People are often surprised that I gave Bollywood a skip for television: Preetika Rao
Though she debuted in Southern cinema with a Tamil and later a Telugu film, for Preetika Rao, language was a creative barrier. “So I decided to quit South movies for good in 2012. But when my director friend Shreyas Sudhindra narrated his script and insisted he wants me as his heroine. I couldn’t refuse! Life has come a full circle as I shot for his Kannada film! My Konkani grandparents spoke fluent Kannada as our roots are from Karwar. I always feel at home in Bengaluru where I have many cousins,” she says.
After quit southern movies, Rao landed in Mumbai and chose to do TV shows rather than films. She explains, “People are often surprised that I gave Bollywood a skip for television! I had plum offers like Aashiqui 2, and like offers of films from director Pradeep Sarkar, and producers Vashu Bhagnani and Kumar Taurani etc, but turned them down. Due to my sister, Amrita Rao, I had first-hand insight into Bollywood. By 2008, donning a bikini and kissing were mandatory in most A-list projects and I chose not to compromise on my comfort and instead worked in TV shows. They are not only family-friendly but also have a wider reach in comparison to a week’s theatrical release. Fortunately my first show, Beintehaa was a huge hit and had international success in countries such as Turkey, Indonesia, Tanzania, Azerbaijan and the UAE in dubbed versions. Even today, it continues to get me the adulation that probably only Bollywood movies can get. So, no regrets!”
Though she works intermittently, she admits to being in a content space. “Today, I can afford to choose my work and also let go off work easily. I am not lured with fame or money. I wasn’t looking for it. I have stayed away from reality shows as their format ends up making your private life into a public spectacle and my privacy is sacred to me. Moreover, due to digitalisation, everything eventually lands up on the web- be it movies, television or web series, so it no longer matters which platform you choose to work on, as long as the content is interesting. I am looking forward to the release of my web series, Love Sorries, which was shot before the lockdown and my next single as a singer very soon,” shares Rao.