New Challenges

Ritu Varma is a talented actress who rose to fame after the success of her short film Anukokunda, which was screened at Cannes. She worked on a few Tamil and Telugu projects on the back of that success, followed up by featuring in a full-length motion picture, Yevade Subramanyam. This week, You & I chatted with the gorgeous, slender beauty about work, life and her plans for the future.
How did you get into the film industry?
I acted in Anukokunda, which was directed by my good friend Tharun Bhascker. It was 10 minutes long and made as part of the 48-Hour Film Project. The film was screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013, and I received a great response to my acting. Until that time, I had no plans at all of acting!
We hear you began your career in modelling.
I was still in college when my mother came across an ad for a beauty pageant in the city, and she was keen on me participating in it. It was after I bagged the first runner-up title in the contest that I decided to take on modelling. I was doing shows when I was approached by Tharun to act in his short film.
What was that like?
I was very nervous because I had no idea what to do. I was only following a friend’s instructions, but I guess all’s well that ends well! The movie garnered great reviews both in India and overseas, and I’m glad I was a part of it.

And what sort of response did you get for Yevade Subramanyam?
It was amazing! Though it was a different type of film, it received tremendous appreciation. The movie completed 50 days of screening. It feels great to be part of that – 50 days!
What’s next for Ritu Varma?
I’m working on a Tamil film titled China opposite Kalaiyarasan. We’ve finished shooting for it, so it should release soon. Working on this film was a challenge because the language was new to me. I have also signed two other films, one in Tamil and the other in Telugu. I’d like to continue working in different films and industries – ones that are appreciated by critics as well as commercial projects.
Do you have any role models in the industry?
Kangna Ranaut, Madhuri Dixit Nene and Sridevi Kapoor – their acting skills and film choices are great. If ever given the chance, I’d love to share screen space with them.
What about actors? Who would you like to work with?
Mahesh Babu! He’s extremely good-looking and very talented.
Any plans to take Bollywood by storm?
I would definitely love to if given the chance!
Which Bollywood remake would you like to be a part of?
I’d love to play Kangna Ranaut’s role from Queen.

If not acting, what turn would your career have taken?
I’ve got a degree in engineering, so maybe I’d be working at a major corporation. I’m also quite creative, so I may have taken to styling or fashion design.
Speaking of fashion, what sort of style are you big on?
I like to wear comfortable, casual clothing during the day and dress up for evenings and occasions. My attire depends entirely on my mood and the occasion.
How do you spend your free time?
When I’m not working, I enjoy watching movies, hanging out with my friends and family, and painting. I’m also a huge foodie and love trying new cuisines. My favourites are Thai, Japanese and Italian. But I love to travel and try out the local dishes.
What’s your favourite holiday destination?
Australia, but I haven’t been to Greece yet, and that’s a place I’d love to visit. 

..... as told to Niharika