She’s young, she’s bubbly and she sparkles in front of the camera. Eesha Rebba shot to fame with her lead debut in Anthaka Mundu Aa Tarvatha, which made her a household name. Her character as Deepika in Ami Thumi made its mark at the box office bringing her a lot of fame too. Currently juggling between different projects, we caught up with this PYT for an exclusive interview. Here’s what she had to say about her career, love life and her journey.
First things first – how did movies happen to you?
To be honest, this was never the plan. During my college days, I started modelling with the sole intention of being financially independent. Then I tried my luck at anchoring and bulletin. I quite enjoyed modelling and thankfully was approached for a couple of auditions. That’s when it first occurred to me. As a girl with no other connections here as such, as much as I wanted to see myself on the big screen, the thought had never come to me. I did have my speed breaks until I cracked my first big role and then some more later. Thing changed all thanks to my first director for recognising me in the lot and giving me my first break through.
How would you describe the past years of your career?
It would be difficult to summarise eight years of industry experience in just a few lines but I’ll tell you this – each person I met along the way, each actor I’ve worked with, each director I’ve worked for and each situation I’ve faced – I got to learn something new which made me the way I am today. It’s all thanks to this industry that I’ve become strong.
Let’s talk about the three industries…
Working in three different industries with three languages has been a great experience. All the industries have been extremely welcoming and supportive throughout. I’ve always been a ‘Telugu ammayi’ and I’ve been far more comfortable here. A lot of prep goes into being a part of Tamil or Malayalam as the language, culture and dialect needs to be right. They’re far more stricter in terms of the language than anywhere else I’ve seen – which is very challenging, and I think I’m managing pretty well so far.
Is there something stopping you from trying Kannada? Or has it just not happened yet?
Nothing has stopped me from trying anything new so far. To be honest, I’m waiting for a good project to come to me. Personally I’ve loved watching hit movies like KGF and Charlie 777. And I would absolutely love to put myself in new industries, roles and challenging situations given that I know I give my best when that’s the case.
How different/similar are they?
Pretty much the same except the language! But what’s been different when it comes to Malayalam, is that it’s like a tongue twister and working in a language that I don’t speak fluently needs more preparation. Having said that, it’s been fun to learn different languages and work there.
Tell us about the one project in which you learnt the most.
That would be my first project ‘AnthakaMundhu aa Tarvatha’ where I had to learn the basics of everything related to acting and the industry. It was later that I learnt that different directors have different working styles, after which I’ve been learning something new each day everyday. I believe that it’s an ongoing process and all my learnings have been cumulative of all my work in all these years.
What have been some of the biggest high points of your journey so far?
All success and failures have been the high points in my life. Most of my high points have had to do with my satisfaction with my responsibility as an actor nevertheless of the movie’s outcome.
What kind of roles do you feel most comfortable with?
Isn’t acting all about stepping out of your comfort zone? (smiles)
What are your views on OTT and how it’s changed our lives?
OTT can never replace a theatre experience, but as an audience there are so many options, a vast choice for content from all languages, so that’s lovely. While as an actor, it’s a great space to be in with loads of opportunities – it gives us a chance to be a part of good relatable stories and varied characters to play.
How did the pandemic affect you?
The pandemic affected different people in different ways. And I’m very grateful and glad that we’re all out of it. I remember wondering for days if life would ever get back to normal or not. That phase left me confused about my future, increased my anxiety, but I guess eventually I figured it out and understood that life is all about going with the flow. It’s also made me realise and value smaller things in life – something that all of us took for granted earlier.
What kept you sane through the lockdown?
It was not so easy to find sanity initially. But working out really helped. I watched a lot a movies and my two babies – Kanna and Chinna (my Shitzu and Pekingese)
Did you acquire any new skills during those days?
Yes, during the lockdown I learnt MMA, badminton, stunts and Archery for a while and cooking for my father!
Do you believe in keeping your personal life away from the public eye?
