Hey Folks! In this week’s #blabwithsandy, I have actress Sanjjanaa Galrani with me. Sanjjanaa made her Tollywood debut in Puri Jagannadh’s ‘Bujjigaadu’ and scaled the heights of stardom not only in Tollywood, but in other South Indian film industries as well. Let’s dive into the blab I had with her:
Sandy: Could you let us know a little about your early background?
Sanjjanaa: I belonged to a simple upper middle-class family. I was not much interested in studies. My neighbour Manju Malini was an actress, and during my childhood, I used to accompany her for shoots.
I faced the camera for the first time when I was 12 at the cost of getting chocolates. I started modelling after my 10th standard, for which I used to get 1500-2000 rupees, LOL! My pocket money was a mere 100 per week, which I used to splurge on my friends and films.
Sandy: You started out young in the glam business. How easy or how hard has the journey been for you?
Sanjjanaa: It is better to start young, but I feel, if women are adults when they start, they will know how to the handle things and people in a better way, especially in the film industry. It was quite difficult when I started, as it was a self-made journey for me.
If I had somebody watching my back during my beginning, I would have now been a Hindi actress too, and things would have been different. Nevertheless, I have no regrets. I am very proud of all my achievements.
Sandy: After a scintillating start in Kannada movies, your debut Tollywood venture Bujjigadu gave you instant fame in Telugu Industry. How was the experience of working with the likes of Prabhas and Puri Jagannadh?
Sanjjanaa: Prabhas is an inspiration. Puri Jagannadh is a powerhouse. These people and me, all of us are Librans. Puri Sir is September 28th born; I am 10th October born. His numerology and mine rounds up to number 1. We are all hyperactive and over ambitious people. This is what keeps us driven and going about our career. Puri Jagannadh is a man of steel, haha!
Sandy: After dabbling in the movies, you have also made a sincere mark for yourself with regards to social causes. You have been a strong voice over the national circuit and have always been upfront in putting forward your thoughts. A few anecdotes on your social journey till now.
Sanjjanaa: I visualise a lot more to do in the future. Being an actor, I want to utilize my recognition and fame. I want to do great things for the society. I do not believe in those people who crib “Humara Desh Aisa Hai, government kyun aisa hai, and all”. I hate people who keep on complaining.
I am somebody who likes to make the change that happens. I want people to do all things right, like not littering the road, following rules, motivate other people, not wasting food and helping the poor with a good meal, not burning the environment further, etc.
I have a huge list of things that I want to do, but time is very scarce too! I am working on many projects in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and have ventured into Hindi too! I am dividing my time currently into films and social service. I am sure there will be a time, wherein I will fully devote myself into social service.
Sandy: Your support for Sadhguru’s Cauvery Calling has received immense buzz. Could you tell us some snippets of your discussion with Sadhguru over this issue and how important has this cause been for you?
Sanjjanaa: It has lifted an entire mountain of a responsibility. Sadhguru is a man with guts and humanity in today’s time. I request each one of you to donate towards such social causes and become a part of making a difference.
Quick Shot Round:
– Love: Pure
– A film you regret doing: So many! (laughs)
-When idle, what do you indulge in: Social Media! Social Media!
– Your most favourite app: These days its me HELO App. Traffic on my profile is uncontrollably high and very exciting 😊
– A habit of yours which you would want to change: Spend lesser time on social media and more time with my family and pets. Work less and chill more.
– Bengaluru or Hyderabad: It’s like my left eye and right eye, haha! Both the eyes belong to the same body. One half of my heart is Bengaluru, and another is Hyderabad.
– Puri Jagannadh: Guru, Inspiration, Demi-God
– If not an actress, Sanjjanaa would have been a: Pilot!
– Your 3am friends in the industry: All my friends are not from the industry. Somewhere, glitz and glamour start interfering between friendship. But, to name someone with whom I have not many inhibitions and talk straight up is Trisha and Puri Sir.
– You have a fetish for: Shoes, Clothes, Make-up, Gadgets, Speakers. In my house, every bathroom has a speaker, my hall has a surround sound. I have a big fetish for speakers, my hall and almost every room has a speaker. I also have 120 pairs of shoes. And, clothes, it’s crazy, don’t ask Sandy, haha! I have so many left with the price tag. I am obsessed with online shopping these days.
Sandy: Your show on Telugu small screen Swarna Khadgam has received huge TRPs. How has the small screen journey been for you? What is the biggest difference you see in working for films and TV?
Sanjjanaa: My small screen journey was very intentional. I was always looked at like a sex bomb, as I debuted with Murder remake in the Kannada remake. I got tagged as a hot actress. To hell with those people and tags, I wanted to let all know that I am good actress too!
I wanted to show people that I can pull off 25-30 pages a day, doing one take. That’s the kind of work I did for ‘Swarna Khadgam’, 8 to 9 minutes of single output. It was a mega budget venture by the Baahubali producers, and the show revolved around women. It’s a very proud moment for me.
Before this serial, college boys used to come for selfies. But after this serial, every woman or a girl, run and come to me. They tell me “Madam, mee costumes entha bagunnai, jewelry enta bagundi, ekkada nunchi thisukunaru”.
We worked really hard on these things. Neerus came onboard for my costumes. Most expensive lehangas were used. TIraa jewellery came in for my diamond jewellery, which was a big deal. They would send real diamond jewellery worth a crore every single day for me exclusively.
I am very proud and humbled as I got this opportunity and made the most of it. 112 episodes today, streaming on VOOT application, in Telugu, Tamil, Bangla, and Oriya languages. I am recognized by people in Kolkata and Orissa. My territory got expanded, and I am glad.
Sandy: Any piece of advice for all the newcomers entering the film industry?
Sanjjanaa: Don’t get carried away with the talks coming in from unauthorized people. You should always variate between authorized and unauthorized persons. You need to check if they are from the film chamber or someone who is all set to con you.
Always check their body of work and then associate with them. It is very rare that someone would go wrong by following strategy.
Sandy: A few words about Hyderabad Local.
Sanjjanaa: The name itself is so sexy Sandy, haha! Hyderabad Local – nenu pakka local, meeru pakka local. This interview was a lot of work, lot of work, haha! Thank you, Sandy. I hope you go places from here!
Editor’s note: It was an entertaining and a very informative chat with Sanjjanaa Galrani. While this interview journey, we have turned into good friends. Wishing Sanjjanaa, a blockbuster cinematic and social service journey ahead, which should be filled with hits and superhits.
Follow Sanjjanaa Galrani @sanjjanaagalrani
Follow Sandy @blabwithsandy