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Interview Team : Kaushik L M; Avudaiappan

The bold and beautiful Raai Laxmi has just embarked on a major milestone, Film No.50, Julie 2 which also happens to be her big Bollywood launch. This tall, sensual woman has survived in this uber-competitive industry for 10 long years and is still among the hottest names in the business. We catch up with Raai, to share her golden jubilee happiness and excitement.


50 films is a mighty achievement indeed .. 

50 is a big deal for me, and I was able to achieve this in my 10th year itself, thanks to my work across all the Southern industries, predominantly in Tamil and Malayalam.

The 50th film happens to be Julie 2 in BOLLYWOOD …

I was looking for a 50th film which would be commercial in nature with all the entertaining elements such as romance, comedy, glamour and also with good importance for the female character. I was actually eyeing a South Indian film and was listening to many scripts which would satisfy my criteria. But it so happened that the 50th film turned out to be my grand Bollywood launch too, making it extra special. It wasn’t pre-planned. Akira is more like a cameo with a lot of other artistes beside me. Julie 2 would be my big ticket to Bollywood fame.

Julie 2 would be my big ticket to Bollywood fame.

What’s Julie 2 about? 

Julie 2 is about the journey of an innocent young girl into the film world, and her rise to being a superstar. The director Deepak Shivdasani has treated the film's script so beautifully and the narrative would be different from the existing films in this genre, such as The Dirty Picture and Heroine. The glamour element wouldn't be forced into the film and it will be there only after the girl becomes a star. There is a big thrill factor too, and audiences are sure to find it gripping.
We have a top-notch crew. Salman Khan's stylist Ashlee is styling me and leading Tollywood cameraman Sameer Reddy is handling the camera for Julie 2. I wished to work with him since long.
It's all so pre-planned and organized in Bollywood and I am going through intense preparation and pre-production work. I have the script with me, all bound, and even the tunes are ready. It is easy to get into such a set-up after my extensive experiences in the South. Importantly, there is good respect for Southern artistes and technicians in Bollywood. The shoot begins in October and I expect to complete work by January.

There is good respect for Southern artistes and technicians in Bollywood. 

The bikini challenge … 

I am working out really hard to get into shape and lose weight. There is a bikini scene in the movie, and given my broad frame, it takes a lot of work to get into that bikini mode. On screen, you just can't look even a wee bit fat while sporting a bikini. It is something that I haven't done before and am really looking forward to it.

It takes a lot of work to get into that bikini mode.

Coming to Sowcarpettai, your Tamil film, your makeup is startling? 

Sowcarpettai was a challenge too, as many people thought that I was too beautiful to pass off as a ghost. But I took it up as a dare, to be convincing as a devil too, with the appropriate makeup. The film will have all the elements to please the audience and will also feature a homely side of me.

The films that you are proud of, in this 50-film long journey?

I can watch all my Malayalam films anytime due to the way they were received and also the nature of my characters. I have worked with all the big superstars there. Despite not knowing the language, I am proud of all the Malayalam films that I have done.
Dhaam Dhoom was another special film for me, and I even dubbed for the film. Then Muthirai as well, though the film wasn't recognized much. 
Of course Mankatha, where I had the conviction to play a baddie and look convincing. My instinct told me to accept this offer, and the way it was received and celebrated till date is remarkable.

My instinct told me to accept Mankatha.

Are you a part of Raghava Lawrence’s next film? 

Kanchana is one of my evergreen films and whenever it is shown on TV, you can find children just hooked to it totally, due to its entertaining nature. I should hopefully work with Lawrence again in one of his upcoming films but we are not sure what that film would be. Lawrence is a creatively restless person and you never know what he would do next. But I am looking forward to being in one of his upcoming films.

Lawrence is a creatively restless person.

A few more in the kitty … 

In the Bangalore Days remake, I play the role of the air-hostess from the original, and I have a few days work left. Then there is Pawan Kalyan's Sardaar Gabbar Singh, where my character would make a mark and stay in audience's memory just like it did in Mankatha. It will be a treat for Pawan Kalyan fans too, as he would be dancing, and I also shake a leg with him.

Closing lines ?

I always believe in challenging myself and taking up exciting, never-before-done roles. The year just got even more exciting for me !!!

Good Luck Raai ...