Shalini’s Sister Shamili Reminsces Her Anjali Days; Says She Was ‘Too Young’!

Anjali was one of Mani Ratnam’s best films too!

It was the year 1990 and Mani Ratnam’s Anjali was the talk of the town. Wherever you went, people talked about the child prodigy and her acting prowess. In the years that followed, she continued to play endearing characters on screen and established herself as one of the most popular child artistes on screen. So intense was her popularity, that she is still known to everyone as Baby Shamili.

Anjali saw Shamili portray the role of a special child to perfection and she went on to win the National Award for Best Child Artist. Reminiscing those days, Shamili in a recent interview talked about how she never remembered as she was too young. “I was too young when I started acting. So I really can’t say what it was. My sister (Shalini) got into films and she was doing a lot of good roles. That’s how Mani Ratnam sir saw me and Anjali happened. The movie became a huge hit and I got more offers. My dad would travel with me and took care of everything. So, I was fine. I remember, everybody had a lot of fun on the shoot. I was too young, and there really was no one my age then. My brother (Richard Rishi) was also part of the film; he played one of the flatmates. They were all the same age group – he, Tarun, Krishna and all – and they spent time together and had a lot of fun. But it was not the same for me. I was really young and I used to get tired. I barely knew what was going on,” she said.

Shamili has always been open about her love for her family too. In a throwback interview with JFW, Shamili said that Ajith is someone who she admires a lot. “I have always liked his work from the beginning even before he became a part of the family. Among his movies, I really like Vaali, Billa, Villain, and Godfather.As a person, he is very non-interfering and very compassionate. He would never offer you advice or criticise you unless you ask him to. Even with my career choices, he has always been supportive of what I do.”

“When I decided to come back to movies, I thought of getting a portfolio done and he offered to do it for me. Even though I know he is an excellent photographer, I denied his offer because I thought it would be weird for me to pose in front of him. After considering for a long time, I finally agreed to it and he got busy with it immediately. He even helped me in choosing the clothes, the accessories and my pose. He is such a perfectionist that he doesn’t mind waiting to get the perfect shot. When we didn’t get it, he offered to try it the next day too!”

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