- 18 May 2017
CIA: Comrade In America has been making its rounds on the big screen. WKochi got in touch with one its leads Chandini Sreedharan
Chandini Sreedharan first stepped into the industry through the reality show Vivel Active Fair Big Break that aired on Surya TV in 2011. Since then she has come a long way, acting alongside the likes of Prithviraj, Dulquer Salmaan and Unni Mukundan. Though she’s originally from Calicut, she spent much of her life in the US. Her latest film, CIA was released on May 5.
The movie stars also stars Dulquer Salmaan, and Karthika Muralidharan in lead roles. Chandini plays Pallavi, a headstrong, tomboyish, independent girl who tries to illegally enter to the US along with Aji(Dulquer Salmaan).
WKochi got in touch with Chandini Sreedharan to talk about her experience, the movie and her life.
How was the whole experience, working with DQ and the team?
The experience was great. The movie was shot in America. It was a small crew, some 20 members. So it was really nice as we were like a family. Everybody was helping each other out, doing each other's jobs. The movie was supposed to be shot one and a half years back, but then due to some complications it got delayed. During that time, Amal Chettan was the only one I had contacts with. He would keep me posted on why the shoot was getting delayed. As a senior, he didn’t have to, but he did and I respect that a lot. I met Dulquer for the first time two days before the actual shoot. It felt like we knew each other from way back so we easily became friends.I got to learn a lot from Amal Chettan, especially the work behind the scene. I’m very interested in learning new things, so I used to ask him about things that I found myself curious about, and he would explain the whole thing to me. The whole experience was pretty fun.
How was the response for the movie?
The response has been very nice. I’d gone to a first day fans show recently, and I’ll never forget my experience there. The love they have for Dulquer Salmaan, as an actor and as a person is immense. I’m also getting many calls from people and I’m seeing a lot of good reviews online as well.
What are you working on next?
Even before the release I’d been listening to scripts, I’d just been waiting for the release then. So now I’m just finalising them one by one.
What’s your favourite movie out of all the Malayalam movies you’ve done?
All the three are really different from one another. I don’t know how to pick one. But emotionally and in a lot of other ways I could connect with Pallavi, that’s my character in CIA, more so than the other ones. She’s very independent and Chandini is also very independant. So I felt a sort of closeness towards Pallavi. She’s also very unique. She’s not your everyday girl. Even her introduction and dialogues, usually I don’t think they don’t give such scenes to female and even male leads. She’s very bold and independent. So I’d say my character in CIA.
A bit about Pallavi and how the character was developed?
Pallavi is a complete tomboy, I’m not. Even in the way she dresses, she wears boyfriend jeans and boyfriend shirts that are baggy, it’s all about comfort for her. It’s already loose and they purposefully bought everything a size or two more than my actual size. Amal Neerad wanted a very rugged, worn out look. Even the boots, they were timberland boots, I think they dragged it across the floor and all to give it that used look. He wanted a realistic look and I think we were able to bring it. So you could say that Pallavi was put together piece by piece. I had to even cut my hair for the role as my long hair didn’t go with her personality. Another thing about Pallavi is that she chews gum, and that too a lot. Personally I love gum, bubblegum, chewing gum, everything. So I told Amal chettan about the idea, and he was like ‘yeah, go for it’. The thing is, chewing gum is not appropriate at times, like it’s not respectful, but Pallavi doesn’t care about what anyone thinks about her. I added that to the character. He takes in everybody's suggestions and opinions , but Pallavi is ultimately his vision.
Text: Susmitha Suresh Images: Various sources