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Exclusive! Sshivada: The expectations are high while working in a Jeethu Joseph-Mohanlal film such as 12th Man

The Malayalam actress talks about her back-to-back big releases – Jayasurya’s Meri Awas Suno and Mohanlal’s 12th Man

  • Sanjith Sidhardhan

Last Updated: 09.18 AM, May 09, 2022

Exclusive! Sshivada: The expectations are high while working in a Jeethu Joseph-Mohanlal film such as 12th Man

This month is special for Sshivada as she’s making her comeback to Malayalam after a short gap since the birth of her daughter Arundhati. While she has made her presence felt in Malayalam cinema in the past two years – albeit through photos in My Santa and through her voice in Sunny, her upcoming films – Meri Awas Suno and 12th Man – will have the actress in standout roles, according to its directors.

In an exclusive interview with OTTplay, Sshivada talks about working with Jayasurya again after Su.. Su.. Sudhi Vathmeekam and IDI, her experience of being part of a Jeethu Joseph and Mohanlal film and her upcoming Tamil projects.

You are teaming up again with Jayasurya after Su.. Su.. Sudhi Vathmeekam in G Prajesh Sen’s Meri Awas Suno, which again is an inspirational film. Tell us about choosing it as your comeback film in Malayalam.

I had watched Captain years ago and messaged Prajesh ettan about how much I liked the film. He was a director that I had wished to work with. After my daughter’s birth, I was waiting for the right project to come back and that’s when Jayaettan told me about the script of Meri Awas Suno.

He asked me to listen to the narration and take a call. When I heard that Prajesh ettan was doing the film, I was delighted. He is a very good narrator. Usually, I read the script but this time Prajesh ettan sent me an audio file of the script. It was a first-time experience for me and I listened to the file for over three hours. Usually, we say that when you hear a good script, you feel that spark. It was the same with this. In terms of the character, the story and all the artistes involved, I just didn’t have a reason to say no.

You play a media person in the movie. How different is your role from your previous characters?

I play a news reader in the movie, but there aren’t a lot of scenes related to my character’s profession. It was more of a family drama for me and so my preparations were in line with that. That said, Meri Awas Suno is a simple movie that would make the audience feel good once they leave the theatres after watching it.

12th Man, which will release a week after Meri Awas Suno, comes with its set of expectations because it’s a film by Drishyam duo Jeethu Joseph and Mohanlal. How was it working in the movie?

(Laughs) The responsibility and expectations are obviously high because when you mention the combo of Jeethu sir and Lalettan. Even as a viewer, I expect a lot from them after Drishyam and Drishyam 2. When I got a call from Jeethu sir, he said, ‘It’s a small film that we are doing for an OTT release. But at the same time, it’s a big film too because Aashirvad Cinemas is producing it and Lalettan is part of the movie’. I was sold, and over the moon when he mentioned the rest of the cast.

For all of us, it was a fun-filled experience working in the film. It was almost like going back to your college days. We were all elated and excited to be able to share screen space with Lalettan.

Jeethu has always managed to finish his movies way ahead of the planned schedule, but 12th Man had him working more days because of its ensemble cast and the weather.

The weather was the prime reason. Almost at the end of the shoot, all of us had to go to different sets but the rain was unrelenting. We managed somehow. The funny thing was that once the shoot was over, we all wished to go back to the sets again. It was that fun.

You are also busy in Tamil now.

I wouldn’t say busy, but I am able to keep a balance between Malayalam and Tamil films. It just happens and it’s not something that I am doing deliberately. Right now, I have three releases pending. I had completed SJ Suryah sir’s Iravaakaalam almost two years ago. I have also done Karthik’s Vaan with Ashok Selvan. Right now, I am doing a Jai and Aishwarya Rajes, which is director by Rohin Venkatesan, with whom I had worked in Adhe Kangal. I am also about to sign another project in Malayalam.

Because you had mentioned balance, you have also been able to carry forward your career and family after the birth of your daughter Arundhati.

It’s tough, to be honest. I am finding my own way to strike a balance between my family and career. I can’t neglect my career for my family and vice versa. And I don’t want Arundhati to miss me. So, it’s difficult but my husband, in-laws and my family members have all supported me to do this. At the same time, I feel happy because I am able to balance my family and my passion.