She may be the numero uno in the Tamil and Telugu film industries but actress Samantha Ruth Prabhu or Sam, as she is known to friends, has seen her share of ups and downs. Today, with five successive hits, she is in an enviable position and one that very few actresses can dream of. Samantha talks exclusively to International Business Times, India on the great year she has had, marriage and more.
International Business Times: A string of hits and your latest film, Janatha Garage, is a blockbuster. You've silenced your critics.
Samantha: This year has been great but even after such a great year, I am still sitting and waiting around for a good role. With all the films including Theri and A Aa, I got to play meaningful roles in good films. I think it's also made me slightly greedy. I think this is not enough and I really need to work in the film. Initially, it's about the films and consolidating your position in the industry, but with every passing year things change.
IBTimes: Two years back you were termed a "flop" actress and today you are number one.
Samantha: (Laughs) I have a lot to be thankful for this year and it's more than I could imagine. It's so perfect that I don't know what to do next! When I was offered these films, I remember thinking that if these films go according to what I think they would, then it would be the best year of my entire career and I that's what has happened. Usually, no actor has five films in a year and four out of those five were extremely big films (Theri, 24, Brahmotsavam and Janatha Garage). I am extremely thankful for the place that I am in today. Now I need to figure out what next as after a point you need to do something more.
IBTimes: Looking back, do you regret doing any of the films you've done?
Samantha: Initially, a heroine doesn't get too much of a choice. It's only in recent times that I have had control over the kind of films that I can do and want to do. I don't regret doing any film because it's the sum of all those films that I am what I am today. For instance, I loved working in Thangamagan and many people told they liked the role I played as it showed a different side of me. Sometimes it's not about the box office collection but about people telling you how you upped your game in that role.
IBTimes: There's a lot of talk about your marriage and you quitting films.
Samantha: It's so unfortunate that I have to address the "marriage means quitting films" issue. I don't know anything other than films â€“ for the last eight years I have been living out of a suitcase and working in films. There's not much I know other than films and I don't want to leave films. I am marrying into a family and a person who is very encouraging of what I am doing right now. I think it's up to the audience and filmmakers to see beyond the whole tag of marriage, and it is happening. If it can happen in Bollywood, it should happen in the South as well. Until the audience and the industry say we've had enough of her, I'm not quitting films!
IBTimes: So when do we hear wedding bells?
Samantha: Chay (Naga Chaitanya) and I are in a relationship and the reason we're not talking about marriage is because even the immediate family would know about the wedding only three months before. Why should I talk about marriage to the media when there's still time? We have our parents' blessings and there's nothing to hide. We have a friendship and relationship as long as my career â€“ right from my first film. I'm extremely happy. And no, the wedding is not in 2016. (Laughs)
IBTimes: Tell us one thing you love about him.
Samantha: Chay is my anchor. He's the stability in my tumultuous life! (Smiles)