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EXCLUSIVE: Soorarai Pottru Actress Aparna Balamurali OPENS UP About her experience in the film and acting Suriya!

Nuanced with a tinge of sparkle, it’s hard to believe that she’s all of 23 and only a few films old. But with promising projects in the pipeline and performances that leave an impact on you, Aparna Balamurali is that artist who has so much going for herself without any traces of pretence. Unrestrained with an eye for what suits her, in a conversation with JFW in 2019, the young and upcoming actress describes her sojourn so far. Here are extracts from her cover interview. 

Soorarai Pottru improved my Tamil!”

For people brought up down South, the similarities between two South Indian languages is often unmissable. For Aparna, who has primarily been involved in Malayalam projects, can speak Tamil quite efficiently thanks to the innumerable Tamil movies and songs she was exposed to while growing up. But the real reason for improving at this juncture is her upcoming Tamil film. “After signing up for Soorarai Pottru, I’ve come for reading at least five times already. So by now, I know my Tamil has improved greatly!” she exclaims.

The project, too, is rather dear to her. It came to her as a surprise, a word she often uses to describe how things have been going for her lately, professionally speaking. “I gave my audition for the film. Since there’s a Madurai slang in it, it was quite difficult. Director Sudha Kongara and I used to still be connected over phone. She didn’t let go of me that easily; she changed the script and asked me to work on it.” Later, Aparna worked on her Madurai slang and familiarised herself with the character more. “I took a video of myself delivering the dialogue again and sent it to her.. Till the shoot started, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be a part of the film or not. I knew the whole script, had come for a reading 4-5 times, had even signed a contract, but the suspense was always there. Announcements later, I knew I had signed on something big and would be essaying a role that would always stay with me,” she narrates.

“Suriya is one in a million!”

Now that she will be sharing screen space with yet another South Indian male superstar, Aparna reveals that it’s quite the journey for her. Suriya is someone she grew up watching, and admiring him and his wife, Jyothika, as a couple was something that was reaffirmed after their first meeting. “As a co-star, as a human being, he’s very humble and friendly. You end up liking him more especially after you watch Jyothika ma’am’s interviews talking about him,” she says. Ask her if she was starstruck, she admits affirmative. “When I saw Jyothika ma’am, I was really star struck. I mean, she’s my favourite! She is so down to earth. During the look test, she came to me and spoke about how sweet I looked and wished me well. That really moved me,” she shares with a twinkle in her eye.

Story first, budget secondary.”

With a few years to her credit, Aparna attributes the importance of a script far more superior than the budget it involves making it. “Everybody who approaches me, especially in Malayalam, they always say that it’s a ‘low budget’ film. I feel like people should confidently talk about the story and script and not the budget. For me, the story matters more,” she says, as a matter of fact.

She holds an advice she received from her Maheshinte Prathikaram director in high regards, something that has helped her choose good scripts. “Initially when I used to listen to scripts, I used to call a lot of people and ask their opinions. Dileesh Pothan once said to me that liking the script ultimately was up to me. Everybody will have a different perspective on a script and if you like it, if you feel like you can do justice to it, then you should take it,” she concludes.

 

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