Below is an Interview with Prateeka, Over to her.
I was very happy modelling and being a journalist But there came a point when stagnancy sets in. Modelling had become monotonous. There was not much scope for anything new. My elder sister's fans who were in touch with me were of the opinion that I should be doing movies! And around that time like destiny would have it, Chikku Bukku came my way. I felt I should give it a shot.
Why Tamil and not Hindi as your debut film?
Well, I would like to believe that the Tamil industry chose me and I was fortunate to land a prestigious project like Chikku Bukku with Arya.
It was definitely not the first movie offer that came my way but it was one that came when I was contemplating to give cinema a try. So it was just the right timing and not a conscious decision to start off in the South.
You were supposed to act in a Kannada film first...
Yes, I had signed Raktaksha directed by Rajendra Singh Babu opposite his son Adithya. But their production house began producing three movies at the same time and then had to hold back our project in order to complete the other two. They may re-start anytime.
How did the offer to do Chikku Bukku come to you?
The PRO of Chikku Bukku spotted my picture in the Bollywood column of a film magazine. He approached the editor for my contact details and later director K Manikandan, who was the associate of late director-cinematographer Jeeva, met me in Mumbai and almost instantly signed me for the movie.
Initially he wanted a Hindi actress to play the role, and had approached Vidya Balan, but since she was busy with other commitments, I bagged the project!
How did you surmount the language barrier?
I would travel to Chennai very often to shoot for advertisements, so I had already picked up a smattering of Tamil, but when I started work on the film, I took some Tamil lessons and soon got the hang of it.
I always loved Tamil music and was used to listening to AR Rahman's compositions over a decade. Incidentally my grandmother was born in Madras in 1928, and her dad retired from the Sales Tax Tribunal, Madras in 1954. Hence my granny is fluent in Tamil. Since I was born and brought up in Mumbai, I did not have any opportunity to learn any of the South Indian languages. But I guess I have Tamil lessons running somewhere in my genes, which makes the lingo very comprehensible for me!
How was it acting with Shriya and Arya?
I don't have any scenes with Shriya in the movie. She was very friendly and would go out of her way to shower praise on me. Shriya told me that I have a lovely voice and that I was gorgeous and that I should join Bollywood ASAP!
As for Arya, we all know he is a fine actor. His kinky sense of humour made me laugh all day on the sets! He is super-cool and a very supportive.
Did you go through any theatre or acting classes to hone your acting skills?
No, because I believe that acting is not a talent that can be taught; you are born with it! Acting can be definitely practised, but then I was already facing the camera while I was in college thanks to my modelling experience. So I didn't find the need to go to an acting school.
How was it being directed by Manikandan?
If god gave me a wish to describe how my debut movie director should be, I think director Manikandan will fit the bill. He is one of the coolest new generation directors that Tamil cinema has. He is always smiling and cheerful. He makes his actors feel special. He has Satyajit Ray's vision and Sanjay Leela Bhansali's eye for detail.
Chikku Bukku will be one of the finest love story on celluloid in the Tamil industry.
Have you signed any further projects in any other languages?
Now with Chikku Bukku scheduled for release, the phones have already started ringing but I cannot give out details before it's officially announced.
Would you want to juggle movies with writing?
Writing is something I do not want to give up. Unlike other professions, writing has no retirement age. Entering the movie industry will make my writing career flourish as I would have better acquaintance with the industry that I write about.
Amrita Arora's Sister Prateeka Rao in Scenes from Tamil Film Chikku Bukku, which will be her Debut
Find Here: Pictures of Amrita Rao's Sister Preetika Rao who Debuts With Tamil Film Chikku Bukku