Samantha is overwhelmed with all the positive reviews she is getting for her uninhibited performance as Vaembu in Thiagarajan Kumararaja's Super Deluxe. "While accepting the film, I was a little scared but at this point in my career. I feel fear is a good thing and as an actor, such roles are always challenging. But I didn't expect the kind of appreciation which came in my way for Super Deluxe despite the presence of powerful performers like Vijay Sethupathi, Fahad Faasil and Ramya Krishnan," says Samantha in an exclusive interview to Firstpost.
Though Samantha has intimate scenes in the film, Kumararaja has not explicitly shown anything in the name of reality and spiced up the moment to grab the attention of the viewers. "Exactly, Kumararaja is not the kind of a director who depends on skin show of the heroines to publicise his films. That would be the last thing in his mind. When he narrated me the script, I could see the sincerity in his eyes. The script of Super Deluxe came from an honest, original and uncorrupted space. As an actor, it feels refreshing to find a director who is uncorrupted by the commercial factors, calculations and everything the industry corrupts you mentally," says the actress.
Samantha's performance in the pre-climax of Super Deluxe won hearts for the way she helplessly cried in front of her husband (played by Fahad) and the cruel police officer Berlin (Baghavathy Perumal), who blackmails and tries to sexually harass her."I accepted the film for the pre-climax scene and the message it says. For a woman " yes means yes and no means no. This is how I interpreted the scene. Yes, Vaembu initially had consensual sex with her ex-boyfriend and not her husband but that doesn't mean she is a whore. Now, this cop tries to exploit her and also convinces her husband but she says," explains Samantha and calls it as one of the most challenging roles she has done so far.
Samantha responds to those who ask why she has not done such films earlier in her career. "It's easy to play a quintessential bubbly girl. There is only n number of ways I can smile, cry and appear bubbly on the screen. How can I stay original to a character which is unoriginal? Every time when I see strong female characters in Bollywood and Hollywood, I used to feel why we were not offered with such roles. But glad that Vaembu happened to me. It's the kind of a role where I have to tell the husband that I slept with someone and not him, earn the hate from the audiences and in the end, the same people would feel for you. It needs so much of confidence outside to confidently pull off Vaembu on the screen," she says.
When asked whether the commercial failures of films like Neethane En Pon Vasanthanam or 10 Enrathukulla, where she played experimental roles, affected her choice of films, Samantha says "I'm proud of all the films which I have done so far in my career. Those films only brought me the position which I enjoy now in the industry. If Vaembu was offered me three years back, I wouldn't have justified the character because I wasn't evolved as a person at that time. All through my career, I learnt and grew up by making mistakes. There was no godfather for me in the industry so the only way I bettered my self was through trial and error method. Some people would knock it off at the beginning of their career itself. For example, Vijay Sethupathi established himself as a monster in acting in the first two films. But for some people, it's not just about acting. We have to overcome insecurity and it takes a lot of time for self building. One thing, I really would like change in my career is to get to this place faster than I actually did", smiles Samantha.
The trailer of Samantha's upcoming film, Majili, is just out and in the film, she looks exactly opposite to Vaembu from Super Deluxe. Samantha plays a loyal wife despite her husband continues to ignore her in the film, which talks about love post marriage. "As you said, my own character challenges me now and it's amazing to compete with the person you daily see in the mirror because every day, you would like to see yourself look better. Competing with oneself also unleash your own potential", says Samantha.
Talking about the deglamourised appearance in Majili, the actress says " I'm in a place where I don't care about physical appearances anymore and only want to bring justice to the character offered to me. I have done deglamourised roles before but in those films, I always tried to add some glam quotient. In this film, when my makeup team tried to put lashes, I told them to chuck it because the colour palette and mood of the film are dreary so there is no need for any glam factor".
When asked whether her marriage with Naga Chaitanya gave her the confidence to choose challenging roles, Samantha agrees. "Absolutely yes. Marriage has brought a lot of calmness, security, and peace within. Everybody says post marriage, everything would be over. But for me post marriage, everything jolted me upwards. I would say marriage has empowered me. The kind of support that my family gives is something which I always longed for. They give me a lot of confidence to focus on work," says Samantha.
Interestingly, Samantha and Naga Chaitanya are paired with each other in Majili. " I never had an intention of doing a film with him post marriage. We didn't do this film for commercial reasons. Majili is an honest film and I could feel the vibe on the sets. As I said earlier, I felt love and so much calm post marriage so always wondered why our films didn't showcase love after marriage. Only at that time, Shiva Garu came up with the script of Majili," says the actress. Samantha also says that Majili will be a milestone in her husband Chaitanya's career. "He has grown leaps and bounds as a performer in the film," she says.
The actress' next release after Majili will be O Baby! Yentha Sakkagunnave, the official Telugu remake of Korean comedy Miss Granny. "I always wanted to do a full-fledged comedy film and finally it happened with O Baby!. I had a blast shooting for the film. I would say, among all the characters I have done so far in my character, the role which I played in O Baby!... is my most favorite one," says Samantha.
Samantha initially said that nobody should remake a classic like 96 but she herself has now agreed to act in the Telugu remake of the film. "The moment when the makers of the Telugu version approached me, I called Kumararaja. He told me that I have nothing to lose by accepting the remake but have so much to gain. Not often you get a chance to play a complex character like Jaanu and it is also very rare to work with rare filmmakers like Prem Kumar so he asked me why do I want to miss the opportunity of 60 days of fun by playing a challenging role. His words motivated me and I immediately agreed to do 96 remake," concludes Samantha.
All images from Twitter.