The actress, who will be seen in a pivotal role in Prithviraj’s Malayalam remake of Andhadhun, talks about her role, why she has been missing in Malayalam and more
The trailer of director Ravi K Chandran’s Bhramam, the Malayalam remake of Andhadhun, might have just featured two quick shots of Ananya. But those were enough to showcase why the actress, who hasn’t played a major character in the language, is still regarded as one of the most versatile artistes in the South film industry.
In a candid chat with OTTplay, the actress talks about her role in the Prithviraj-starrer Bhramam, why she has been more active in other languages than Malayalam and more.
Bhramam is the Malayalam remake of Andhadhun. But how excited are you about the character you are playing in the movie?
When they approached me and told me it was the remake of Andhadhun, I was chuffed, especially because it’s a character (played by Ashwini Kalsekar) that caught, not just mine, but everyone’s attention when they watched the Bollywood film. Initially, I asked them if there are any changes for the Malayalam version of this role and they said no. I had planned something in my mind before I reached the location. On the sets, Ravi sir said that there would be some changes from the character in Andhadhun. Though my character is there only in limited scenes, the changes they made to the role were exciting to me.
How was it working with the team – that also has Prithviraj, Mamta and Unni Mukundan?
I don’t have combination scenes with Shankar sir and Mamta. I share a few scenes with Raju (Prithviraj); most of my screentime is with Unni, whose wife’s character I play in the film. A happy coincidence was that I was working with Unni after 10 years. I had acted with him in his Tamil debut Seedan. So, this is technically my first movie with Unni in Malayalam. Also, I am working with Raju after Tiyaan. That’s what was exciting for me along with the fact that it is an important character to the narrative. After taking up Bhramam, I felt it was the right decision.
You have predominantly worked in industries outside Malayalam, playing strong characters in Tamil and Telugu. Is there a reason for that?
It would be incorrect to say that I am not doing such roles or films in Malayalam; it’s just that if the scripts that I was offered had characters that were core to the movies, I would have continued in Malayalam. I didn’t get any offers like that and so I couldn’t explore much here. I didn’t leave Malayalam; it’s just that I didn’t want to do girl-next-door roles for another six years.
If they didn’t think I was the best option for the role in Bhramam, you wouldn’t have seen me in this film. Even though it’s a small part, it’s a powerful one. They took a chance on me and so it was up to me to prove myself. Ravi sir gave me the space to do so too.
In Tamil and Telugu, were strong roles offered to you primarily because you had made your entry with great films that proved you could pull off such characters?
It could be. Every character I have done in Tamil or Telugu has been different. End of the day, they all might have a ‘homely touch’ to them but their mannerisms and reactions set them apart. Because of these changes, you don’t become disinterested.
There are people who go out of their way to search for roles they want to do. Are you the kind of artiste who proactively seeks out such characters or do you wait for roles to come to you?
I belong to the latter category. I don’t know this method of reaching out to directors and asking for roles. I choose from the characters that are offered to me and excite me. That’s how it has always been in my career. In Malayalam, if I get good characters, I would be interested in playing those because this is my turf. I won’t get this comfort in any other language. That said, I get more opportunities in other languages.
Does it also come from people assuming that you are winding down your career when you are not active in an industry?
I don’t know why that’s the case in Malayalam for me. In Tamil and Telugu, nobody ever thought like that. Even after I got married, they never felt that I had stopped accepting films in my career. They call me and offer good roles. In Telugu, I worked with big directors such as Trivikram Srinivas sir, who before offering me a role, doesn’t think that she’s married and settled now. They just ask me if I have the dates. In Malayalam, I have heard people are hesitant to approach me, wondering if I will do a role because I am married.
What are your upcoming projects?
I have signed another Malayalam movie, the title of which will be announced soon. I also have another Malayalam film that will begin work in December.