Many avatars of Tollywood's it girl Catherine Tresa
Catherine Tresa is all that you usually don’t associate with T’Town. She portrays strong roles, does her own dubbing, can speak Telugu and Arabic and believes in breaking stereotypes
Catherine Tresa, who is riding on a success wave with Rana Daggubati’s bilingual Nene Raju Nene Mantri (NRNM), will certainly walk away with praise and aplomb. With a filmography of 19 movies including nine in Telugu, she has played a powerful legislator (Sarrainodu, 2016), a media baron in NRNM (2017) and a girl with style in Gautam Nanda (2017) – roles that give her character and identity. Is that the rise of the new female character artiste? “Nah, roles offered to me are the sort that any contemporary heroine would play, except not the stereotypical ones,” she says with a laugh.
Girl on fire
It was her portrayal of an MLA in Sarrainodu that changed things for her. “This movie had a fresh characterisation for an actress, replete with more than one dimension and some fiery dialogues. The audience here is not used to seeing a young girl being thrown into such position of power and her taking over the mantle from her politico father,” says the actress recalling that the song, My Lovely Angel, got
her recognition amongst the masses.
Slice of life
In NRNM, she portrays the role of an almost Machiavellian media baron, Devika Rani with panache. “I think I come to the director’s mind when they want someone to play a strong character. Such roles are more than welcome and I love it,” says the actress. The Dubai-born diva is clear that she does not want to star in “blink-and-you-miss” roles. She has pushed the boundaries of the virgin-whore dichotomy, she smokes, goes right after the main lead but helps him too when circumstances demand. “We all have shades of grey. And that’s exactly why the film is close to reality. When certain circumstances threaten you, you react in a certain way, right?” asks the actress. Though Catherine prefers to remain mum about her future projects, there are reports doing the round that she is flying high. Reports are doing the round that she has been signed on to play the leading lady in the Telugu remake of Tamil thriller Bogan, which will also feature Ravi Teja. She is supposed to take on Hansika’s role from the original.
Transitioning from one role to another comes as easily to her, as performing in various languages. She can slip comfortably from the role of an urbane media baron, like in her latest Telugu blockbuster to that of a tribeswoman in Tamil flick Kadamban. “That role was another end of the spectrum from what I did in Sarrainodu,” states Catherine. So what does she keep in mind, while choosing a role? “At the end of the day, I am an entertainer, and my primary concern is to entertain,” states the actress.
The actress is a big believer in getting her homework right. She got herself a Telugu tutor and is now quite well versed in the language. “I have dubbed for myself in the Telugu film Gautam Nanda as well,” says the actress. Besides that, she can understand Tamil and knows Arabic as well. Before she starts acting she sits down with the director and talks extensively about the character she has been chosen to play. “I want to know all about the characters that I enact; what are her origins like, where is she going. I try to understand her mindset,” says the actress who confesses that she does not watch too many movies. “I don’t look up to any reference, rather I visualise and create my own version of the role I am going to play,” says the actress who is a self-confessed homebody. So what does she do when not on the sets? “I can usually be found lazing at my home. I bought a house here in Hyderabad. Oh, I also try to read a few pages before I fall asleep with the book on my face,” says the actress, ending our chat with a smile.