Lakshmi Priyaa Chandramouli, recently seen in the teleserial Dharmayutham, is all excited about her debut as a heroine in Sutta Kadhai

Like many girls who love to act, Lakshmi Priyaa Chandramouli too acted in school dramas and joined the college theatre group. However, theatre took a back seat after graduation, until she joined the managerial side of the Evam theatre group. But the irony was she never got to act in their plays because of a tight work schedule.

So it was a surprise when she was approached by a filmmaker. LP, as she is fondly called, says, “I was at the ticket counter selling tickets for one of Evam’s shows when a director approached me, asking me to do a supporting role in his film, Mundhinam Paartheney. I took leave from work and went for the shoot. The ten-day exposure proved to be an eye-opener, familiarising me with all aspects of a movie shoot. But even then, I had no thoughts of switching profession.”

She also got to work with renowned director K. Balachander on one of his TV serials. “It was an honour to work under him and I enjoyed the shoot even though it was for a short period.”

In course of time, LP realised that acting was what she wanted to do. She went for several auditions and eventually quit her job to pursue her dream. LP, who got one of the lead roles in the teleserial Dharmayutham, recalls, “I quit my job when I was waiting for the results of Dharmayutham audition. It was a great learning experience, working with the cast and crew.”

However, it was a still a long struggle for the tall, talented girl who had to face a lot of ups and downs while auditioning for many banners in the industry. So, how did Sutta Kadhai come about? “Subbu, who makes his directorial debut with Sutta Kadhai, wanted a female lead who was athletic. I got an opportunity to meet Subbu through a friend and he felt I was best suited for the role,” says LP.

Offbeat role

What made her accept such an adventurous and offbeat role for her debut as a heroine in Kollywood? LP, who plays the role of a tribal girl clad in beads and earthy shawls, says, “The storyline of this dark comedy was different and I liked the script. I was part of the women’s cricket team at the national level and am active in the Chennai Ultimate Frisbee team. I enjoy adventure sports and was therefore game for playing the role of a tribal girl which required me to pull off some stunts.” The shooting took place in Kodaikanal over a period of one month. Talking about the experience, she says, “I enjoyed working with my co-actors Venkatesh and Balaji. Considering Subbu and Venkatesh were also debutants, we did not have any hang-ups and the atmosphere was cordial.” Ask her about the most memorable moment during the shoot, and she says, “There was a scene where I had to jump from one hillock to a rock that overlooked a valley. It was scary, but I was determined to do the shot myself.”

LP is looking forward to doing challenging roles in offbeat films. Who are her role models? “I loved Vidya Balan’s role in Kahaani. Nandita Das is one of my favourite actors as all the roles she has essayed have substance.”