Putting on a fabulous white frock with red flowers, a pretty eight-year-old girl with a sparkling smile was striking poses to the winking camera. It was an advertisement for a jewellery maker in 1992. In the making was Pooja Ramachandran, a would-be model, future face of SS Music and an astounding actress.
After a stint as a VJ at SS Music, Pooja started acting. She has been doing different roles in Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu films. In Telugu movie Devi Sri Prasad, a crime thriller that was released in 2017, she played the female lead—a role that brought her tremendous appreciation.
Though she says she is yet to get the break that her work deserves, her plate is full. Excited about her upcoming Andhaghaaram, she says, “In this Tamil movie, I am playing the role of a teacher for the blind and have a special connection with one of the students. I have dubbed in Tamil for the first time. I must say director Vignarajan is an amazing filmmaker.”
On the camera connect, she says, “Camera has been my constant companion and has a hypnotic effect on me. Also, I have always been a drama queen. The sound of click clack, click clack became my heartthrob when I lent my face to the lens for an advertisement. My first film, Tamil romcom Kadhalil Sodhappuvadhu Yeppadi, and its Telugu version Love Failure thrilled me to thrive on acting as I loved what transpired between ‘Start, Camera, and Action!’.” Her inclination towards camera has crept into her house also. “My younger sister and I would dance to perky numbers and video them; we never show them to the world, of course.”
The Pizza fame actress always takes up characters with a space to perform and scope to standout and set the story in motion. “I don’t want to be just a prop or a photo frame. The films that had come of late affirm that non-actors are great at bringing depth, authenticity, and realism with raw emotions whereas an actor would watch and copy from other films, which makes them clichéd. An actor can enhance the performance with their craft, so, I always pick diverse roles and try to render them well,” says Pooja, whose Telugu movie Inthalo Ennenni Vinthalo is also set to hit theatres in 2018.
“I have always been a tomboy,” says Pooja, who is an ardent swimmer, a badminton champ, a brown belt in Karate, and a trained kick boxer. The Telugu blockbuster Swamy Ra Ra saw Pooja bringing boisterous spirit throughout her role as Bhanu. When Pooja is not filming, she can be found globetrotting. “I am going to do a travel show with a twist on YouTube. It’s my dream job. We will begin from Africa by the end of February.”