Ivana, the class twelve student who has made a powerful Tamil debut in Bala’s Naachiyaar as Arasi, says the character is nothing like her. “For one, I talk a lot,” she cautions, as the interview begins. It hasn’t yet sunk in for her that she has made her Tamil debut in a Bala film. “Ivlo attention irukkum nu edhir paarkala. I am a bit nervous actually because I have my board exams next month,” she says. “Be it friends or family, everyone has been quite supportive. Notes are shared on WhatsApp, and I have even been allowed additional coaching classes from my teachers.”
Ivana has already done three films in Malayalam — Masters, Rani Padmini and Anuraga Karikkin Vellam. “There was a write-up about me, and Bala sir found it online. That’s how I was approached for Naachiyaar. My parents listened to the script, and gave me the confidence to take up the opportunity,” she says.
The young actor admits she was a bit apprehensive when Bala said her character would be pregnant in the film. “Most heroines dream of glamorous roles and wearing nice costumes, but I was asked to wear a simple paavadai and shirt. I am not complaining though, and I did everything I could do for the role. It was rather difficult to walk around with an artificially padded pregnant belly,” she says.
After Naachiyaar, Ivana wants to do more performance-oriented roles. “I am open to doing both Tamil and Malayalam films, but Tamil will be my priority,” she says. Bala, she says, is a disciplinarian. “He doesn’t get satisfied with scenes easily, and wants everything to be perfect. At the same time, he’s caring too. I was amazed by his determination on the sets. He teaches his actors how to act, and it’s better for us if we listen to him. Konjam bayama irundudhu, but I relaxed with time.”
Ivana feels her Tamil is also much better now. “I had an RJ train me in the language. I used to get the dialogues the previous day and rehearse. Acting is more about being expressive, reacting and emoting. I can manage Tamil now,” she smiles.
She’s all praise for Jyotika and her other co-star, GV Prakash. “I am a huge fan of Jyotika ma’am since her Kushi days. When I was required to cry in a scene, she helped me out. That’s a nice thing about her. Prakash helped me translate my dialogues into English. He was very helpful too,” she says.
Ivana still wants to become a Chartered Accountant, but she says she also wants to continue to act and become like “Nayanthara or Nazriya.”