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Sri Reddy to play lead in Tamil film on casting couch

The film, which is being produced by Chithirai Selvan and Ravi Devan, will be a bilingual in Tamil and Telugu.

Manigandan KR

Telugu actress Sri Reddy will play the lead in a Tamil film titled Reddiyin Diary. She had triggered a storm in both the Tamil and Telugu film industries by levelling casting couch allegations and allegations of sexual exploitation against several top actors and directors.

The film, which is being produced by Chithirai Selvan and Ravi Devan, will be a bilingual in Tamil and Telugu. It will focus on the issue of casting couch. If one is to go by what the film's producer Chithirai Selvan says, the film will feature some incidents that will be inspired by incidents in Sri Reddy's life.

"Actresses who look for opportunities in the film industry are sexually harassed. I have disclosed my experiences in this context. The film, Reddiyin Diary, will focus on this issue of casting couch which is against actresses. I play an important role in this film. We will shine the light on cheats in the film industry who pretend to be Good Samaritans," she said.

The actress, who had been lamenting that no film offers were coming her way ever since she began levelling allegations, is pleased with this film offer. What's more, the actress said that she had also signed two other Tamil films apart from Reddyin Diary.

Sri Reddy also announced that she had relocated to Chennai as she felt unsafe in Andhra Pradesh.

"I do have protection there. The Telugu film industry is in the grip of four families including that of Chiranjeevi, Pawan Kalyan and Suresh Babu. They imposed a ban on me, thereby preventing me from acting. They did not even give me my membership card to the artistes' association. They revoked the ban on allowing me to act only after the National Commission for Women intervened. However, I never got any opportunities to act in films. The government too hasn't helped me. Therefore, I have migrated to Chennai. People here respect women. When I had problems, people here extended their support to me. I will continue to act in Tamil films," the actress explained.

When asked if she would take up Raghava Lawrence's offer to act in his film, she replied in the affirmative. It may be recalled that Sri Reddy had named Raghava Lawrence, too, as someone who had exploited her. "I will act even if Raghava Lawrence, against whom I have levelled sexual exploitation charges, offers me an opportunity in his film," the actress said and warned that if the Nadigar Sangam tries to stop her film, it would amount to being a big crime.

The actress also did not rule out entering politics.

"My role model is J Jayalalithaa. I like her boldness. I will involve myself in social service. There is also a possibility that I might enter politics in the future. I also have plans of writing my biography," the actress said.

When asked if she would still continue to disclose names as she had now begun acting again, the actress said, "Yes, I will continue to disclose the names of those who have been sexually harassing women in the film industry."