cheated on the husband. Apart from that they said there will be nothing because they want to keep it conservative as south Indians do not come with families to watch a film like ‘Murder; unlike Bollywood. But still I was scared and nervous as I was just 16 and half years in age.
After I signed the film, I was forced to do a whole lot of kiss scenes by the director Ravi Srivastava. On the day two they finished the kissing scene and on the third day they told me there was another kiss scene. I refused. But I was young and did not have even five percent of the guts I have today and back in those days forcing a woman to work, scold, blackmail was not a crime.
I could have taken the first flight back home, but I was too frightened. It was a 22-day schedule in Bangkok and I was with my mother for the first time travelling abroad. And on the 5th day they told me my mother has to leave as the production cost was becoming high.
She went away and I was left alone. She would call me four to five times in a day to check on me. I was under terrible pressure wondering when they would report me to directors association and get me banned. They made me do the kiss scene again and again and would yell at me in front of forty people. I ended up doing 30 - 40 such scenes in the film. By the time ‘Murder’ released I was 17 and I was haunted by the image for a long time.
When did you get out of the shadow of the ‘Murder’ film?
After I did that film it spoilt my image for almost one and a half year, it was very difficult for me to come out of it. I did an Ad with John Abraham for ‘Fastrack’ and moved on as a model and fought it out. By God’s grace I came here to Telugu film industry. I am here today because of Puri Sir’s ‘Bujjigadu’ and I have done 10 to 15 films which made the Kannada audience realise that she is not the ‘Murder’ girl and then I gave a big hit there with Shiv Rajkumar, which changed my fortune and made me work with Sudeep Sir, Darshan. I broke the ice and I looked at it as being a survivor.
How long do you think that #MeToo movement will sustain?
I spoke up about this in Karnataka. I don’t see #MeToo movement lasting forever but what happened is that there is a lot of awareness in the film industry. At least there will be a level of discipline; I am not telling you that 100 percent of the film industry is dirty.
I have done 45 films and there are two directors who hit on me. For the rest of the films I had very good people to work with because they knew that I was educated and able to take care of myself and here to work. The film industry is one of the safest because they are very scared about their reputation, but there are these two or three percent of notorious people who are there in every industry.
I do not want people to misuse #MeToo and be truthful. #MeToo has also helped in cutting down the dirt from the industry, by making men who do not deserve to be there step down. It is a wakeup call for everyone and I thank God that #MeToo movement happened in one way. There are guidelines and committees formed now in the industry for women who can talk and express their agony. Every strong man supports #MeToo movement.
What is your say on the trolls that are made on #MeToo?
I think people who troll should go and jump in the well. All the abuses are bad and victim shaming should stop in the country. If you do not like it just move away don’t be so cheap; that’s all I want to say.