Interview with Pooja Ramachandran - Actor and Television personality

Pooja came all the way from Hyderabad to Chennai for the interview happened at our studio. After all the editorial shoot we had an deep conversation on her lifestyle, career and much more.
She is known for her acting in tamil movies Kadhalil Sodhappuvadhu Yeppadi, Pizza and Kanchana. She made her way to SS Music by Winning VJ factor contest. Since then she is been associated with television and movie Industry in India.
So, How did you get into video jockeying?
I’m sure that eighty percent of the people would know that I started with SS music. I was in the third year of college and VJ factor was happening in southern spice music. They were looking for VJs. During college days I won Miss Coimbatore, Miss Kerala. There was always something happening that I was a part of. And I knew that I like this industry but didn’t know where to land. So when SS music came for the audition. They sent me because I was a part of viscom group. We auditioned, and I got selected because I whistle loudly, one of the producer saw and asked who is that girl who whistled, that’s how I got called. From there I kept getting selected, they wanted South Indian face, I guess they made a mistake because they didn’t know that I was a total tomboy. I had to groom, I have become girly over the years. When I started I was a boy, then I joined SS music since then there is no looking back.
What is typical day in your life?
I don’t do television anymore I have purposefully cut myself off television, though I have loved being on screen. Those 5 years when I was with SS music, it was a beautiful ride talking to new people every day, meeting new people, playing different characters, being funny, being with some of the best Vjs South India has ever seen. It was really an eye opener and I have learned so many things being a Vj. But now I am only doing movies. So, my regular day during the shoot would be, if I am shooting in Chennai or Hyderabad where I am mostly doing Telugu movies. In the morning wake up, and be on the set by 6.30 or 7, makeup takes one and half hour then we go and shoot. Lunch is a very important aspect of filmmaking we all sit together and eat good food and our punishment is to work out and I like working out. There are no restrictions on food except junk. By 6.30 we pack up, I take boiled vegetable and soup to compensate on the big afternoon meal and then go to sleep; it is actually a very boring lifestyle. People think it is great but it is really a very boring lifestyle. But in free time when we are not shooting, that’s when we do all the interesting things.
Did you have an ‘Aha” moment? Can you share something about it?
There are lots of aha moments, generally when something happens; you are like how did it happen. Sometimes when you land in a movie, like pizza, somebody else was supposed to play my part and then I got the role. Vijay and I used to travel in the same car and that time Vijay was nobody and suddenly the movie was a hit. And that’s when you realize life can change like this. He has reached a great height, and I am taking my own time, because I am very choosy about my character and who I am working with. So, the progress in my movies is really slow but I am enjoying and I don’t have any complaints. I am not a part of any rat-race and I don’t want to be number one, I am taking my time in the type of films I really wanted to do and the kind of directors I wanted to work with.
Your Instagram is filled with cute pets pictures. Which one of them is your favorite?
I love animals; I feel that animals are better than human beings. You can do this experiment, if you feed a dog for ten days, the kind of love they shower on you cannot be expressed in words, if you feed human beings for ten days from Ananda Bhavan and someone else feeds Biryani that person will go with someone who feed better, which is not the case with animals. I’m very compassionate towards animals; amongst the tough exterior I have a very soft heart for animals. I get very sensitive if I hear a dog crying, somebody throws a stone at them I start crying. That’s why my Instagram is filled with cats, dogs, cows and horses. But cats are my favorite, in next birth I want to be a cat, in my house. We don’t switch on the light, if the cat is sleeping, if somebody switches on the light and wakes the cat up then the Hitler in me wakes up. We are all very cautious, if the cat is sleeping on the sofa we don’t even sit there. My favorite cat’s name is Minci, I got her as a gift for my birthday. If I’m at home she is my shadow, sleep, eat, talk, walk, cook, clean everything she’s following me.
What is the secret of your energy and youthfulness?
Stay happy, in such a short time I have realised that if you don’t spread happiness and if you are not easy to work with, you are never going to reach anywhere in life. You have to be down to earth and enjoy life. Savings are important but you have to live your life and that’s my secret of happiness. Though I have just five in my family but the love I get from them is genuine, I know when I want them they will be there for me.

