Strikingly pretty and full of poise — that’s Keerthy Suresh for you! Daughter of yesteryear actor Menaka and producer Suresh, Keerthy, who began her acting stint as a child artiste in the Malayalam film Pilots (2000), is now the the quintessential girl-next-door in Tamil films. At a time where import of heroines from Mumbai has become fashionable in the Tamil film industry, here’s a heroine who’s equally comfortable in both Tamil and Malayalam.
As her recent release Remo is running to the packed theatres, she’s cheerful. “I have always wanted to be an artiste; if not a heroine — at least a designer. But somehow since my childhood, I had this spark to be here (in tinsel town), which is why I pursued fashion designing,” she tells CE.
How was it pairing up with Sivakarthikeyan after the success of Rajini Murugan? “I have been getting responses on social media that our chemistry is quite good. The audience likes to seeing us together onscreen,” she adds.
Keerthy is open to working with different directors, including newbies. “There’s something different about each of them. Take Prabhu Solomon’s Thodari for instance. The movie got mixed reviews, but I enjoyed doing the film. The character I played (Saroja) is close to my heart because of the innocence factor,” she observes.
Keerthy is nervous before every release but she stays calm. She says, “I have to admit that I am content with my career. At the same time, I am more selective when it comes to scripts and I feel responsible about the choices I make. That’s why I don’t take too many projects at a time. I keep my parents informed about what I am doing. My mom is thrilled to see my films when they hit the screens.”
Unlike other southern actresses, she is being lauded for her proficiency in speaking Tamil. “I have no issues managing Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam cinema. Initially, I thought it would be difficult, but I am finding it relatively easy. I think when you know Tamil well, you can manage any southern language,” she says.
How about Hindi? She breaks into her sweet smile. “I know Hindi, but I have my own grammar.”
We can’t help, but ask about the Vijay-starrer Bairavaa. “He’s an amazing human being and it took some time for me to push the fan-girl in me aside and bring out the performer. I couldn’t see him as my colleague. Though I play a college girl, director Bharathan has given a different colour to my character,” she chuckles.
Though her entry to cinema was easy, she’s concerned about sustaining, which matters the most. “I am not really a planner. Until I did Ring Master (2014) in Malayalam, I never realised acting was more than a hobby. I played a visually-challenging girl in that. When I sign a film, what matters to me is the story, team, my character and then my screen space,” she quickly adds.
Is she okay with glamorous roles, we ask, to which she responds, “I can never imagine myself that way, because I am not interested in skin-show. Those kinds of roles are beyond my comfort zone.”
The Idhu Enna Maayam (2015) actor wants to do movies on the lines of Kangna Ranaut’s Queen (2013). Speaking of favourites, she likes Suriya, Ritika Singh (of Irudhi Suttru fame), and Sridivya. And why is she not designing costumes for her movies? “Acting takes all my time. With exciting roles that come my way, I cannot think about designing now,” she says.