Regina Cassandra is an Indian film actress appearing in Tamil, Telugu and Kannada films. She is best known for her roles in the Telugu films Shiva Manasulo Shruti and Routine Love Story.
Regina’s mother tongue is Tamil. She started anchoring when she was four for Splash, a kids’ channel and then moved on to work in commercials. Aged 14, she shot for her first film, Kanda Naal Mudhal directed by V. Priya, which also starred Prasanna, Laila and Karthik Kumar. In the film, Regina portrayed Latha, the 21-year-old pregnant sister of Laila’s character, and has since mentioned that people still find it hard to believe it was her in that role, as she was very young and wore no make-up.
She then appeared alongside fellow newcomer Yogi in Azhagiya Asura, which won good reviews.However the film’s low-key release meant that the film failed to gain attention, so she took time out from films and then went on to graduate in psychology from Women’s Christian College, Chennai and Regina took another year off before taking a final call on joining movies.
During her break she also acted in short films, most notably Balaji Mohan’s Kadhalil Sodhappuvadhu Yeppadi alongside Adith Arun, which was later made into a feature film in 2012 under the same name. She also acted in short films Kaanal Neer, Saturday and a few more.
Regina was next seen in the Kannada film Suryakaanti by director KM. Chaitanya of Aa Dinagalu fame. The film featured her alongside actor Chetan, and as she could not speak Kannada, she was told to act out scenes in English and add Kannada to it.
The film won good reviews and performed moderately at the box office. It was announced that she would feature in the Tamil film Maalai Pozhudhin Mayakathilaey alongside Adith Arun, but the film was eventually delayed and then restarted with a fresh cast.
In 2012, she appeared in Shiva Manasulo Shruti by Tatineni Sathya, which was a remake of the 2009 Tamil film Siva Manasula Sakthi. She was next seen in the Telugu romantic-comedy, Routine Love Story, alongside Sundeep Kishan, which she signed even before her first release in Telugu. Both films were well received by the audience.
2013 she had two Tamil releases, Kedi Billa Killadi Ranga by Pandiraj, in which she was one of the two lead actresses, and Nirnayam. Kotha Janta directed by Maruthi was her first 2014 release. She received positive response for her performance in the film.
Deccan Chronicle wrote, “The star of the film is undoubtedly Regina Cassandra. She looks cute and bubbly and delivers a delightful performance. She has done her character with ease and with the right expressions”.
She is working opposite Nara Rohith under the direction of Tatineni Satya in Sankara, and she has also bagged the female lead role opposite Sai Dharam Tej in his upcoming film to be directed AS Ravi Kumar Chowdary. Apart from these two films, Regina is also working on Ra Ra Krishnayya and Power in which she is playing a Bengali girl.
I am a sucker for romance
Regina Cassandra, who is on a roll in T-town with a long line up of movies set for release, gets chatty
For over the last year or so she has been quite occupied with shooting for as many as five movies, of which one — Kotha Janta — released recently.With four more in the pipeline, Regina Cassandra looks set to make a big splash in Tollywood. “I’m keenly waiting for my movies to release,” says the 23- year-old whose line up includes Ravi Teja’s Power, Sundeep Kishan’s Ra Ra Krishnayya, Nara Rohit’s Shankara and Pilla Nuvvu Leni Jeevitham, all in various stages of production.
It seems only natural then for her to “associate Hyderabad with work.” However, her connection with Hyderabad predates work. As a child, she’d visited the city during many summer vacations. “I have family here,” says Regina,who reckons the city brings out a different side of her. “In Chennai, (where she was born), I just become this lazy person who just wouldn’t get out of home. But in Hyderabad, I’m all up and about and almost know all the roads in the city,” says Regina, adding that a lot of people are surprised at my knowledge of the addresses in the city.
She’s comfortable in Telugu as well, “You want to speak in Telugu,” she retorts breaking into Telugu. Besides Telugu, she can converse in Kannada, Tamil and Hindi as well. But when angry and in the mood to let it fly, “English becomes my language of choice,” she admits. It probably comes from her mixed parentage.
I’m from everywhere
“Mom’s from Karnataka, dad’s from North, grandmother is an Anglo-Indian from Goa, granddad is an Iyyengar who converted to Christianity and I was born in Chennai. So I get confused when people ask me where I’m from,” she says laughing.
Unlike her geographic identity, Regina never really had the time to think about what she’d become. Even before making it to high school, she’d already hosted a few TV shows for kids and would have most likely debuted playing Surya’s little sister in Yuva. “I did a TV show for DD which was scrapped after just one episode. The director of the show assisted Mani Ratnam for Yuva. She came looking for me,but couldn’t find me as we’d changed our home,” says the actress who didn’t have to wait too long to debut on the silver screen. In class 9, she acted in her first film Kanda Naal Mudhal. She played “a 22-23-year-old who elopes and gets pregnant” and got noticed.
Acting chose her
“I took my friends out to the watch the movie on my 14th birthday,” recalls Regina,who took 14 days off from school to act in the movie.Then her very next film bombed at the BO giving her an early taste of failure. “Acting was just a summer job then and I didn’t really care. But the experience gave me an insight into the nature of showbiz,” she says.
Oddly enough, she reckons, movies actually sobered her down. “I was a hyperactive kid in school who could never stay put in once place. I’d act in holidays, train in Bharatnatyam, and study on the sets of my TV show. But then, it was proving to be too difficult to straddle all these things. My mom was like ‘you can be the first actor in the family but cannot be the first non-graduate of the family.’ But offers were still coming and I did a couple of films and modeling on the sidelines, but was focused on education,” says the actress, who shot to prominence as the leading lady of the short film Kadhalil Sodhappuvadhu Yeppadi, which was remade as Love Failure.
Then the Kannada film SMS (Shiva Manasu Lo Shruti) happened and it paved the way for her Tollywood entry.Regina was roped in to play the female lead opposite Sudheer Babu in the Telugu remake. She was actually supposed to debut with Sekhar Kammula’s Life is Beautiful. “It took a while for the film to get rolling and I was offered SMS. I was like OK, it’s Sekhar Kammula film, but I’m getting to play the lead here and decided to make the choice,” explains the actress, whose career has been on the upswing in Tollywood since.
I for impulsive
Impulsive at heart, she’s prone o taking instant decisions. A few years ago, she decided to turn vegetarian after reading an article in the newspaper. “Before that, I would go to the butcher shop and fetch meat. Chicken was my favourite and I just loved roast beef that my mother made. But then, I read this article by PETA and started crying. I went to my mom and said I’m turning vegetarian,” she explains.
Since turning vegetarian, her indulgences are restricted to coffee, chocolate and paneer! Reading romantic novels tops them all. “I love reading romance novels written by amateur writers online. I would have read over 300 by now. I especially love the bits, where they look at each other, he pulls her against the door and holds the girl’s hands, etc,” she says smiling and adding, “I’m a big sucker for romance although I hate flowers, soft toys, my pillow is enough to cuddle up and go to bed.”
But when asked if she’s dating anyone, she says,”Never believe what you hear, but believe what you see.” Probe her more and it turns out to be a faux pass. “Mine won’t be a regular love story, that’s for sure.”
|2005||Kanda Naal Mudhal||Latha||Tamil|
|2012||Shiva Manasulo Shruti||Shruti||Telugu||SIIMA Award for Best Female Debutant|
|2012||Routine Love Story||Tanvi||Telugu|
|2013||Kedi Billa Killadi Ranga||Paappa||Tamil|
|2014||Pilla Nuvvu Leni Jeevitham||Telugu||Filming|
|2014||Ra Ra Krishnayya||Telugu||Filming|