Mamta Mohandas, the girl who changed the concept of the big-eyed, long-haired and coy Malayali heroine, goes candid in a freewheeling chat.
Post problems pertaining to the ‘hold over’ issue and delayed releases, three ‘M’s competed with each other at the box office - Mammootty with ‘Pokkiriraja’ , Mohanlal with ‘Alexander the Great’ and a deglamourised Mamta Mohandas with ‘Katha Thudarunnu’ .
“It was indeed a challenge to carry on my shoulders a heroine-centric film and compete with two of the biggest superstars in the industry,” says Mamta Mohandas as she basks in the appreciation coming her way for playing Vidyalakshmi in Sathyan Anthikkad ’s 50th directorial venture.
Excerpts from an interview.
When Vidyalakshmi came calling
Many young heroines wouldn’t have taken up the role of Vidyalakshmi who is the mother of a school goer. Taking up the role is just another bold step in my career. That I had to play a mom became irrelevant when I heard the script and understood the depth of Vidyalakshmi’s character. The hurdles that the single parent has to overcome forms the crux of the story. Many sub-plots unveil through her life.
Working with Sathyan Anthikkad
I didn’t have to think twice to work with him! ‘Katha Thudarunnu’ subtly addresses issues relevant in the present scenario. The specialty of his films is that there’s no forced comedy.
From hot to homely
You’ll see a new me in Vidyalakshmi. I’ve consciously broken away from my image in the mind of the audience. No director has tried to break that image and I’m glad Sathyan Anthikkad did it.
I was five kg overweight when the film came my way. I decided not to reduce so that I’ll look really different.
Jayaram and I
This is the second time I’m acting with Jayaram after ‘Madhuchandralekha' . Call it coincidence, we have not been paired with each other in this film either. It’s great working with an actor like him.
Amal Neerad’s ‘Anwar' . I play a Muslim girl in the film that gives the message not all Muslims are terrorists. This is Amal’s third film and my second with him after ‘Big B'. I’ve also rendered a song with Prithviraj who plays the protagonist in the film. Music director Gopi Sunder has ensured that the song, ‘Njan’, has all the ingredients to make it a hit.
Tamil actor Prakash Raj has a prominent role in the film. ‘Anwar’ is scheduled for a July release. Then there is Deepan’s (of ‘Puthiya Mukham’ fame) ‘Singaravelan’ with me and Prithviraj in the lead. In Tamil, I’m now shooting for director Amir’s ‘Aadi Bhagavan’ opposite Jayam Ravi.
Prithviraj? He’s hot!
Prithviraj is one of the hottest youngsters we have in the industry now. He’s great to work with. He has groomed himself so well over the years. His confidence is impressive.
I am on Facebook and Twitter. My Facebook account has over 5000 pending requests that no one is able to even send me a friend request! While my Facebook account is mostly for friends and acquaintances, I’m on Twitter for my fans. I’m hoping to start a blog soon.
The comfort factor
Language doesn’t matter as long as the script offers me something exciting.
Although I’m into Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu films, I’m more comfortable in the Telugu industry. They treat a newcomer like a princess. But working in ‘Katha Thudarunnu’ gave me such a feel, all thanks to Sathyan Anthikkad and the crew.
Yes. There have been a few offers but I haven’ t come across anything irresistible.