Hey Folks! In this week’s #BlabWithSandy, I have Maya Nelluri with me. If you are an ardent Tollywood film follower, you should be knowing who Maya Nelluri is! She is a journalist of Idlebrain.com, an artist, stylist, and an actress. She made her onscreen debut with Sharwanand-Kalyani Priyadarshan-Sudheer Varma’s Ranarangam recently. Let’s wait no further and dive into the blab I had with her:
Sandy: Hey Maya! Hope the magic around you is keeping you well? 🙂
Maya: Haha, ya can’t complain!
Sandy: Could you tell us a little about your background?
Maya: I’m a Telugu girl, grew up in New Zealand and completed my school and Uni there. I came to Hyderabad for my cousin’s wedding a few years ago and luckily got a job in a magazine here.
I’ve always been in love with Telugu cinema so I was happy to try my luck. Since then I’ve been shuffling between here, NZ and Australia.
Sandy: You are a multi-skilled artist. You are into art, acting, modelling and are also a journalist. Please throw some light on all that you do. ☺ And, how do you manage your time between all the above?
Maya: I’m a workaholic and I love to learn so if I’m not working I’m working on learning something. Haha. At the moment I’m focused on acting.
My first film was Ranarangam. Thanks to our director Sudheer sir I got the chance to play Manga; the role got a good amount of recognition so I couldn’t have asked for more.
As for painting and journalism, I’ve been doing them both for a while now. I’ve had two solo exhibitions and more recently a group show.
I’ve also done art work for a mobile app Mytha and some other commissioned work. Modelling comes with acting because you end up doing shoots for designers etc.
Sandy: You are a part of Idlebrain.com. How has the journey been for you?
Maya: I used to read Idlebrain since I was a kid and was sort of obsessed with it. As I mentioned I grew up in NZ so internet was my main source of connection to Telugu cinema.
Thankfully, after coming here I met Jeevi sir who is the founder of the site. He still very much runs the site hands on. I’m grateful that he gave me the chance to work for my childhood’s favorite organisation.
Sandy: Coming to the much-anticipated release of Sudheer Varma- Sharwanand’s ‘Ranarangam’. You debuted as an actress with this film. How did you land yourself in this film?
Maya: It was entirely thanks to our director Sudheer Varma sir. I’ve always admired his work and knew him since I’ve interviewed him earlier. About the same time I started looking at acting I asked him for advice on how to go about the career.
He gave me some really good pointers and thought of me for the role once he started casting for Ranarangam. I’m really grateful for the opportunity.
Sandy: How was the experience of working alongside Sharwanand and Kalyani Priyadarshan? Any memorable moments whilst shooting for the film?
Maya: I know Sharwanand from earlier so it was great to work with him. He’s a lot of fun on set.
Kalyani is such a down to earth and nice person. It was good to get to know her.
Sandy: What makes Ranarangam different from other films? The film has been receiving praises for its technical brilliance. What do you think about the film?
Maya: I really liked the film. I found the first half super entertaining and the second half had great action scenes. I loved the cinematography of Divakar sir and the BGM is also a major hit.
Quick Shot Round:
- Biggest regret till date: Not acting earlier
- Love: Myself
- Maya the artist or Maya the actress: Actress
- If you were stuck in a lift and can have two industry people tagged along, who would you pick? Any two of my friends in the industry
- Imagine being stuck in an island for a day, and you can only carry three things with you. What would those be? Phone, solar charger, bread!
- Ranarangam: Debut
- The friendliest celeb that you have interviewed till date: Most are friendly. My favorite was the one I did of Prakash Raj sir.
- Jeevi: Boss
- Tollywood: Love
- A film that you watched recently and felt like being a part of it: Rangasthalam
- Favorite places in Hyderabad: Home
- The hottest actor in Tollywood: Vishal
Sandy: What’s next in the pipeline for you in the coming months (be it acting, modelling, art, etc.)?
Maya: I’m finishing up with the shoot of my second Telugu film. In this I’m playing one of two leads. I’m also playing the protagonist in a Zee5 Original webseries directed by Hussain Shah Kiran. There’s a couple of other projects so fingers crossed!
Sandy: Anything that you would like to convey to the readers? 🙂
Maya: Please watch Ranarangam!
Sandy: A few words about Hyderabad Local.
Maya: Haha! What to say about you Sandy?! Well, you are very talented. I hope you will choose to work with me soon! And, thank you so much for this interview!
Editor’s note: Maya has been nominated under the Best Actor Female in SMIFA International Short Films-2019 Global Films Awards for her act in the film Incognito. You can vote for Maya by clicking here.
I’ve known Maya since sometime and I must admit, she is a wonderful human being and bundle of talent. Rather, I hope to get a chance to work with someone as talented as her! Wishing her a speedy success at the movies. 🙂
Follow Maya: @mayanelluri
Follow Sandy: @blabwithsandy