'My greatest fault is that I am a sucker for sob stories' -Andrea

(Southscope June 2012 Issue)

Where is Andrea right now in terms of a career in the film industry?

I have high standards for myself. And by my standards, I am nowhere. When I was a child, I wanted to conquer the world. I am a very competitive person, though I don’t put myself out there. Being a person like that, even if I have five of the biggest films in Tamil cinema, I will still be nowhere. I have a fixed idea of who I am and what I deserve out of life. I will never say it out loud because people will laugh. I know what I am capable of and I know that is good enough for me. I went through a phase where I would measure myself according to what others thought of me. But then I realised that it was stupid to do that! It is like how south Indians don’t buy platinum. But does that mean that platinum is less in value than gold? Of course not! It is wrong to measure yourself according to what others construe you to be. But in terms of the journey so far and the experience I have gathered, I have really learned a lot. Everything in life is preparation after all!

Do you feel that you could have done a lot more, considering that you’ve worked with two of the best directors in the industry?

I will be blunt in my response here. There are girls who come in and do this one big movie that changes their life and then sign a slew of movies that pay a lot of money. They may not be anything big, even being a part of the film is enough. They are considered ‘lucky’. It has nothing to do with one’s ability – you are just part of such a project even if you do not have a great role in it. The best I could have done in hindsight, was to try a bunch of other films. I am not interested in making films for the heck of it. I am all for creating something that is timeless – what you do is out there for generations to come. I definitely think a lot before I do anything. Getting into something knowing you won’t get anything out of it is not me.

Are you convinced that you will ‘make it’ in this industry, considering that things have been quite ‘cold’ in the last few years?

I know what I think, and I know what I want out of life. I know that the offers that came my way, the ones I could not do or access, did not happen because I didn’t get them. I did get them, but I couldn’t do them because I was not allowed to take them up. A lot of people say that getting to do a film with Kamal Haasan or Rajinikanth is ‘making it’ in the film industry. It is like a pinnacle of the south Indian film story. But for me, even that pinnacle is a part of the learning curve. ‘Making it’ is a very relative term. For some, having won a National Award means ‘making it’. It is specific to each individual, and all about what they believe it is.

Your career as a musician / singer would probably have taken off much better than acting since you have a natural talent. Why did you choose to be an actor?

It is not like I did not try. It just happened that way. There was no intentional choice involved. It is also about how you have given close to three years of your life for something, and then you realise it is futile to chuck it and walk away. I am happy I saw the flip side of the industry before seeing the good side, though it happens the other way for most people.

You have been rumoured to have had relationships with married men. It is reported that some marriages have broken off because of your involvement. Tell us the real story.

What I want to say is that there are a lot of misconceptions about me in this industry floated around by whom, I do not know, and why, I do not know. And the thing about me is that I don’t think it wise to spend my time and energy trying to disprove what everyone thinks of me and tell them they are wrong. I think it is pointless. I know what I am and the people who matter to me know what I am. That is good enough for me. My greatest fault is that I am a sucker for sob stories. I have always been, and I still am. I give people the benefit of the doubt more often than I actually should, and that is what gets me into trouble. I am absolutely not street smart. If ever there is a crash course on how to be street smart, I’d be the first one to sign up! When you look at all these things in perspective – which nobody ever does – it is just so easy to blame someone without seeing their side of the story, and you’ll understand that there is more than what meets the eye. Instead of disproving what everyone thinks of me, I would much rather just move on to bigger and better things in life, which is what I am doing now. I am much happier now than I was about four years ago.

You are obviously a controversy magnet. Is there a reason why you are not part of Irandam Ulagam directed by Selvaraghavan, although you had already shot for portions of the film?

There was a very good reason. But I choose not to mention it. All I can say is, there were a lot of reports in the tabloids and newspapers claiming and alleging certain reasons, but none of them are true.

Tell us your experience of shooting for Vishwaroopam and working with a legend like Kamal Haasan.