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Red Haute


From the streets of Chennai to the most shockingly inspiring gems of the Box Office, Regina Cassandra’s journey has been one to look out for. Her movies have bridged the gap between ‘critically acclaimed’ and ‘commercial’ in Tamil and Telugu cinema. Satisfying her sweet tooth with bitter chocolate and her romantic heart with thriller films, she stirs up equal interest off camera as she does on it. An implacable lover of travelling, books and animals, she is full of stories. Here she shares a few of those in a quick chat

Anti burn-out steps
I take breaks. I go watch a movie and sometimes I stay at home for two days at a stretch and do not even walk to the gate of my house. Just about now, after the shooting of Evaru, its promotions, dubbing and a ton of work, I went to Europe for a holiday. I love acting and plan to do it for years. I can’t afford to burn out.

Criteria to selecting roles
Quite a few. Primary of those is the character. I like to play characters that are wholesome. Of course, these are the kind of roles that not newcomers get. But I’m glad I got them from the very beginning.

What movies do you like as an audience?
I like myself a good Rom-com, or even a thriller, or a horror. I am not loyal to any one genre. The movie must make me curious.

The Evaru experience
Right from the Director, Ramji to the assistant director, the cinematographer and co-stars- everybody was a great fun to work with. Instead of going to the caravan to relax in between shots, we would sit and have a good long talk. It was a really and absolutely positive set. You are a student of psychology.

How did it help you?
I am a people’s person. Being around people and observing them interest me. That is why I took up psychology. But as it turns out, it helped me understand myself more than it helped me understand others.

How do you make your characters so realistic?
A film must be realistic and relatable to the audience. For e.g. Sameera, in Evaru, does not blink through out the movie, except when she lies. So it is a subtle cue. You can make out that she is lying, even though you don’t know how you can make out.

One thing you like the most about acting?
I get to play so many roles and they are all so different from me. Getting into another person’s shoes is really interesting and exiting.

Are you a perfectionist?
I am, but not for any reason except doing justice to the character, I am playing.

Have you changed over the years?
My values have remained intact. Yes, I have been inuenced by people as when you are new to an industry, you tend to listen to others and trust them. But when I found my feet here, I learned to trust my instinct over others’. Agreed, it took me a while to believe in my gut, but I am glad it did. It was a part of the process. No regrets, only learnings!

Your guilty pleasure?
Chocolate. I like dark chocolate. In fact, I have a chilli dark chocolate in my bag right now. I collect them during my travels. So now I have a good collection of Vietnamese (Alluvia), Fijian chocolates and Belgian trufe. You might not think trufe in chocolate would be so nice, but it is amazing.

You have a lot of pets, don’t you? Yes, I love animals. I have a blind cat, a sparrow and squirrels too. I also had a dog. After its death, I haven’t had another because we didn’t want to go through that pain again. My mum always encourages me to help animals in pain.

The cat calls
About four years ago, a cat littered in front of our house & abandoned the kittens. Out of the three, one survived though it was aficted with herpes. After a lot of searching we found a vet who was willing to A nickname that annoys you Sundeep calls me Kusu. It is not annoying, but it is.

If a movie was made on you, what genre would it be?
It would be a coming-of-age film, with a bit of rom-com, and a lot of drama for sure.

….what would it be called?
The Road Not Taken Your most expensive accessory till date My watch Your fashion statement Comfort. It is easy to look good when you are comfortable. Your airport look Jumpsuits or pants or dresses, but a shawl for sure The book you’re currently reading Lisa Ray’s autobiography Are you a dog person or a cat person? I am an animal person Instagram or FB Hands down, Instagram.

A job that you would be bad at A bouncer at a club, because I cannot keep straight while good music is playing around me. I love to dance.
Describe yourself in 3 words Honest, and a sucker for love and affection.
The first thing you notice in someone How they treat people A trait that a friend of yours has to have Honesty

What is the last thing you Googled?
The movie It because I was watching it last night.
One thing that you mostly gift to your friends It is never common for everyone.
I gift things that the receiver is going to have some use of. And when I do see them using it, that is like the best. One movie you wish you could act in again Both, Awe and Evaru If not a film star? I would be a criminal psychologist.

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