Samantha Ruth Prabhu began her career in Telugu and Tamil cinema in 2010. She married the son of popular Telugu actor Nagarjuna Akkineni, Naga Chaitanya, and their love story often made headlines. The couple tied the knot in a dreamy wedding 2017. Pictures and videos from their extravagant wedding went viral and set relationship goals for others.
But, of late, rumours have been abuzz that Naga and Samantha are on their way to separation. The two, however, have been maintaining a dignified silence on the topic.
Dignity has anyway always been Samantha's second name. She has fought the patriarchal system since the start of her career. In 2016, in one of the interviews given to me, she had said, "It wasn’t difficult for me to make equal space with the heroes. But I know how difficult it is for most actresses to get roles that are not secondary to the heroes. With me it was different. I was blessed. In my very first film Ye Maaye Chesave (Telugu) I had a role on a par with the leading man Naga Chaitanya whom, incidentally, I am all set to marry.”
For a girl with no links to the film industry such a launch was beyond a dream. “I guess I am the poster girl for big dreams. I come from an extremely humble background. My parents are middle class people. No one from our family had ever been in the film industry.And here I was getting a launch in a film where I broke the patriarchal rules!It seemed like a dream.”
How did that happen?
“I don’t know! I remember when I was watching Ye Maaye Chesave with my family for the first time we were amazed at how I had managed to make equal space with the leading man. I never had to start as the typical leading lady in the South with five songs to accompany the hero whenever he felt like a song. My individual space was allotted to me from the beginning of my career. So the struggle was never to get roles on a par with the hero,” Samantha had said.
She had recognised, acknowledged and regretted then the struggle of her female contemporaries to make a space for themselves. “I understand with many of the other actresses it is a struggle to make a decent space. It’s the hero all the way in Telugu and Tamil cinema. The girls just have to go by whatever the heroes decide.”
There was no pride, only joy, when she married Naga Chaitanya - and into one of the most distinguished film families of Andhra Pradesh. “I don’t think about being Nagarjuna’s daughter-in-law. Pride has been part of personality.I’d rather not think about my achievements. I’ve never stopped to admire what I’ve done. Because I don’t think I’ve achieved anything much. I still have a long way to go. This is why I won’t give up my career after marriage," she had said.
Notably, she had said she could not remember a time when she was not in love with Chaitanya. “We became close from the time when we did our first film together in 2010, though at that time I didn’t know I was going to marry him. He was with me when I left for the US with just 30 dollars in my purse. So he has been a very important part of my journey as a human being and an actress. Now when I am all set to marry him, there is no uncertainty about my future."
Image Source: Instagram/samantharuthprabhuoffl