For someone who is just three films old, Kollywood’s latest entrant, Vinodhini, already has an impressive list of films on hand.
The actor, who got noticed for her debut in AR Murgadoss’s production Engeyum Eppodhum as Ananya’s sister, bagged a fisherwoman’s role in Mani Ratnam’s Kadal. Her third film, Yamuna, has won her accolades for her portrayal of a middle-aged woman who lures girls into the flesh trade. A theatre artist, who forayed into films quite by chance, Vinodhini, is enjoying her stint in the celluloid world.
The MBA graduate quit her lucrative corporate career to pursue theatre full time with Koothu-p-pattarai and Theatre Nisha. “I come from a family of engineers and so my parents were very upset with my decision!” recalls Vinodhini. But she stuck to her guns and honed her skills with the theatre groups while also writing, directing and acting in her own plays. Films were the last thing on her mind but fate had other things in store. “Engeyum Eppodhum director Saravanan had come to watch my solo theatre performance and immediately asked me to audition for his film. It was totally unexpected!” says Vinodhini with a laugh. And she hasn’t looked back since. “I didn’t realise the actual impact of being part of a hit film until Kadal came to me. I was amazed to get a call from Mani Ratnam, who offered me a role. It was a big highlight when he said he enjoyed watching my character!” says Vinodhini.
Currently, Vinodhini plays a police inspector in Varutha padatha Valibar Sangam, while she’s a middle class housewife in Om Shanti Om. In Sivappu, she’s a Sri Lankan refugee. She recently shot with Vijay and Kajal Aggarwal for Jilla, where she plays a lower middle class woman. She’s thrilled with her meaty role in Karthik Subburaj’s Jigarthanda. She recalls with awe the oodles of learning that happened while shooting for Balu Mahendra’s Thalaimuraigal recently. “It was a complete eye -opener and window to a different world of filmmaking,” she reveals.
When she’s not shooting, the indefatigable Vinodhini conducts theatre training workshops for corporates and educational institutions, to stay in touch with her craft. So will it be films or theatre in future? “I am basically an actor, and feel the happiest while acting. So, be it theatre or cinema, I will keep a fine balance between both worlds!” she concludes.