Disha Pandey of ‘Thamizh Padam’ fame is back in Chennai. The actress, who has been here for about a week now, is happy with the recognition she has been receiving for her role in the film.
“It feels good to be remembered this way. I met director CS Amudhan (director of ‘Thamizh Padam’), but could not meet Shiva because he is busy playing CCL,” she says. Explaining how she entered films, Disha says, “I won the Miss North India title in 2008 and chose to take to acting. I have done modelling for commercials like Prince Jewellery and Amul Lassi.” Disha has stayed in hostels for most of her life and Delhi is where she has admittedly “experienced it all.”
Her family, to whom she is very attached, lives in Rajasthan. “My dad is a gazette officer with the education department, my mom is the MD with Hindustan Copper Limited,” she says, adding that she has one older sister and a younger brother.
Having done three films so far — ‘Bolo Ram’ (Hindi), ‘Thamizh Padam’ (Tamil) and ‘Moksha’ (Telugu), which is due for release soon, what kept her away from cinema for a year? “My education,” she says. “I was in class 12 when I entered films but was advised to pursue my degree before I continued acting. I just finished my first year BA in Human Rights.”
Despite choosing biology with mathematics in class 12, Disha decided to pursue arts to be able to complete her degree with ease. But won’t her studies be affected now that she is back on celluloid? “I know that it is a challenge to balance education and shooting schedules, but I will finish my degree at any cost,” says the determined actress. Disha is in Chennai for listening to scripts. “I have finalised two films in Tamil and am also signing a Telugu film soon. Soon, I will sign another Hindi film.”
She is reluctant to reveal their names because nothing is finalised yet. “But they are different banners and production houses,” she says. How familiar is she now with Tamil? “I definitely prefer Tamil to Telugu. I find a certain similarity in Telugu and Hindi when I speak. When I came to Chennai for the shoot, I did not know the language at all. But interacting with the crew helped me speak the language better.”
Disha attributes her success in learning the language to the handy Learn-Tamil-in-Four-Weeks guide, but clarifies that she can’t yet dub in Tamil for herself.
Disha believes that heroines do add glamour to films. “But when I sign a project, I sign it after learning how important my role in the film is,” she says. “I have just begun my journey in filmdom. As I proceed I will pay more attention to characterization.”