In an industry that’s often criticised and even trolled for having heroines who can’t speak the local language, it’s quite a welcome change to talk with Aathmika, the heroine of this Friday’s release Meesaya Murukku who calls herself a “pucca Chennai ponnu”.
“I love reading Tamil books and that’s helped develop my interest in the language,” says Aathmika, who shot to the limelight with her ads and short films. “I was interested in dancing and singing, but many urged me to try acting. In order to give it a shot, and to shrug off the fear of being in front of the camera, I did some ads and worked on a few short films.
When I landed a role in Rajiv Menon’s short film, I got the confidence that I was doing something right. That’s when I started taking acting seriously.”
The actress says she landed her role in Meesaya Murukku after Hip Hop Tamizha Aadhi saw her profile online, and called her in for an audition. The film marks both the acting and directorial debut of Aadhi. “The film talks about friendship, father-son bonding, a guy reaching for his dreams and of course, love,” says Aathmika.
“I play a character that any girl can connect to. She’s subtle, polite and charming.”
Aathmika isn’t a believer of preparing for a role. “I strongly believe that acting is something that comes naturally. Everyone has their own methods. If I do homework, I might try to imitate, which I’m not comfortable with. Aadhi told me to be myself and react to scenes the way I normally would.”
About her director and co-star Aadhi, she says, “When you meet someone who’s equally passionate about films, it’s a pleasure working with them. I didn’t have any discomfort even though this is his debut as a director and actor.” The actress, who is happy with the promotions for the film and with being recognised by the public, says, “All the positive reception is overwhelming. It helps me understand the reach of the film, and I’m happy to see our hard work paying off.”
She also says that being part of a young cast and crew meant that everyone was eager to prove themselves.
“But that didn’t stop us from having fun on the sets. It was a party on the sets almost,” she says.
Aathmika is in no hurry to sign new films. “This film itself has been quite a long journey. I just want to chill for a while. I did get new roles, but I want to see the reception Meesaya Murukku gets before deciding.”