Date of Birth
8 September 1982
5′ 7″ (1.70 m)
Sameera’s versatility as an actress and a trained Indian classical dancer made her perfect for Bollywood films. She debuted in a music video that got her noticed and kick started her movie career as one of the top actresses in India and has appeared in over fifteen films in just four years. She has shown her ability to carry off multiple characters in films like the controversial blockbuster Musafir, where she played a rape victim who takes revenge to Kaalpurush – Memories in the Mist, an art house film where Sameera plays a double role as a middle-class housewife and a prostitute which won India’s highest award, the National Award and has received critical acclaim on the festival circuit.
Sameera was credited with having two independent films at the Toronto Film Festival 2007. Migration,a short film directed by the legendary Mira Nair wherein she plays the role of a housewife affected with the disease and The Voyeurs, her second film with Buddhadeb Das Gupta.
Sameera has become a household name amongst the 1.6 billion people living in India. As a symbol of fashion, sex, and beauty, Sameera has graced the covers of every magazine and is the subject of many documentaries including the BBC’s Spice Trade. As a testament to her international appeal Sameera was chosen by the BBC to step in the shoes of Spice Girl Emma Bunton to experience celebrity life in the UK and was asked to be a guest actor on the hit series Casualty.
Sameera is also the first Indian actress to have her own video game, Sameera the Street Fighter. This mobile video game can be downloaded by millions of fans and is available to cell phone users throughout India.
Sameera lives with her parents and two sisters, Sushama (a VJ, model and actress) and Meghana (a supermodel) in Mumbai and spends significant amounts of time with Crayons and Dreamz Homes, her cause for getting homeless children off the streets of India.
Sameera was born in the Telugu-speaking Reddy family on December 14, 1978. She has two sisters, Meghna and Sushma. The Reddy ancestors hailed from a small town named Rajamundry in the Indian State of Andhra Pradesh.
While still a student in Sydenham College, she sang in Pankaj Udhas’ video ‘Aashita’ with a blond male Caucasian. Then partly influenced by her siblings’ success, she bagged some modeling assignments, including Lissome, as well as appeared in a Telugu movie. Plump, hair tied back, and bespectacled, she started working as a Marketing Executive with a multi-national company.
Sameera decided to take her acting career seriously and starting working out, eating the right foods, going to the gym, jogging, Kathak (a dance form in South India), swimming and yoga. She allowed herself 8 hours of sleep everyday and indulged her skin with all kinds of natural ingredients like curd and honey, and generally avoided make-up.
This regular routine paid off resulting in one of India’s hottest film actresses’ and she made her debut opposite Sohail Khan in ‘Maine Dil Tujko Diya’. This movie did not fare well but got her noticed and launched her career in Bollywood.
Quite a shy and moody person, she loves stuffed toy-turtles and enjoys eating in small restaurants rather than five-star hotels.
Sameera Reddy hasn’t been in the buzz recently. She was last seen in the multi-starrer film, DE DANA DAN which released in 2009. But now she’s back with RED ALERT-THE WAR WITHIN. Let’s find out more from the actress herself.
What goes through your mind when your film is just about to release?
Nothing. Actually, I think a lot before doing a film. But when a film is complete, I don’t think at all about it. It’s like marriage- you are stuck. I am very hyper when I read a script and have to decide about doing the film or not. After a film is over, it is all about how you promote it.
You are known for glamourous roles. So what made you do this de-glam role?
I did this film with Buddhadev Dasgupta called KAALPURUSH, which was de-glamourous. It won the National Award also. It changed my life. It changed me as an actress. I began to understand the nuances of acting. Perhaps, that is one of the reasons which prompted me to do RED ALERT.
|” Im not here to titillate.”|
Bollywood is fun. It has a lot of dance and music. It is fun doing roles like RACE where you are completely dumb. But to actually get into a role and understand the reason behind doing it is something else. It’s a very different high.
You are playing a naxalite in the film. Can you tell us more about your role?
The character that I’m playing is of a very run-of the-mill girl who gets raped by the police. She is picked up by a naxalite camp. Then she begins to understand the motives of the naxalites. The film is trying to say that nobody is born a terrorist. They take up terrorism because of some reason.
Were you skeptical about doing such a serious role?
It is just a responsibility. I had to make sure that I did not hurt anyone’s sentiments. It is a very hard hitting subject. You can’t take it lightly. People will ask you if you are on the government’s side or are you supporting the naxals. We are not taking any sides. We are just raising an issue and giving you a story around it.
What was most challenging part about doing this role?
I have a soft face, and the fact that I had to show someone who was cold and hard hitting, and look like a naxalite, was difficult. When you are playing someone you are not, like I am very emotional and for me to play a role of a naxalite and use a gun was a challenge. For e.g. in RACE, playing dumb was one of the hardest things I’ve done in my life. Doing RACE was more difficult than RED ALERT.
We will see you holding a gun and shooting in this film. How comfortable were you with it?
I used a gun in MUSAFIR. At that time, it was very difficult. I held back and started shouting. It’s very weird to hold a gun with all the dust flying off.
Do you feel the audience gets a message out of such hard hitting films?
I don’t know. The AIDS film, which was directed by Mira Nair didn’t do very well. I’ll be very honest. That was such a big let down for me. It had such a fabulous script. It was called THE MIGRATION and showed how the disease migrated. The only thing that people noticed was that I had a scene with Shiney Ahuja. That became the biggest thing and it really hurt me. I’m not here to titillate. I’m here to give a message. What is wrong with people? Obviously, they are not ready.
What are your future projects?
I have a film staring in September which I can’t talk about. You will know in a week about it. I have finished Nagesh Kukunoor’s YEH HONSLA which I’m waiting for Percept to release. Because of the global recession, many films were stalled. Now, a lot of them are being released.
You are doing many films down South…
Yes, it’s mind blowing in the South. They call me the busiest girl in town. My Tamil film, VAARANAM AAYIRAM won the National Award. I hope one of my Hindi films also wins one too.