Vineeth Sreenivasan’s ‘Malarvady Arts Club’ might not be a heroine-centric film. But not many of us would have forgotten the character Geethu. Malavika Wales, who made her debut on the silver screen with a handful of new faces in the film, is now three-films-old. The actor, who is also a classical dancer, shares with City Express her journey in tinseltown, upcoming projects, passion for dance, Tamil debut, civil services dreams and more.
‘Miss Kerala’ paved the way
It was indeed the ‘Miss Kerala’ contest in 2009 that was my stepping stone to the film industry. All of 16, I was the youngest contestant that year. It was only after I enrolled for the competition that I became aware of the huge platform it would put me into. I made it till the third round and was adjudged ‘Miss Beautiful Eyes’ at the contest. Later, Vineeth Sreenivasan saw my photos, auditioned me for ‘Malarvady’ and thus my debut happened.
The ‘Malarvady’ gang
All of us were new faces and it was fun being together. Director Vineeth made us all be at ease and got out good performances from us. He is not at all a demanding person and puts no pressure on his actors.
Being part of art films
Although ‘Malarvady’ was my first film that was released, I first acted in Lenin Rajendran’s ‘Makaramanju.’ As a Class VI student, I acted in his documentary, ‘Aisha.’ After ‘Makaramanju,’ I played Vineeth’s daughter in Kannan Perumudiyur’s ‘Aattakadha.’
Debut in Tamil
I play Anju, a college girl, in ‘Arasuvai Arasan’ and am paired with Vinay Dutta. The film also stars Karunas who plays a prominent role. The second schedule of the shooting will commence soon.
Passion for dance
I was initiated to dance as a six-year-old. I have been fortunate enough to learn under maestros such as Kalamandalam Kshemavathy and Kalamandalam Prasanna Unni. I’m a student of bharatanatyam, mohiniyattom and kuchipudi. My recent dance recital was at the Vadakkumnathan temple, Thrissur, last Sivarathri.
The ‘Wales’ connection
Many people have mistaken me either for an Anglo-Indian or a half-foreigner, thanks to my surname, Wales. In fact, director Kannan Perumudiyur approached me to play the Anglo-Indian character in ‘Aattakadha,’ thinking that I was Anglo! My father, P G Wales, a chartered accountant, has also had his share of funny experiences with his name.
Life at Anupam Kher’s institute
I headed to Anupam Kher’s institute for acting, Actor Prepares, soon after ‘Malarvady’ and completion of Plus II. I did a three-month diploma course in acting. The batch had about 40 students from different parts of India. I was the only student from Kerala in the class. Kher is an incredible teacher besides being a wonderful actor. His lectures and classes were an experience in itself. He shared with us his profound experiences in theatre and cinema. Besides, we were introduced to different dance forms — from salsa and Bollywood dance to dappankoothu!
We were also taught martial arts and the importance of yoga. Most of the students were good at Hindi but I wasn’t. But Kher ensured that it was not a stumbling block in developing my skills as an actor. We had more of theatre personalities from the National School of Drama taking classes Bollywood celebrities.
Coming up is ‘Innanu Aa Kalyanam, ’ a Rajasenan film. I play the heroine Neelima, a girl who has an extraordinary bonding with her father. The triangular love story also has Saranya Mohan, Rajith Menon and Roshan. The shooting is scheduled for July 10. On the dance front, I have a mohiniyattom recital at the Melpathoor auditorium on June 28.
Dance is my first love and I’d like to take it forward hand in hand with acting. I am an English literature student at IGNOU and it is my ambition to enter the Indian Civil Services.