Late 2019, actor Kashmira Pardeshi was basking in the success of her debut Tamil film, Sivappu Manjal Pachai. Her role was noticed and she was gearing up to step into the next phase of her career. Then… the pandemic struck. “It was frustrating to say the least. But it was a big break that allowed me to prepare myself as an actor. I used to pray god that I get a nice likeminded team just like Sivappu Manjal Pachai. One fine evening, director Aswin Raam reached out and narrated the wonderful script of Anbarivu, and when I knew Sathya Jyothi films was backing it, I knew I had to be in the project,” says Kashmira.
The actor plays a Madurai-based doctor in the film and spoke about getting into the skin of such a character. “Playing a Madurai-based character automatically brings with it a certain swag. In fact, Aswin liked me getting that attitude right in the look test,” says Kashmira, adding, “Tamil is anyway a new language, and since I had to speak a different dialect, I asked for voice notes and learnt it.”
This attention to detail came to much help considering Karishma shared screenspace with veteran actors like Napoleon, Sai Kumar, and Asha Sharath. “I was scared initially during the first schedule in Pollachi. I had scenes with Napoleon sir, Asha ma’am, Saikumar sir, and contrary to what I had in mind, the whole environment was so playful. Right from the time Napoleon sir gave me a warm welcoming hug, I felt positive vibes from Anbarivu. Aadhi was so full of life, and that is contagious. Everyone was a senior to me on set, and it was interesting to see how Aswin got the best from the artistes,” says Kashmira.
Unlike Sivappu Manjal Pachai, Kashmira’s sophomore Tamil film scores high on the scale of flamboyance and festivities. “While Sivappu Manjal Pachai was a simple, beautiful story with intricate details and performances, Anbarivu was more of a joyful experience. There is space for every character in the film, and even the romantic dynamic between Aadhi and me has been handled maturely,” says Kashmira, who is very clear with the kind of roles she wants to play in her films. Expressing a clear distaste to roles that only require her to be an arm candy of sorts, Kashmira says, “I do love to dance. I am a trained Kathak dancer. But right now, I want to do feel-good roles that elevates your mood. Of course, I don’t want to get monotonous but I won’t be doing roles that I personally don’t enjoy seeing.”
Considering Kashmira is trying to make a mark in multiple film industries at a time, what are the kind of filters she has in mind while green-lighting a script. “I see how the story feels for me, and if my instincts feel right, I go for it. I do have a set of rules about how I’d like to be presented, but once I get into the film, I trust the team. Working in Tamil, Telugu, or Kannada has been very enriching so far. Seeing so many cultures, and being able to replicate it on screen is probably one of my favourite perks of being an actor.”
With Anbarivu, Kashmira also makes her foray into the OTT space, and it is a medium that she is ready to embrace with full fervour. “It is exciting for sure and there is a wider audience in play. We do still have a mindblock about OTT, but the fact that Anbarivu was acquired by Disney + Hotstar shows that there is a demand for the film. While I do miss the theatre vibe, this does reiterate our belief in Anbarivu, and, in a way, we know that people will have a good time watching our film.”