Absolutely. I prefer that my personal life is to myself and my close circle. You don’t know what all I’m hiding from you! (winks)
Are you a romantic at heart in real life?
Yes, I am all heart and romance.
What is the most romantic thing anyone has done for you?
It wouldn’t be as romantic if I told it all, no?
…there have been rumours about you tying the knot soon – tell us about this?
Please only ask me this question once you see a ring on this finger!
Talking of which, what qualities are you looking for in a man?
Oh! have we reached the Indian Matchmaking part of the interview? (laughs) Just the basics I guess, but the main criteria is that he has to be a big foodie, kind hearted and someone that can make me laugh, like really.
What is the first thing you notice about a man?
Who is your dream man?
John Abraham was my greekuveerudu for a long time during my schooldays!
What is your take on love and relationships in today’s times?
I feel like people aren’t too patient in relationships these days. To make a relationship last it takes understanding, work and patience but, to each his own I guess…. but then you know what? I’m also figuring it out!
One couple you look up to?
Ajith and Shalini, and Surya and Jyothika.
Who are your close friends from the movie industry?
I have quite a lot of friends who aren’t from the industry. They are people I’ve known from many years. But from the industry, I’m very close to Shivani and Shivathmika Rajashekar.
What are the projects you’re working on currently?
I’m currently working with Sudheer Babu, directed by Harshavarshan garu titled as ‘Maama Mascheendra’. I’m also doing a Webseries titled ‘MayaBaazar’ for Zee5 directed by Gouthami and have some more exciting projects which I’ll announce shortly. Can’t wait to share it with you all. Soon!
Let’s talk about Maya Bazaar.
It’s the role of a girl next door. It’s a very lighthearted funny, relatable story about the community and its silly issues. I’m sure people will love it! I prepared for it by doing workshops – which were absolute fun and I got to experience the essence of my character along with the rest of the cast. It’s so refreshing to be a part of an easy and lively set.
What’s your take on multi-starrer projects?
Each individual actor has a different aura and perspective. Multi starrer movies are just like crash courses where you learn a lot in quick times. It would be amazing to be a part of a multi starrer and learn a lot from the co-actors and it’s super fun.
To a large extent, it needs one to be in a secure place to share the screen with so many others. Is that also your character trait?
Insecurity is really common for most actors I guess, but I’m blessed to be secure and constantly feel secured by my team and the people I get to work with.
On that note, what makes you insecure?
Umm.. what makes me insecure as an actor? Nothing really. Maybe the unanticipated twists and turns in life I guess.
What is your fitness routine like?
It is really difficult to have a set routine in this profession. I just try to workout, eat well and sleep well in whatever little time I have.
What’s your usual diet like?
Brown rice is a staple – the rest I try to keep it as healthy as I can. I’m used to having small meals every two to three hours instead of eating just three big meals a day.
One actor and actress whose fitness you look up to?
Sudheer Babu is insanely fit! And Disha Patani! Have you seen her body? Phew!
What are your Diwali plans this year? Would you like to share any special Diwali memories?
I have a new place now, I want to light it up, decorate the entire place, get that old festive vibe and invite a few friends over, watch a film or two with the family. I have very fond memories of buying crackers with my family and bursting them.
I love bursting crackers but grew out of it because of the pollution and the noise they made. My mom was a dare devil, she had a custom of lighting up a 1000wala string bomb every Diwali. That memory is etched in my mind. It’s going to be a super festive Diwali this year.
Your dream role?
Some kick ass action role, like Charlize Theron in Old Guard.
Your favourite movie?
Favourite actor and actress?
Ryan Gosling and actress Meryl Streep
Some essentials that are always in your bag?
Lipstick, house keys and wallet.
Anything from the Italian cuisine.
Beaches or hills?
Fame or money?
The last good film/web series you watched?
The last webseries I watched is ‘Delhi Crime’ and I absolutely loved it!
A book you’d recommend?
‘The Stars Shine Down’ by Sidney Sheldon.
My Mom, always.
Where do you want to travel next?
To witness the Northern Lights.