Play it again, Sam
Filmfare|October 2021
THANKS TO THE SUCCESS OF THE FAMILY MAN, SOUTH SUPERSTAR SAMANTHA IS NOW HOT PROPERTY UP NORTH TOO. MAYUKH MAJUMDAR CONVERSES WITH THE FIERY ACTRESS
MAYUKH MAJUMDAR

Samantha began her professional film career with Gautham Menon’s Telugu film, Ye Maaya Chesave (2010). After cementing her name with critical and commercial hits like Eega (2012), Neethaane En Ponvasantham (2012), Manam (2013), Theri (2016), A Aa (2016), Rangasthalam (2018), U Turn (2018) and Super Deluxe (2019) down South, she wowed the North Indian audience with her commanding performance in the series The Family Man 2 (2021). She’s playing Shakuntala in the mythological drama Shaakuntalam, based on Kalidasa’s immortal poem of the same name. A mythological film is a first for her and she’s looking forward to its release. She had a great time collaborating with ace designer Neeta Lulla on this costume drama. Presenting excerpts from a heart-to-heart conversation with the superpower from South who has become a pan-India sensation...

THE SECOND SEASON OF THE FAMILY MAN PREMIERED SOME TIME AGO BUT PEOPLE ARE STILL TALKING ABOUT IT. DID YOU EVER ANTICIPATE THE KIND OF RESPONSE YOU’VE RECEIVED FOR RAJI?

I knew that I was doing something special but I don’t think anyone expected it to blow up the way it did. Especially because, even before the show was released, it wasn’t smooth sailing, so I’m just thankful for the final result.

RIGHT FROM THE BEGINNING OF YOUR CAREER, YOU’VE EXPERIENCED MASSIVE SUCCESS. DO YOU THINK THAT RAJI HAS GIVEN YOU PAN-INDIAN SUCCESS?

Yes, I was surprised at the amount of love and appreciation that came from the North. I’ve always worked in the South and I expected my fans to react to it but I was extremely pleased and humbled at the immense appreciation I’ve received from throughout the country. It just inspires me to work harder.

YOU’VE COMPLETED AROUND 11 YEARS IN THE FILM INDUSTRY AND WE’VE NOTICED THAT YOU HAVE BEEN GETTING EXPERIMENTAL WITH YOUR FILM CHOICES...

(Laughs) I’ve always been brave but I’m only realising it over the past few years. It’s sort of become like an addiction to just push and push and push to do better and work harder. It’s like an adrenaline rush for me to do better and challenge myself and show myself what I’m truly capable of.

SHAAKUNTALAM IS ONE OF OUR MOST LOVED POEMS AND YOU’RE PLAYING THE LEAD ROLE IN THIS.

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