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Sreeleela: Bhagavanth Kesari was challenging, a major milestone in my career

The actress opens up on Bhagavanth Kesari, working with Balakrishna, Kajal Aggarwal and reveals why she found the role challenging

Sreeleela: Bhagavanth Kesari was challenging, a major milestone in my career

Last Updated: 02.13 PM, Oct 14, 2023


Sreeleela, who was recently seen in the pan-Indian release Skanda, plays a crucial role in the upcoming week’s festive entertainer, Bhagavanth Kesari. Directed by Anil Ravipudi, the film also stars Balakrishna, Kajal Aggarwal, and Arjun Rampal. In a media interaction, she spilled the beans about the biggie, including being intimidated by Balakrishna and how the role pushed her limits as a performer.

Why is 'now' the right time to do Bhagavanth Kesari?

I really liked my role in Bhagavanth Kesari. There are always enough opportunities for damsel-in-distress characters, but this role pushed my limits as an actor. I don’t think I can do a film or a character of this age group a few years later. This was the right time to take this up. Everyone remembers me as a good dancer, but I want to prove my abilities as a performer too with this project.


Working with Nandamuri Balakrishna and Kajal Aggarwal

My first ever shot for the film was one where I was undergoing military training and struggled to do pushups. Balakrishna sir’s character forces me to do better. He had literally asked me after the shot, ‘do you struggle with pushups otherwise too?’ I was genuinely nervous while meeting him but felt at ease in his company soon. He’s truly a child at heart and is an extremely sweet person.

Balakrishna is quite knowledgeable on various aspects beyond cinema. I was surprised by his understanding of medicine, and we had long discussions after I finished my exams at college. He helped me fine-tune my performances, and the camaraderie between our characters reflected naturally on the screen. I learned a lot from Kajal too, mostly her comic timing. I have many scenes with her.

Why was Bhagavanth Kesari a true test of your capabilities?

Anil Ravipudi has reinvented himself as a director with the film, and the promos suggest that too. He has a new approach to filmmaking now and has written Vijji, my character, with many layers. I play a timid girl who’s still fun-loving. She needs to grow stronger — physically and emotionally. Bhagavanth Kesari was a true test of my capabilities, and the role has stayed with me much after the shoot too.

The final word about the film

I am confident that Bhagavanth Kesari will be a major milestone in my career. Like Balakrishna in the film, my mother is my support system offscreen and raised me as a strong girl. I instantly said yes to the film because I could relate to the character’s care that an uncle had for his niece. I have many releases coming up, and I’m thrilled to bits. I’ll always be thankful to K Raghavendra Rao and all my directors for believing in me.

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