Laxmi creates a niche for herself in Tollywood

HYDERABAD: Theatre personality, TV show host, producer and now an actress, Laxmi Manchu is someone who is surely as versatile as her father. Her debut film Anaganaga Oo Dheerudu — a bi-lingual Walt Disney production, in which she plays the character of an evil queen named Irendri, is up for release next month. Recently, when the trailors of the movie were screened for a bunch of selected film personalities in the city, they were introduced to a powerful performer hidden all these years in Laxmi.

“I told Prakash Kovelamudi, the director of this film, that I will be happy the day parents threaten their children to show them Irendri’s picture if they don’t eat their food. I’ve put my sweat and blood into this film for the last one year. Movies are all about characters and I think Ive been blessed having given a chance to play this character. My dad began his career playing negative characters too. I was waiting for a good role and this happened to be the one. Whenever I had a doubt in my dialogue modulation, I would call up my dad. He, in turn, would write it down and call me back in 20 minutes to explain it in detail. I hope the movie is successful enough that after watching it, the audiences call me Irendri,” exclaimed the upcoming star.

Laxmi reveals that she watched Disney films like Narnia and 101 Dalmatians to get the feel of the movie before she played her character. Though she has performed on stage and TV shows earlier, she confesses that this movie makes her nervous, since, being the daughter of Mohanbabu, audiences have this tendency to judge and draw comparisons. “When I was in Los Angeles, I have worked with Oscar winning actors in Hollywood. But, the nervousness I am experiencing now has never happened before. This is my hometown and the industry where my dad and brothers made it big.

There will be judgements and comparisons drawn between them and me. I hope to make my dad proud,” she adds with eyes filled with excitement.

The trend is that star sons follow their parent’s footsteps into the film industry, but it is not so much in context to star daughters.

Ask her if her debut will inspire star daughters to get into films, and she promptly says, “I really hope so. Superstar Krishna’s daughter Manjula and Supriya from Akkineni family did movies but they faced some opposition from a few who didn’t want them to act. I respect the fact that they still went ahead and paved a way for me to debut today and I hope it would inspire others too.” A student of theatre and acting from US, Laxmi is of the opinion that it is high time Tollywood starts making movies for ‘entertainment’ and not second guessing what audience and fans want. “I grew up watching fights and dances and love our movies the way they are. But I think we should start making movies keeping ‘entertainment’ in mind and not the fans. We need to add different genres of movies in the Telugu film industry. Most actors seem to be second guessing what their fans want.

How will they know if they accept it or not unless they try?’ Meanwhile, Laxmi is all geared up for the second season of her talk show Prema Tho Mee Laxmi. As opposed to the first season, this time the audiences will witness her interviewing politicians. Quiz her about the change in guests, and she quips, “I wanted to make the show different from the previous season. It is not about their political campaigns or ideologies, but, about their will power, strength and greatness as human beings.” This producer-turned-actress, who made Jhummandi Nadham recently with her brother, Manchu Manoj in the lead, is all set to produce another movie titled Ookodathara Ullikkipadthara with him. Also, the word around town is that she is soon going to make her entry in Bollywood too! “I will let out the details of Bollywood plans once finalised. For now, it is Christmas and holiday season coming up and I am all set to celebrate my year of work” she concludes.

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