Ananya is focussed on her destination in tinselville
A hit takes one ahead in the worlds of archery and movies. Or ask Ananya. She has been a State champion in archery before becoming an actor. After Positive and Rahasya Police in Malayalam, it was the Tamil film Nadodigal that catapulted her to new heights. Mohanlal's character is her ‘Papa' in Shikkaar, the shooting of which is going on now, and she is also looking forward to the release of her next Tamil film, Seedan, which has Dhanush in the lead.
In fact she had adopted the name Ananya, “as my original name Ayilya was not too familiar in Tamil according to some and also, due to numerological reasons. In between I had considered another name Niveda, but then decided to go for Ananya, which was suggested by my father,” says the actor.
She had received the offer to act in Positive after being spotted in a reality show. Though the film didn't set the cash registers ringing in a big way, Ananya's photos reached the Nadodigal team and she was penciled in to play the bubbly character called Nallamma.
“I don't know why, but I have always been approached for serious roles and even on that count, Nallamma was a welcome difference from all that. People still call me Nallamma, especially when I go to Tamil Nadu and I love it,” she smiles.
Rahasya Police, her next release in Malayalam, had her in a rather brief role. “I never felt that way. I got a chance to work with leading people in the Malayalam film industry such as Jayaram, K. Madhu and S.N. Swami. In addition, my role in the film had some interesting shades as well,” says Ananya.
She agrees that post-Nadodigal, she is being offered more meaningful roles like the one in Shikkaar, directed by M. Padmakumar. “My character is called Ganga and she is brilliant in academics. She is all set to join medicine and that is when the story happens. She is actually the daughter of Mohanlal's elder brother in the film. But after the death of her parents, she has been brought up by Balaraman (Mohanlal), whom she calls ‘Papa.”'
Ananya says she was really tense when she started acting with Mohanlal, “but he made me feel at ease and I feel fortunate to have shared the screen with the genius.” She has also completed a Telugu film, Amayakadu, with Krishnudu playing the hero.
Seedan will have her playing a maid who takes care of everything in a household. “I am not supposed to talk anything about the storyline. All I can say is that during these days when it is tough for female actors to get much prominence on screen, it is indeed heartening to get such a fabulous role,” says she.
She has shifted her focus from archery, as it requires more than five hours of practice every day, which is difficult for her right now. “I have become more serious about my career as an actor, perhaps after Nadodigal. Of course, I always find it confusing at times to select the right movies from the offers that I get. But then I believe that it's a part of the learning process,” says Ananya.