Making her screen debut at the age of 15 and becoming a star in the south film industry before finding space in Hindi cinema which prepared Tamannaah Bhatia about the fickle nature of fame.
Born and raised in Mumbai, the actor made her debut with the 2005 Telugu film Sri, followed by her Tamil film Kedi. She achieved success two years later, with Happy Days and Kalloori.
“I set out to become an actor, ended up being a heroine. I’ve realised stardom is beyond you, it isn’t something you can control. With the kind of extremely loyal fans I have from the south, I feel lucky,” she said.
Being driven as a teenager, Tamannaah learned Tamil and Telugu.
“I don’t know if I’ll be able to learn two new languages today but when I was 15, I was keen on learning Tamil and Telugu. I would refuse to take prompting on the sets and insisted I learn the language.”
The actor continued to feature in hit films like Ayan, Paiyaa, Siruthai, 100% Love and the blockbuster franchise Baahubali but at the risk of being stereotyped as the bubbly girl-next-door.
“If you have a stronger part in a commercial film, it has a wider reach. Baahubali was a war film and to get so much space in a film like that was huge. That’s more important for me than doing so-called heroine-centric films,” she adds.
At her peak, the 29-year-old actor turned towards Bollywood with films like Himmatwala, Entertainment and Humshakals. All three bombed at the box office.
The actor says now her endeavour is to challenge herself with projects and characters she has not done before, such as her latest, Hindi thriller Khamoshi, in which she plays a deaf and mute girl.