A few months back, I watched a movie called Lakshmi – kind of story that we don’t want to hear, which is exactly why we must hear it, directed by a co-Hyderabadi Nagesh Kuknoor. As the story progressed in the movie, I saw my dear friend Flora on screen who surprised me as Lakshmi’s roommate Swarna. Flora’s character teaches Lakshmi the tricks of sex trade, ensuring Lakshmi’s survival but the teacher clearly outshines the student. She is self-assured and does not shy of giving the film her all. She makes Flora someone you’ve met or are friends with – No doubt she is really my friend who would stay forever in my life.
Acting, as an old saying goes, is the art of living truthfully in imaginary circumstances, for Flora who has acted in 50 films and has co-starred with actors like Rajinikanth, Vijaykanth, Prabhu, Karthik, Balakrishna and many more is known as ‘Lux Papa’. She is born to an Army man and a teacher mom in Chandigarh and studied in a lot of places across India but mostly in Delhi. She shifted to Mumbai to pursue a career in acting but got her 1st break as an actress in south films.
I had a chance to have a conversation with Flora and talk about what it was like to be an actress and in general.
Tell us about your career. When did it start? How did you discover your talent?
An actor by chance totally. I think people who saw potential in me at a point when I could not even decide which stream or career to choose in life and Boy I am so thankful.
Do you ever think that you could have done a bit better in any particular role?
Yes!! There is a Telugu film called Shubhakaryam where I had a scene with actor Vadde Naveen. In it I play a rich girl who is madly in love with him and he works for me who is in love with someone else. I try everything in my reach to get his attention and failing all attempts finally in my office I walk up to him and start stripping in a desperate attempt to woo him (bad idea hahahaha). I was made to wear a big layering of clothes to add to the drama of the scene. I was out of school and got into films and that too Telugu industry with a new language and I was a healthy kid in school (so very body conscious) and I had to play roles very contradictory to my shy studious disciplined army kid background. Oh you could see my unease on my face just wanting to vanish the scene immediately and to top it all I had a crush on Naveen – that is the best part about having a crush on someone they never know anything about. If I could go back and re-enact a scene again this would surely be on my do it better list – one of the most embarrassing on set moments I ever had.
What is the hardest part of being a celebrity?
Not being able to eat everything you want. I have 32 sweet teeth and being in the public eyes if you can handle this, it is one of the kind of which is hard to resist.
Is it true that you have to change yourself in order to be accepted into the entertainment business?
People would make you believe so, just don’t follow their advice, be you; it is your super power. You just may be inspiring someone else to be like you, differently and proud you. I am still that shy introvert girl. I have a very small circle of close friends. I don’t party; I don’t drink, and smoke. I stay with my family total my mother’s girl. I am still here doing good work. If you are destined for something you will get it nothing can stop it, so don’t ever change yourself.
For how many years have you been in the field of acting?
18 years. I am not a graduate and this is all I have done from after school. Acting is my life. A big thank you to the Telugu film industry for giving me love and recognition which I don’t feel I did enough to deserve but if today I am in any way a better actor than what I was when I started off, it because of the Telugu film industry that made me a part of its family with open arms and the discipline I have learnt so much from all the legendary co stars and directors I have had the honour of working with.
Can you tell us about your upcoming projects?
My first Marathi film (worth watching) called Pari Hoon Main is on the line, followed by 3 Web series that are starting soon and I am seriously excited about them – it’s amazing to see how new story tellers are bringing to life such brilliant stuff. It is really best time to be in this field.
Rapid fire Questions
1. If you could buy any type of food (right now) what would you buy?
CHOCOLATE (in all capital letters)
2. If you could be any flavour of ice cream what ice cream flavour would you be?
CHOCOLATE (can you doubt it)
3. Are you a morning or a night person?
Morning person and a Coffee person
4. Describe yourself in 3 words?
God’s favourite child
5. Louis Vuitton or Christian Dior?
Dior. Louis Vuitton is way too expensive
6. High Heels or slipons?
7. How many books have you read so far this year?
So far this year 2 only
9. What product would you refuse to promote?
Tobacco & alcohol
10. What is your dream car?
An automatic Google driven car that parks itself automatically with self steering. Just type the destination and sit back, it will take you there.