Bangalore, Aug 19 (IANS) Kannada actress Haripriya says she wants to be as popular as Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai and has pinned her hopes on forthcoming controversial film 'Mukhyamantri I Love You' to make it big.
She has teamed up with actor Vijay in the film. Directed by journalist-turned-director Ravi Belagere, 'Mukhyamantri I Love You' is said to be about former Karnataka chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy's alleged link with a Kannada actress.
Haripriya plays an IAS officer in the film and is married to a chief minister called Tantre Gowda who gets close to an actress.
'For the first time I play a bureaucrat's role in 'Mukhyamantri I Love You'. I have accepted the film because of Ravi sir,' said Haripriya, who debuted with the not so successful 'Manasugala Maathu Madhura' in 2007.
'Mukhyamantri I Love You' attracted media attention when Kumaraswamy's father and former prime minister H.D. Devegowda filed a defamation case for Rs.100 million and sought a stay on the film's release. Belagere, also the editor of Kannada tabloid Hi! Bangalore, has been asked not to release the film unless cleared by the court.
Haripriya's second film 'Vasantha Kaala' sank at the box office. Flops notwithstanding, the actress is getting good offers. Other than 'Mukhyamantri I Love You', she has signed 'Ee Sambhashane' and forayed into Tamil films with 'Kanagavel Kakka'.
The actress said that the three films she is currently doing are very different from one another. She added that she chooses scripts very carefully.
'I'm not just accepting any offer that comes my way. I have rejected at least 15-20 offers because of poor scripts. I want to act in performance-oriented roles. I just don't want to do touch and go type of roles. That's why I have been very choosy.
'I am giving more prominence to story, screenplay, director and the banner. I want to earn a good name in the industry. I just don't want to do each and every role that comes my way. If the role demands some exposure so be it. I am prepared to do such roles if they are strong enough,' said Haripriya.
Asked about the rumoured affair with her co-star Anand on the sets of 'Manasugala Maathu Madhura', she said: 'I have nothing to do with Anand. He is just a good friend of mine. 'Manasugala Maathu Madhura' was a debut film for both of us. We had been good friends during the time of shoot and there is nothing beyond that.
'But I was shocked to read that I was having an affair with Anand. I couldn't believe that such rumours can float freely in this industry. Even before I could come to terms with this, the director of the film accused me of unprofessional attitude.'
Director Manjunath Maskalmatti had apparently alleged that Haripriya was not punctual on sets.
'There was a slight misunderstanding between us which we were able to solve later. After these two incidents, I have decided to be very careful in the future. I just don't want to be part of any rumour mongering. I prefer to keep silent and just follow what the director says. I am just concentrating on my acting,' Haripriya said.