Q: Share with us the experience you have had in the Malayalam film industry? How has it helped you grow as an artist?
Back in 2015, when I signed my first Malayalam film, Nee-na I had not written or verbal knowledge of the language. My mother is from Kochi but we barely spoke Malayalam at home and she too was worried if I’d be able to capture the essence of the language. Having done over 8 movies in Malayalam today, I can safely say that I get by with my Malayalam speaking skills (haha).
Come to think of my experience, it has been so vast and enriching with every role I have portrayed over the years that I’ve developed a certain connection with Kerala. A long lost root filled with extremely talented and hardworking creators. The artist in me has grown so much with all the love and support showered by the people and I feel humbled with every project.
Q: Do you ever become body conscious? How do you deal with the constant pressure of being in shape, what will be your message to the ladies who want to enter the film industry but are somehow underconfident?
For those of you who know me well, know my love for food. I’ll be the first one on the table to think of dessert every time we’re done with a meal but the true taste of that dessert lies in the control you exercise. Not too little, not too much but just in moderation. I think all my trainers would agree that I have great stamina when it comes to my workouts. I believe 100% in completely immersing myself with that 1-1.5 hour of workout every single day.
Staying fit is not just a lifestyle choice or an occupational requirement, a fit body is a temple to a fit & happy soul. Having said that, we must also understand that there are good days and bad days too. Not only as an actress but as a human, you must always aim at being fit. That includes both mental and physical fitness. To all the aspiring actresses, my only message would be to find a balance of everything.
Q: Tell us more about your initial phase, when, and how you got your first movie break?
This one always takes me back in time. I didn’t understand that power of manifestation back then, I am a happy-go-lucky person with great ambitions. So a little after I won the title of Miss. Kerala, I got a call from Lal sir’s team and they were looking for a new actress for the titular role. I went to Kerala for a look test and three days later I got a call saying that I have bagged the part! Fun fact, I was one of the 500 girls they had auditioned for it.
Q: Who is your role model in the film industry, what do you like about them that inspires you to perform your role with full conviction?
Priyanka Chopra. She has redefined the journey of Indian actresses across the globe. I have seen her in movies as a child and the incredible feats she has accomplished have not outdone herself but also set a great example for all aspiring actresses. Her drive and strong belief in girl power motivate me to reach higher lengths each day.
Q: What are your future goals, where do you want to see yourself as an actor, Are you aspiring to have a big break in Bollywood movies?
As an actor, there’s always a long way to go but I’m very happy with the place I’m at currently. I hope to create more opportunities and have the chance to portray a variety of roles to not only explore my creativity as an actor but also show the world a different perspective. I do have aspirations of bagging a Bollywood movie and am looking for the right script to materialize for me.
Q: How was your family’s response to your career decision? Did you get full support from your parents to choose acting as your profession?
I’ve always been a private person and never gave a hint to my folks that I wanted to get into the film industry. My mother always thought that I would do my engineering and my father thought that I’d do medical but my heart was pulling me in a different direction. After seeing my dedication towards the art, they were not only supportive but also very encouraging. My mother still accompanies me at shoots from time to time!
Q: How do you manage time for workouts and self-care amid your busy schedule?
My mind and body come first. So no matter where I am, I always prioritize clocking in at least 30 minutes of quick workout while on the shoot. It could be in the hotel room or the vanity or sometimes even around the set. Taking care of yourself inside-out is very important so I ensure that I spend quality time with myself and my mother too. Lately, I have also started meditating to ensure equilibrium in life. Though it’s slow, I’m observing good results and hope to get better each day.
Q: What motivates you to try various challenging roles, do you believe in critically acclaimed film or masala movies minting huge box office collections?
As an actor, you have to be dynamic and flexible to cater to the masses as well as the niche audiences. To maintain the balance and be able to showcase your range as an artist, one must be willing to play roles in both types of movies.
Q: Who is your favourite co-star, how do you describe your relationship with them?
Honestly? I don’t really have a favourite co-star but I have really enjoyed working with talented stars like Mammootty, Dulquer Salman, Prithviraj, Biju Menon, Manju Warrier amongst many others who are good friends to me and from whom I have learnt a lot.
Q: What kind of movie genre intrigues you? Can we expect to see you in a horror-comedy or action-packed thriller?
Lately, biopics have intrigued me. It is amazing to learn about the lives of ordinary people with not so ordinary lives. And yes, you will be seeing me in an action-packed thriller very soon.
Q: In what leisure activities do you keep yourself indulged in finding time from your busy schedule?
I love travelling and it relaxes me immensely. I think one of the best parts about any project is the places you get to travel to and the people you get to meet. Of course, in the gaps I also find myself dancing to the latest tunes and devising ideas for my reels!
Q: What makes you a cut above others and has indeed helped you to thrive in the film industry, Tell us something about your strengths and exceptional skills?
I don’t believe there’s anything like being a cut above others and I would simply place it as the ability to be comfortable in one’s skin. The affinity to learn new languages and adapt nuances of different cultures has helped me complete movies in many languages and I only hope to increase my outreach to the diverse masses of our country.
Q: Pandemic has changed our lives forever. According to you, what are the impacts and opportunities pandemic has created for the film industry?
There are both pros and cons of the pandemic. We have seen an increase in the OTT content and that has not only paved the way for aspiring talent but also created numerous opportunities. The downside to the situation is the fact the theatres have not opened completely and the once crowded halls where people would come in for a cinematic experience now remain silent. Hope things get back to normal soon!
Q: Would you like to give us some insights into your upcoming projects?
There are quite some treats coming your way! This year I’m looking forward to the release of 5 movies (regional south). There are some talks in the Hindi sphere too and I’m waiting for confirmation. So, fingers crossed.