Genelia talks about life after the wedding, a string of hits and her new release.
The last two months have been a blur for Genelia. She hasn’t had the time to sit back and savour the post-wedding bliss. An appearance at a Celebrity Cricket League match, promotions for Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya and now Naa Ishtam, the petite actress has been working at a frenetic pace.
“That’s how our (Riteish and Genelia) lives have always been. I have no complaints. I have learnt to find pleasure in small things,” says Genelia, settling down to talk.
Work has been rewarding with her last few releases - Force, Velayudham (Tamil), Urumi(Malayalam) and Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya - doing well at the box office. “I am hoping Naa Ishtam does well. Then it will be five in a row,” she smiles, fingers crossed.
The trade declared Tere Naal… a ‘sleeper hit’ and Genelia says the success took her and Riteish by surprise. “Normally you’d see a dip in collections on Monday and Tuesday soon after the opening weekend. But the collections were steady. The film is still running in theatres in its fourth week, which is so rare nowadays,” she says.
The freshness of the script did the trick for Tere Naal… she reasons. “The success means a lot to me since Riteish and I are coming together on screen after eight years,” she adds.
Right now she is in the Naa Ishtam mode. Her character, Krishnaveni, she says, is unlike the bubbly roles one associates with her. “When Prakash (Toleti) told me that it’s a love story, I thought I knew what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised when he said he didn’t want me to be like Haasini of Bommarillu. Krishnaveni is selfless, mature and carries a lot of pain.
The film traces her evolution as she learns to look at life in a positive way. I am a director’s actress and went by Prakash‘s guidance. It was a big challenge for me to not smile all the time. In fact, in Santosh Sivan’s Urumi, I didn’t get to smile at all,” she explains, reacting to the perception that she gets typecast in playing happy-go-lucky characters.
On her choice of films, she says, “There is a lot that you may want to do but you can only choose from what you are offered. When I was offered Katha, I liked the story and did it. It was a small budget film and released at a time when the state was in turmoil because of the (Telangana) strikes. I was reassured of my choice when I bagged the Nandi award for it.”
After Naa Ishtam, there’s Rock the Shaadi with Abhay Deol. Is she cutting down on work after her wedding? “I have been working 365 days a year for the last decade. I obviously can’t work at that pace now. I will do good films that come my way. I’d like to do projects where I can be assured by the producer that the schedules don’t go for a toss. At times, I feel I get penalised for being professional,” she shrugs.
Bring up the topic of Riteish and the smile returns. “Life has been good, touchwood. There’s a lot of happiness when you marry your best friend. Riteish and I took it one day at a time, right from the stage when we were just acquaintances and then became friends, best friends and beyond friends…,” she trails off.