She came, she saw, she conquered’ – that would best describe Oviya.
The actress shot to instant fame after taking part in the reality show, Bigg Boss Tamil. Be it her cutesy expressions, her famous line “Neenga Shut Up Pannunga” or the way she pulled off the tongue- twister “Kokku Natta” – she swayed the hearts of the audiences across the globe.
The darling of masses is what she became on the reality show, and even as we speak to her now, she is fun, crazy and charm personified. When we tell her that she’s Chennai Times Most DesirableWoman of 2017, decided through a month-long online poll, and she is stumped. “Ennala namba mudilla,” she says.
An actress with all heart and no airs, Oviya’s easy charm and girl-next-door appeal have fetched her an army of fans that she still finds unbelievable. Instead of riding the popular wave, Oviya has not let it go to her head and is thoughtfully choosing her projects. She tells us about being desirable and how Chennai is currently her favourite city. Excerpts:
You have been chosen as Chennai Times Most Desirable Woman 2017. How does it feel?
I don’t know if I deserve this… it is unbelievable that I am the most desirable woman of 2017. I never expected that I would top the polls and this is certainly a dream-come-true moment for me. I think I am living in a fantasy world now (laughs). But honestly, I want to thank everyone who voted for me. I didn’t earn these fans because I am successful. It is because of their love that I am successful.
What do you think are the key attributes that make you desirable?
Hmmm…being myself. I am confident, respect myself, and respect others. I’m kind, honest and a bit lazy, too (smiles). I want everyone around me to be happy and I ensure that I am happy, too. When people see me, they feel that I am one among them. I don’t treat myself like an actress and I guess that’s why they like me.
If you must pick a desirable feature of yours, what will it be?
My smile, I think. Yes, people compliment my smile and say that I have a pleasant face. What do you think?
Despite acting in a couple of films, it was your stint in the reality show, Bigg Boss Tamil that made you a household name in Tamil Nadu. Did you expect such overwhelming love from your fans?
I never expected that I would get so much support from my fans. In fact, I was surprised and felt I didn’t deserve all of this as I haven’t done anything for them. When I went inside the house, I thought I would be out in two weeks’ time. For the kind of person that I am, I knew that people won’t like me. I am different – be it the way I talk or dress. So, when I came out and saw the massive support, it took a while for me to absorb all of it. There have been times when I used to wonder why my fans like me so much. But yes, they want to see me happy. I think, to receive this kind of love is rare for an actress. I am blessed to have this support and love. In fact, I have never been this happier in life. They made me feel special and all this has only made me cautious and be more responsible.
So, how have things changed after the reality show?
Hmm… it is the same. I was happy then and am now. But today, I have a big family to lean on. Also, Chennai is currently my favourite city.
Many contestants from the show have cashed in on the popularity and signed up film projects. But you seem to have taken it rather slow…
I am in a phase where I am still soaking in all the love that I am getting from my fans. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t love doing movies. I have been doing a couple of films, but I am in no hurry to sign movies back-to-back. I want to take it slow. If I commit to something, I give it my all. And now, I’d like to take one movie at a time. I took up Kanchana 3 after I got out of the show. This was one film that I always wanted to be a part of. Luckily, Lawrence sir came to me with this offer and I agreed to be a part of the film without even listening to the script. The film is almost complete now. I am currently working on a heroine-oriented movie titled 90ML, which is directed by Anita Udeep. Usually, such films are touted to be serious, but this one is a bold and commercial movie. It is for the youth and I’m certain that it will become a trendsetter of sorts. And then, there is K2 (sequel to Kalavani), which I will begin shooting for by the end of this month.
With all the fame that you have now, have you changed the way you choose your films?
Yes, sort of. I don’t want to be caught in some image trap. In my opinion, actors should be flexible to take up any role and that’s what I intend to do as well. There is definitely a change in the way I choose scripts now. I want to do something different and don’t want any resemblance of my earlier character in the movie I do next. Also, I don’t want to choose a genre that is the hot favourite. That doesn’t excite me. And yes, today, I also ensure that the films that are offered to me have enough scope for me, the heroine, to perform.
Going by the latest rage, a couple of your earlier films that haven’t seen the light of the day yet are being scheduled for release, and they are piggybacking on your fame…
If it helps them for their survival, I don’t mind. I don’t have any regrets or doubt my choices. At that time, it felt right. So, I don’t look back at things.
You started off as an actor when you were 17, an age too naive to take decision. How would you describe your journey?
It has been one hell of a ride. I have always wanted to be independent. At that age, no one would offer you a job in a company. Modelling was the right thing to do at that time. And that paved the way for me to become an actress. I never imagined myself becoming an actress. But once I began working in the industry, movies became my passion. I have never looked deep into the success or the failure of my films. My job is to act and I ensure that I give my 100 per cent. You can never predict the fate of your films. I do my job and go back to my chilling zone. If you begin to take things to heart, you will be disappointed. Things change in your life. The fans that I have today might just be a handful tomorrow. There can be times when I have no one, too. Nothing is permanent in life and that is why I don’t take all this to my head. I am happy with what I have achieved today. For someone to enter the industry without any background is a huge feat. When I look back, I wonder how I crossed that stage. I’m happy with my stardom, but that’s about it. I don’t take my fame too seriously. I live for the present and am happy with the way things have fallen in place.
So, the big question now – are you seeing someone?
I am in good relationship with everyone… (laughs) But no, I am not committed.
How would you describe your kind of man?
If he knows how to respect and treat his girl, he has my heart.
If given a chance, would you be part of the show again?
No, I am done with it. So many people want to be a part of it now and I don’t want to spoil their chances (laughs).
Oviya’s crazy outing
Some people like her crazy antics and some might call it fake. But this ‘crazy’ account of hers would make you think otherwise. Ask her the craziest thing that she has done and Oviya says, “There are times when I want to give myself a reality check, especially since I live in the world of glamour. It was one of those days when I decided to meet those workers who earn their living by sweeping and cleaning kitchens of the shacks by the beach. So, I went to Varkala and saw this bunch of workers who strive hard to make ends meet. I wanted to experience their life and told them that I wanted to spend a day with them. I had my food there, chatted up with them and spent the night lying down on the bench. There were too many mosquitoes and dogs around. But I didn’t mind. After that episode, I feel I can live anywhere. Being an actor, playing different kinds of roles, this experience helped me find my true self again. You need these shock treatments sometimes, don’t you think so?”
Quick takes with Oviya
A project you are proud of: Yet to come
Friend in the industry: Aishwarya Rajesh
Actresses you admire?: Nayanthara, Anushka, Kangana Ranaut and Priyanka Chopra
A rumour about you which is true: Oviya is honest (laughs)
Three things we don’t know about you
- I’m obsessed with the mirror
- I forget my surroundings while I’m eating
- I love footwear and have a huge collection of it
Top 30 Desirable Women of 2017
|RANK 2017||HOTTIES||GAINERS/LOSERS IN 2017||RANK 2016|
|3||Rakul Preet Singh||Re-Entry||–|
|4||Shraddha Shashidhar||New Entrant|
|8||Sanchana Natarajan||New Entrant||–|
|9||Ruhi Singh||New Entrant||–|
|10||Sherlin Seth||New Entrant||–|
|11||Aditi Rao Hydari||New Entrant||–|
|12||Raiza Wilson||New Entrant||–|
|18||Priya Bhavani Shankar||Up||23|
|22||Sameea Bangera||New Entrant||–|
|24||Pragathi S Guruprasad||New Entrant||–|