- 01 Jul 2017
The doe-eyed beauty is a force to reckon with!
Where have you been since 2014?
I was in MOP Vaishnav college in Chennai, I did Njan Steve Lopez during my first year. I did not join that college just because I wanted some bachelor’s degree. I was extremely interested and saw a career in advertising and marketing. Just because I did a film, I did not want to compromise on my education. I decided that if a project that’s as good Njandukalde Nattil Oru Idavela came to me in 2015, i wouldn't have said no. If I was doing a film, I would miss out on a lot of classes, and if I did decide to miss out on my classes, the movie should be worth it. I did get a few offers, but I did not think they were worth missing my classes for. Njandugalde came to me in 2015 december. I met them officially in Jan 2016, and shoot started in September. Nothing good came my way during college, which was why there were no movies of mine from 2014-2017. And anyway, as you would know, time just flies when you’re in college!
In the movie 'Njandukalde Naatil Oru Idavela', you play Nivin's sister's role. What made you sign up for the movie?
Njandukalde is basically a family drama, where Lal sir plays the role of our father and the mother is played by Shanti Krishna ma’am, who’s returning to films after 22 years with this movie. We are three children. Nivin and Srinda are twins and i’m the younger one. It revolves around this family. It’s about something that happens in the family and events that take place post it. Initially when they told me I had to play the sister, I was quite apprehensive, but they made me listen to the script and then I thought I want to do this movie. Every character in the family has equal importance because the movie revolves around this particular family. It’s great working with all our leading actors. But I did not have an issue being the sister and not the heroine. Like, say, I was offered a part of a sister, even if the hero has a partner, I wouldn’t think that no matter how small the role of the partner is, I will play it. I’m here to act, I want to do roles with substance. What made me sign up for this is as a project, it was interesting. And my part in this, the fact that I will be working with the ‘Premam’ team, and the fact that my character in the film excited me are the three main reasons I chose to sign up for this movie.
You've worked with Jyothika for an advertisement. How was your experience?
Yes, I worked with Jyotika for a Tamil ad. It was a beautiful experience because it was my first ad, and i loved it. So much that when someone asks me for my portfolio, I send them pictures of me from the ad, as it was directed by Mr Babu Shankar, who is one of the leading ad directors in South India. When the offer for this ad came, and when it is with a star like Jyotika, I had my doubts. What if I end up being someone on the side, because Jyotika is a huge deal. But they kept reassuring me otherwise. Once the ad was done, I saw that it looked like nothing I thought it would be. Jyotika, despite being an established actor, didn't treat me odd, like a newcomer. She was very friendly and we got along well. We had a chat and she asked me what my projects were in Kerala. She’s a warm hearted person and we’re still in touch with each other. It was a really nice experience and something I’ll cherish for a lifetime.
Njan Steve Lopez was kind of an offbeat movie, while Njandukal can be termed as a commercial movie. How would you describe your experience in both?
Njan Steve Lopez and Njandukal are two different films in every aspect. Njan was different in the subject and in the making. It wasn’t your quintessential, extremely loving, super entertaining commercial type. It had a nice offbeat feel to it. It was screened at a lot of a lot of festivals. It’s not a film that a commercial movie watcher would enjoy. But coming to Njandukalde, this movie is a 100% entertainer with lots to laugh about. It will be a very fun experience to watch it in theatres. Coming to the making, Lopez was sync-sound, so there wasn’t a lot of noise on the set, with a lot of people. Hardly 20 people at a time, unless there was a major shot happening. But Njnandukalde was a full on set with lots of people. Noise, peoples and caravans define Njandukalde, while lopez was just a bunch of close people shooting. Both are different experiences and I loved them both.
Generally, most actors make Kochi their base after their first movie. Yet, you're still based out of Trivandrum. Does that mean you've had to miss out on certain events because of the location?
I really believe if a film is supposed to come to you, and if you’re meant to attend an event, no matter where you are, it will happen. Having said that. I don’t think there is a need for me to shift from Trivandrum to Kochi just for films. If they want me in the film, even if i’m in America, they’ll come to me. Trivandrum is home, but that doesn’t mean I have anything against moving to Kochi. I would love to buy a place in Kochi, in case I have some work, so i’ll have a place to stay. But as far as I know, I haven’t missed out on anything because I stay in Trivandrum. For Njan Steve Lopez, we had a couple of promotions in Kochi, for which I stayed at a hotel, and then there were promotions in trivandrum, too. While shooting for Njandukalde, I had to shuttle between Trivandrum and Kochi, since the shoot was in Kochi and Thrissur. I agree a lot of people shift to Kochi, but I believe it’s basically for convenience. For me, I have three younger sisters, and my youngest is in 7th. So, as a family, we can’t move, at least not for the next five years. I don’t have any immediate plans of shifting base from tvm as tvm is always going to be home, but yes, I would love to own a few places here and there, including Chennai and Hyderabad.
What are your upcoming projects?
There are talks going on in Malayalam and something in Tamil and Telugu, but I think it’s a little too early for me to announce it, because I believe they should announce it before I do. There are things in the pipeline, and I will let you know soon.
Text: Devika V Menon Photos:Various Sources