You are the winner of the famous adventurous show Anu Azhavum Bayamillai – Season one. Can you tell about your experiences?
I’m a daughter of an army officer. So, for me growing up was playing in commando training camps, playing inside tanks, shooting AK47 and pistols for real. During holidays or summer vacation our father would take us to Jammu and Kashmir or Jhansi, we used to go one day trip to fire guns. Learn how to drive a jeep; army vehicle and commando training hurdles were our playing ground. I was brought up very tough, we were told not to get scared of anything just go ahead and do whatever you wanted to do. When Vijay TV called me for the show, I was like I’m going to do this no matter what happens. My father said if you don’t win, you will be thrown out of the house. Thankfully I won the show otherwise; my father would have killed me. Being an Aries I’m extremely competitive and I used to be a swimmer, I’ve been a Karnataka state champion and district champion in the shuttle.

 

You are the winner of the famous adventurous show Anu Azhavum Bayamillai – Season one.
Can you tell about your experiences?

I’m the daughter of an army officer. So, for me growing up was playing in commando training camps, playing inside tanks, shooting AK47 and pistols for real. During holidays or summer vacation our father would take us to Jammu and Kashmir or Jhansi, we used to go on one day trip to fire guns. Learnt how to drive a jeep; army vehicle and commando training hurdles were our playgrounds. I was brought up very tough, we were told not to get scared of anything just go ahead and do whatever you wanted to do. When Vijay TV called me for the show, I was like I’m going to do this no matter what happens. My father said if you don’t win, you will be thrown out of the house. Thankfully I won the show otherwise; my father would have killed me. Being an Aries I’m extremely competitive and I used to be a swimmer, I’ve been a Karnataka state champion and district champion in the shuttle.

Being a busy actor, how do you maintain fitness?
I am into fitness because of my father, we would always go for a walk, play a sport. It was very important in our family to play a sport because discipline comes from there. Even if you pass in exam its fine but play a sport was my family’s mantra. I used to get 60 to 75℅, never got 90 in my life. My parents, sent me various classes like horse riding, kathakali, Bharatnatyam, shuttle they made a point that I was always put into some extracurricular classes. It was very obvious that when I came into the film industry I had to cut down and a tone a little bit. So, I started exercising and it has become a part of my life right now.I can’t think of day that I don’t go to gym. When you work out and see the difference in your body you’re automatically motivated to do well. When people come and tell you that, ‘you look good’ how have you managed to maintain like this from last 11 years. You feel good, though there is an added pressure I still don’t cut down on my food, if I want to eat chapatti and curry with ghee I will eat, even if I want to eat Andhra meals I would, but after that, I work out to burn the calories. One should remember that fitness is everything in life, if you are not fit and healthy you’ve nothing in life.
When you were with SS music, you were supposed to look different every single day for the show. Who decide your look, fashion, and the style?
We had a wardrobe stylist, hey name was Sudha, and she used to take care of all our looks. Each VJ was assigned a look, they wanted to be the sexy girl because Shreya Reddy has left and it was a big failure because I didn’t know anything about being sexy. So, they made me the sporty girl of the channel, bubbly, and girl next door type. The look was already decided and our stylist used to do most of our job. But I would say that whether you are a VJ or an actor you’re personal style comes into play. They can suggest the stylist, hairdresser or makeup artist of what works on them. My style has grown over the years, I have become very comfortable with my body if someone asks me to do something sexy I would, but back then I was a fish out of the water, I didn’t know what was happening.What do you spend the most on: clothes, accessories, shoes, or anything else?
I spend a lot on travel, I used to spend more on buying gadgets ‘I am a big gadget fan’. My spending has drastically changed, first time I went to Bangkok I shopped for clothes and shoes as if I will never shop again. Now I don’t even buy clothes and shoes, I spend a lot on traveling, though I don’t have any bank balance except for an emergency. I have seen so many countries in last few years and that’s where my money goes.
for me growing up was playing in commando training camps, playing inside tanks, shooting AK47 and pistols for real After SS music there aren’t any music channels of that reach, you can be with other channels but it is not like SS music and MTV
Whats your advice for aspiring models, VJs and Actress?

