Mounika Reddy is from the beautiful city of Vizag. It has been four years since she began acting and is currently in the news for her spontaneous performance as Ashwin Viraj’s girlfriend in Thank You Brother. She currently lives in Hyderabad and is pursuing a career in the film industry as an actor. Y.Sunita Chowdhary from Klapboardpost.com talks to her about her career opportunities and her work in movies and OTT platforms.
Early days: After doing BTech and MBA (both in Vizag), I moved to Hyderabad. I began working here and a person contacted me for the webseries. Back then I didn’t know anything but a workshop that I participated in helped get some confidence to act in ‘Beyond Break Up’. Before that I did a youtube series ‘Ammayi Cute, Abbayi Natu’. I would work in night shifts for two years. I was working and acting simultaneously. Honestly speaking, I didn’t think I would be successful so I continued to work. I kept working and got offers too. That was when I thought I couldn’t handle it..or do multitasking. I was like, if I get offers let me do this and if something changes I’ll go back. I was working at Hinduja Global Solutions and I was placed in HR.
Handling uncertainty: When I was small, people related to me and would say that I indeed had the looks to make it in showbiz. I was strangely never into all this and never did videos or auditions or anything. Director of ETV spotted me and convinced me that I can pull it off after three or four meetings, I was on board. Right now I have so many opportunities but I’m trying not to do everything I get and trying to pick good stuff. I guess the going will be good for me for at least another two years, considering the age and span of a heroine in this industry. I gave myself that time. Isn’t the wait frustrating? Waiting for an opportunity and also waiting for a scene is frustrating. After the work is done and waiting for the next work to begin – the span tests your patience. The pandemic is something that was not expected. I finished the series and took a four months break, the process took 3 years. The television guys didn’t allow us to stop it. It was three episodes weekly and I didn’t have time to continue it further. All said and done, I feel good here and I am getting good feedback too from the industry.
The thrill in acting: I do different roles, I get to do what Mounika rarely gets to do in real life and that’s what keeps the excitement going. I get to understand people, the characters better in fact. My first break was Amayi Cute Abbayi Natu. Thank You Brother was a proper mainstream film. It was during the lockdown I was looking for opportunities, that is after completing ACAN, I attended the audition of this film and was selected. I liked the script and saw the impact of my role on the lead character. I play Sameera and she is a strong, independent woman. She didn’t know what this guy was doing and he had several times abused her and she would convince herself that one day he would change for the better. He continues to cheat, drink and abuse but she is holding back for some reason. Maybe it is her faith and love for him and the last time when she meets him, she sees the way he talks to his parents and leaves him. I thought that was a strong message. Amma ni premichaleni vadu ammayini ni yela premisthadu? If he can’t respect his own mother, how will he respect his girlfriend. He speaks to his mother in a distasteful manner. She doesn’t like that.
Current status: The response for Thank You Brother was good. I also did 18 Pages by GA2 banner (Sukumar Writings). Anupama Parameswaran is the lead and I am her friend in the film. I did Surya (web series) too and it is streaming on Youtube. I am the lead in it. Around seven episodes have gone on air so far and I play Anjali, a newly passed out college student who moves to Hyderabad and supports her boyfriend for three years. Aren’t you getting similar roles? Yes, I am trying to pick diverse characters but the fact is people will like it on screen, keeping our views aside. Now they like me being independent and giving gyan to the hero. Thank You Brother was supposed to be a theatrical release but it didn’t happen. But I am sure 18 pages will be on the big screen. I did a movie ‘Katha’ for Suresh Productions, it will be for OTT, I guess. We just shot for it, the director and the entire team is new. My journey has been slow and steady. I am also committed to doing a role in the remake of Oh My Kadavule. When there is no work, I work out, I travel. I talk to people and do networking.