She used to be the typical girl-next-door - longhaired, slightly roly-poly and brimming with that well-worn Keralite charm. She was confined to the six-yards for long, even more than a decade since her entry into the tinseltown. Remya Nambeesan shed her demure image first time for ‘Traffic’ and now, with ‘Chappa Kurishu’ the actor has finally arrived. “The feedback has been amazing. Almost all the industry people called up to convey their appreciation and I feel finally I am getting my due,” she says.
Remya agrees that it took some nerves to accept the sultry role in ‘Chappa Kurishu’ and do the first ever on-screen smooch in Mollywood. “I was doing a smooch scene for the first time and was a bundle of nerves. But I was ready to accept whatever comes out of it, be it stones or roses. My only tension was if I would be able to do complete justice to the character,” she says.
Remya says that since the intimate and intense scenes in ‘Chappa Kurishu’ were not fitted in to add oomph quotient, she was not bothered about any sort of criticism. “The smooch scene was not included for masala. It’s an integral part of the narrative, something essential for the progression of the plot. While briefing me on the scene the director had assured me that it will be shot sensibly and aesthetically. He also promised that he will never make me regret for doing that.” Remya adds that she is grateful for the fact that the makers of the film never used the clipping to boost their marketing strategy. “They never tried to highlight the scene in promos or use it in posters. They could have publicized it to promote the film, but they never did,” she says.
The actor says she feels Malayalam cinema is going through a brand new phase with the wind of change blowing strong. “I am so happy that I played key roles in ‘Traffic’ and ‘Chappa Kurishu’, two most celebrated releases in Malayalam recently. I think we are opening up to fresh and experimental films delving into and exploring new sensibilities. The way ‘’Salt n Pepper’ is accepted is a clear indicator of the new trend. Though there has been mixed responses, ‘Chappa Kurishu’ is well accepted too,” she says.
Remya says she didn’t think twice before taking up Shweta, the stylish seductress in ‘Traffic’. “I knew it was an edgy character with shades of gray. For me what counts is the scope of the character. There is no point in playing the hero’s romantic interest when all you have to do is dress up like a doll and appear in a couple of duets. In ‘Traffic’ my screen time was limited, but the impact my character creates is tremendous,” she says.
She agrees that she made a mistake by doing a string of sari-clad stereotypes post ‘Ananchnadam’, her first full-length lead role in 2006. After that she went on to play a number of goody-goody rural girls the only break being ‘Chocolate’ in which she played the heroine’s sidekick. “At that time I was totally unaware of the dynamics of the industry and most of my choices had been blunders. Then I realized my mistake and started an intense self grooming,” she says.
Remya says she went for a complete image makeover prior to ‘Traffic’. “The makers of ‘Traffic’ were taking a risk by offering me an urban and sensuous role. So I tried not to fail them and started working out with vengeance as I badly wanted to break free from my coy and homely image,” she says. She adds that hitting the gym on a daily basis and sticking to a protein diet has now become her daily routine. Her efforts paid off well when she created a rage with her svelte figure and sexy curls in ‘Chappa Kurishu’. “Now I have a personal trainer and I take extra care while selecting my costumes, make-up and hairstyle. I used to stick to straight hair for long, but now I ask my stylist for curls as they are considered more cool and urban,” she says.
Remya says though she started off in Malayalam it was Tamil and Telugu industries that accepted her first. “Obviously I am more at home doing Malayalam films. But it was the other languages that offered me more chances and recognised me as an artist first. The experience there was very motivating, filling you with a spirit to work hard and flourish,” she says.
The pretty actor says her kitty is full as of now with two Telugu projects and a couple of unannounced Malayalam films. “My immediate project in Malayalam is ‘Pigman’ with Jayasurya. In August I am going for a US trip and I want to concentrate more on Malayalam after returning.” Remya says that being the glam-queen was never her priority and if offered a solid role she has no qualms going back to her village belle mode. “I want to be a versatile actor, capable of handling both the extremes,” she says.