She’s the darling of the masses with her cute looks and power-packed performances. After tasting success with Theri, Samantha plays the love interest of Suriya in the upcoming  24 The Movie, and is also currently shooting for the Telugu biggie Brahmotsavam opposite Mahesh Babu. In a chat, on the eve of the release of 24, the dream girl opens up on love, romance and what’s keeping her happy.

I don't believe in love at first sight - Samantha

Samantha is enjoying this phase of her life and career and the glow shows on screen. She has just cut her hair and is enjoying the accolades its brought in. “I’ve always been fascinated by actors with short hairstyles. Finally I took the plunge myself and I’m really enjoying it! Earlier long hair was coveted but now I think short hair is the new long hair!” she laughs. What’s the secret behind the happy look we see these days? She laughs delightedly, “Its just that I’m getting to work with the best people in the industry and the cameramen are showing me in a flattering light.  The stars I work with are also very giving and all the camaraderie shows up on screen.”

Beauty with a purpose

On a personal front, Samantha is busy with the activities of her NGO Pratyusha, “The NGO facilitates medical care to the needy. Families who can’t afford costly treatment approach us and we share one third of the cost while the hospital we network with, bears one third and the family’s burden is lessened to the remaining one third. Its functioning well in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh thanks to a good network of hospitals who are helping. It started from a personal experience of mine when I got a chance to monetarily help a child with a medical problem. The happiness I got that day was enormous. That made me think that if others too could share this happiness and team up to help it would spread to a wider spectrum.  This made  me start  Pratyusha and widen the network. We have several advisors and doctors on board to help us out professionally. Many may ask why I’m doing it in the prime of my career. I feel if I do such an endeavour now, I will be able to garner more support and help a lot more people than if I do it when I quit working.”

I don't believe in love at first sight - Samantha

Samantha seems to be in a fulfilling phase of life and career at the moment. Being the dream girl of many, she herself dreams of love and marriage and settling down with a family of her own someday. “I come from a big loving family myself. So I’ve always wanted to marry and settle and have a large family myself too.  That dream is always on my mind. I do love my career and I’m working hard at the moment. But love and marriage are also important for me.” 

Wooing Samantha

So what sort of qualities would she find attractive in a prospective life partner? “I don’t believe in love at first sight. I think its important to get to know someone first. For me, looks of the person are not vital and  don’t figure even in the top 3 requirements of my criteria. For me, the person has to be stable, calm and have a huge sense of humour. And he shouldn’t take himself too seriously all the time.” Many an actor has wooed Samantha on screen with songs and dance and full on romance. What would a guy have to do to woo her in real life? “He shouldn’t try to woo me at all! He should just be himself. In fact, he should be nothing like me. I’m very stressed out and a scatterbrain at times, so he should be someone calm , grounded and stable,” she replies.

I don't believe in love at first sight - Samantha

And finally having starred in 24 The Movie, which is a sci-fi flick dealing with time travel,  we ask her which period in Time she would like to visit in a Time Machine. “I absolutely love history! So I would visit the time of all the major world wars and try to find out how they affected life and history. I believe that history is usually written from the point of view of the winners so I would want to find out what happened, from the losers point of view,” she concludes. At present though, Samantha has only lots of travel and no time, thanks to her busy shooting schedules!