Andrea Jeremiah, who’s done a slew of interesting projects in 2017, including Taramani, Thupparivaalan, and now, Aval, says it’s been a ‘strange year’. All the films have managed to captivate the fascination of filmgoers, particularly those who are fed up of routine fare. Excerpts from an interview with the candid actress:
2017 seems to have been fantastic for your career.
I’m grateful that Taramani got released after almost four years of waiting. I was thrilled to be a part of Thupparivaalan. And Aval too. I’m now shooting for Vada Chennai. Doing all these unique films excites me. What’s baffling though is that none of these films are ones I signed this year. In fact, I’ve signed nothing in 2017!
Aval’s done really well.
Because it really is a scary, horror film! Both Milind Rau and Sidharth were clear from day one that they would make a horror film without diluting it with other elements. The audience is introduced to this young couple, completely in love and happy, and then wham!
Are you a believer in the supernatural yourself?
I do, in fact, but thankfully, I’ve not had any such encounters (laughs). To be honest, I don’t think I’d survive one, considering I am too scared to sit through my own horror film!
You’d already tried horror with Aranmanai.
Yes, but that was a horror-comedy. Sunder C is, in fact, one of my favourite directors because he is a precise filmmaker who knows exactly what to give his audience. A lot of kids loved Aranmanai, but Aval is strictly for adults. It’s hard to compare the films.
You’d already shot a trilingual with Vishwaroopam. Aval being a trilingual mustn’t have come as a new challenge.
On both sets, we had to do each shot in both Hindi and Tamil. The context also often changes, the props are different. It’s twice the effort, twice the time. The challenge is more for the writer/director to create content that appeals across regions.
Do you reckon that Aval getting released in Hindi could get you a foothold in Bollywood?
Honestly, I have never gone to Mumbai and tried to get a film there. What saddens me is the plight of the Tamil industry because our producers and directors still seem to favour actresses who are not from Tamil Nadu. If I have to go to Bollywood to prove my worth before getting my due in my own industry, that’d be a crying shame.
It has been a while since you channelised the singer in you. Are your acting commitments coming in the way?
The answer is a lot simpler. People just don’t call me to record songs as often as they once did. Perhaps, they, like you, think I’m busy with acting commitments. I will always make time for music. Recently, I recorded a great Telugu track for Devi Sri Prasad and another lovely melody for a new composer.
With your filmography this year, are you worried people will think you’re interested only in offbeat films?
It’s important for any actor to strike the right balance between commercial and offbeat cinema. People love to stereotype. If they see me in just one offbeat film, they will decide that I am only interested in that kind of cinema! Why can’t I play a hero’s love interest too? Who decides I should only do strong female characters? I enjoyed doing Aranmanai as much as I did Taramani.
What’s the latest on Vishwaroopam 2?
Sorry, but I have no idea. Whenever the film does come out, I assure you it will be a massive film.