KOCHI: Many were in a shock when they learned, a few years ago, that 'Paathu', the talkative smart Muslim housewife of 'M 80 Moosa', a popular television soap, had got married at the Sreekrishna Temple of Guruvayoor, where the entry is restricted to Hindus. However, soon their frowns turned to awe when they learned that the actress, identified closely with her Kozhikoodan Muslim character with her trademark colloquial Malayalam, was Surabhi Lakshmi in real life.
The 30-year-old actor, the native of Narikkuni, on the outskirts of Kozhikode, was first noticed for her stunning performance as the mother of two teenagers in the TV soap. She has nearly three dozen films to her credit.
“I am a small actor who played minor roles in some films. I could take this role to a higher level only with the support of my director, writer and co-actors, especially (co-actor) Krishan (Balakrishnan) who helped me in learning the dialect,” Surabhi told media persons in Salala, Oman, where she is on a visit. She had received a special mention for the same role in the State film awards too.
In her award-winning role, Surabhi portrays the challenges of a middle-aged widow and mother from a lower-income group. The role was reportedly rejected by many actors in view of being typecast.
“We came across her after seeing a still from the movie, 'Ayalum Njanum Thammil'. And when we narrated the character to her over the phone, her reply was very positive and she said she had come across such women in her daily life,” said Anil Thomas, director of 'Minnaminung'.
Six things you did not know about Surabhi Lakshmi:
- Surabhi came into limelight after winning the reality show "Best Actor" aired on a prominent Malayalam television channel.
- Her award-winning role in ‘Minnaminung- The Firefly' which brought the national award back to Malayalam film industry after a gap of 14 years, was Surabhi's first full-length role. She began her career in 2005 with a role in 'By the People' directed by Jayaraj.
- Surabhi had bagged the Kerala Sahitya Nataka Academy's best actress award in 2010 and 2016 for her role in ‘Yakshikathakalum Naattuvarthamanangalum'.
- She is the fifth Malayalam actress to bag the prestigious award. Previously, Sarada, Monisha, Shobhana and Meera Jasmine had won the award.
- She is a research scholar at Kalady Sree Sankara University, where she did her MA in Theatre arts.
- Surabhi is a first rank holder in BA Bharatha Natyam from the same Kalady Sree Sankara University.