How did you first come to the industry/ how did you get your role in Sigappu Rojakkal?
Director Bharathiraja first introduced me in the movie. But my actual guru is from Chennai Doordarshan, Mr.Gopali. I was working as a drama club assistant in Chennai doordarshan, he was the first one to select me as the heroine in dramas. Then I was not much interested in acting, because of family financial conditions I started working. Director Bharathiraja sir came across my portfolio so he wanted me to work in Sigappu Rojakkal, at that time I was working as a sales person and as a staff in the hotel industry. So, that’s how I came to the industry.
What are the projects you are currently working on?
I just finished 2 Telugu movies and am currently doing a movie with Karthi as his grandmother, and I’m also acting in a Garudan movie with Soori, Sasikumar, and Samuthrakani; another movie with Samuthrakani as Bharathiraja sir’s pair; and 3 other movies, as well as acting as the main antagonist in the Tamil serial Sundari 2. I’m also committed to two other movies, one under 2D productions and one with Ravi Teja sir in Telugu.
Favorite role of yours?
My favourite role is my first ever heroine role, Kannamma, from Kanni paruvathile. It is close to my heart, as it is my first ever heroine role. The other role that is close to my heart as a character artist is in Kaalam Maari Pochu, directed by S.V. Sekhar. Coming to serials, the first ever mega-serial from Sun TV Sakthi is my all-time favourite, and Thirumathi Selvam is my other favourite. I got the Tamil Nadu State Awards for best character artist for the serial Thirumathi Selvam and the Kalaimamani Award for the Kaalam Maari Pochu movie.
Memorable moments from the sets?
One of the most memorable moments is from the sets of Arunachalam. I had to do a single shot scene with a lengthy dialogue within a certain time limit as light was going down. It’s that iconic dialogue from Arunachalam, “ yaaroda sotha yaarukku yaar da eduthu tharadhu”. As I completed that shot I heard a clap from a distance and it was Rajini sir and it was 3000 people set. As Rajini sir was clapping, the whole set started clapping and I got goosebumps and started crying. Rajini sir and director Sundar C sir were appreciating me so much. The instant appreciation from the whole is one of the most memorable moments from the sets.
Also, another memorable moment from the set is when I was acting with Sivaji Ganeshan sir for Mudhal Mariyadhai. I played a negative role opposite him. Getting to act with Sivaji sir is a memorable thing but a character challenging him is one of the important roles in a career. As it is one of the main reasons, still directors from Telugu, Kannada approach me. They still remember me from that time.
If we are looking for any recent moments I would say, it’s any movie I’m working with Seenu Ramasamy sir. He is very determined to get me a National award. From Neerparavai to Kanne Kalaimane, he still calls me Amma. He is like a son to me and he is one of my favorite directors of all time.
Friends from the industry
Shoba is my first friend from the industry. She is no more, but she is the first friend I got in the industry. And one of my dearest friends from industry is Sripriya. For a long time I thought I only considered her as my dearest friend but in an interview she said I am one of her friends too. I was rewatching the whole interview again and again, I was so happy I’m in one of her closest circles too.
Struggles of being in this industry for 40+ years?
I’ve been in the industry for 40+ years. Yes, I’ve struggled a lot. But in life you have to struggle to get where you want to be. Without struggles, your victories won’t be as sweet. So, whatever struggles I face, I welcome it and accept it. I don’t want to be the most popular or richest, I just want to be happy at the end of the day. I want to go to work, earn money and keep people around me happy. I just want to make my family, assistants, house helps happy and if the money I’m earning is helping them then that’s all I want.