I’m impatient, but also not in a rush to sign the next: Reba

Reba speaks about her acting career, long wait to debut in Telugu, debut hit Samajavaragamana, and much more.

ByY Sunita

Published Aug 27, 2023 | 9:00 AMUpdatedAug 27, 2023 | 9:00 AM

Reba Monica John

A Malayali from Bengaluru, Reba Monica John is in thinking mode after the grand success of Samajavaragamana, which was released this year.

The actor has had a dubbed Tamil release Bigil (Whistle, 2019), but this is her debut blockbuster.

Asked if she was enjoying all the attention and adulation. Reba says, “Being in the theatre and watching it with the audience was quite an experience.”

She adds, “Before the film was released, there were umpteen shows including the media, and we went for theatre visits to the other parts of the state, and the reactions were out of the world.”

About Samajavaragamana

Reba debuted in telugu with the film Samajavaragamana

Reba debuted in Telugu with the film ‘Samajavaragamana’. (Supplied)

“Every single person was so involved in the jokes, and since Covid, it was overwhelming to see that kind of reception from people of all ages,” she tells South First.

Telugu was a language that she learnt only on the sets, and the narration happened in English, but overall, she found the script well written. She knew it would be a good film but didn’t expect a repeat audience.

She states her gut instinct worked and is more than happy with her choice, “People liked my character. What we perceive as good may not be the case for the rest of the audience, but this story was different.”

Reba further adds, “The director had clarity, and through the entire shoot, we knew whether it was going there or not. He pulled it off. To be very frank, I have wanted to make a Telugu debut for a long time, and this was an impromptu decision.”

She cites the factors that contributed to the film’s success, “I have as much space in the story as the hero. There is beautiful camaraderie between the father and son and me. It caters to all categories.”

Speaking more about the movie, she says, “The father going to college and the son motivating him, I have never been in such a situation and felt I didn’t think I could wait for a better situation. The only doubt was if he could pull it off.”

Reba adds, “Ram Abbaraju had clarity and had two amazing writers, Bhanu and Nandu. The writing worked the most and with a team like that, it couldn’t have been better.”

Related: ‘Samajavaragamana’ makes you laugh your lungs out

‘Destiny plays a role’

Reba says it was destiny plays a big role

Reba says destiny plays a big role. (Supplied)

So how did she bag the offer, considering she had evaded many calls from many banners for years? Reba talks about destiny playing a role, “I came here for the look test of another film Bro (2023). It didn’t work for me, and the same day I happened to visit the producer of Samajavaragamana, Razesh Danda and Ram Abbaraju, the director.”

“Without even being called formally, I went there, and they said many months ago they actually wanted me to come over for an audition. The story was narrated and hooked.”

Speaking about the movie, she adds, “I had the instinct that I could be doing this film. It was a fun film. Now I can understand Telugu, but back then I had no clue, irrespective of all that, I enjoyed the story, and my character. I knew I had something to offer to my role.”

‘Sree Vishnu is a shy person’

Reba with team Samajavaragamana

Reba with team ‘Samajavaragamana’. (Reba Monica John/ Facebook)

The hero of the film, Sree Vishnu, is known to be a shy person and an introvert, who hardly looks people in the eye. When he is around on the sets, it seldom appears that he is the hero.

Speaking about how she deals with him, Reba says, “That is how he deals with everyone, he never makes eye contact. In the first conversation, he would not even look at my face. I have known Sree Vishnu’s work, and he is extremely good, but had no idea about the extent of his shyness.”

Further about Sree Vishnu, she says, “I experienced that for two schedules, imagine my plight. When he was answering he would look down. When you ask him a question, he is happy to help… slowly it turned into friendship, and by then we built a rapport.”

“I think he needs to get comfortable with people. When onscreen, he needs to play a role, and none of this comes on the way. It was fun to be on the sets, with no egos and no negativity. Every day was a new day, and the scenes were hilarious,” Reba adds.

Related: ‘Samajavaragamana’ will bring back Jandhyala’s humor: Ram Abbaraju

Long wait for debuting in Telugu

Reba starred in Bigil

Reba starred in ‘Bigil’. (Supplied)

Speaking about the long time she took to make a Telugu film debut, Reba says, from the beginning, she was very sceptical about entering the Telugu film industry. She would get umpteen offers from the Telugu film industry, but she would be reluctant for some reason or the other.

“I did come for the Jersey (2019) movie look test, and I was young at that time to play the mother. I was also doing a Tamil film at that time, unfortunately, it didn’t work. Then got busy in Tamil. For the remake of Asuran (Tamil, 2019) — Narappa (2021) — I was informed, but things didn’t work out,’ she adds.

Next projects

Samajavaragamana worked because of word of mouth. It could have easily touched ₹100 crore with a little more push, but what is on the actor’s mind right now? When is she doing her second film?

Reba is emphatic. “I don’t want to do just anything. People have their eyes on me, they appreciate my effort.”

“I am getting movies, but I am not completely satisfied with it. The second film is extremely crucial. Many of my well-wishers said I would be getting a lot of work, but I have to be careful. I am a bit impatient, and also not in a rush. I have heard a few stories, and the films are in the process of casting,” she signs off.