If you are passionate about something you will automatically bring that in your life. If you want to become an actor or a VJ, get a portfolio done go in a right way, meet model coordinators, managers, there is enough and more to do. After SS music there aren’t any music channels of that reach, you can be with other channels but it is not like SS music and MTV when Cyrus and Nikhil Chinnappa was there, that culture has died up a bit. Kids these days are extremely talented, when I go colleges for cultural I’m amazed by their talent, they can dance, sing, I didn’t even have half the confidence as them and today they have all the facilitates.

When did you take a risk of experimenting with movies? What projects are you currently working on and are you waiting for any releases?
When I started getting offers for movies, I said no to some big names because I didn’t want to get into the film industry. I was not sure if I could act and back then I did not know to speak in Tamil. I took a risk and started doing movies as character artist, like ‘ Kadhalil Sodhappuvadhu Yeppadi’ and it was a big risk because movie industry stereotypes you, may it be Hollywood, Bollywood or Kollywood. When you act as a friend of someone you are going to be a friend for rest of your life. I have tried not to do roles like that and I try having variations in the characters I play. And there aren’t many options, even if you get 10 movies, 8 of them will have the same old story line, a friend or a sister and the rest two would have budget restrictions and skin show.

After so many restrictions we choose a film. I have done some good work in recent past and waiting for the movie to release, one is ‘Andhagaram’ directed by Vignarajan it’s a beautiful film. And in Telegu, there is a movie called ‘Devi Sri Prasad’ and I am playing a lead in that movie. It has a very beautiful storyline; it’s about a heroine and her three fans.

Whats your advice for aspiring models, VJs and Actress.
If you are passionate about something you will automatically bring that in your life. If you want to become an actor or a VJ, get a portfolio done go in a right way, meet model coordinators, managers, there is enough and more to do. After SS music there aren’t any music channels of that reach, you can be with other channels but it is not like SS music and MTV when Cyrus and Nikhil Chinnappa was there, that culture has died up a bit. Kids these days are extremely talented, when I go colleges for cultural I’m amazed by their talent, they can dance, sing, I didn’t even have half the confidence as them and today they have all the facilitates.
When did you take a risk of experimenting with movies? What projects are you currently working on and are you waiting for any releases?
When I started getting offers for movies, I said no to some big names because I didn’t want to get into the film industry. I was not sure if I could act and back then I did not know to speak in Tamil. I took a risk and started doing movies as character artist, like ‘ Kadhalil Sodhappuvadhu Yeppadi’ and it was a big risk because movie industry stereotypes you, may it be Hollywood, Bollywood or Kollywood. When you act as a friend of someone you are going to be a friend for rest of your life. I have tried not to do roles like that and I try having variations in the characters I play. And there aren’t many options, even if you get 10 movies, 8 of them will have the same old story line, a friend or a sister and the rest two would have budget restrictions and skin show. After so many restrictions we choose a film. I have done some good work in recent past and waiting for the movie to release, one is ‘Kalam’ directed by Vighnaraja it’s a beautiful film. And in Telegu, there is a movie called ‘Devi Sri Prasad’ and I am playing a lead in that movie. It has a very beautiful storyline; it’s about a heroine and her three fans.

Rapid fire Questions

What type of legacy do you hope to leave?
If I want to leave a legacy behind, it would be ‘she was a nice person and it was great to be with her’.What do your current playlist look like?
I like Hindi songs the most, right now some of the newest Hindi songs from ‘Rustom’ is on my playlist. When I’m working I prefer English songs to pep myself up.
Favorite book?
I am reading a book called Untethered Soul. I love philosophy and I love talking about life.Your favorite outfit?
A knee-length white dress.What is your favorite sweet?
Cotton candy, toffee, and chewing gum.
What’s your biggest/weirdest fear?
Until I did super 2 show, it was Lizards, now I have overcome that feeling. Otherwise, I’m not scared of anythingTell us something secretive about you.
I can cry, very easily.
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