Muthumani talks about her role in Kadal Kadannu Oru Mathukutty and her journey in Mollywood

She has never been a busy actor. In fact, her portfolio has exactly five films and in some of them she didn’t even have much to do. Yet, Muthumani has shared screen space with the big stars of Mollywood such as Mohanlal in Rasathanthram and Innathe Chinthavishayam, Dileep (in a song sequence in Vinodayatra) and Prithviraj in Manikyakallu. She was also seen in Annayum Rasoolum and Anchu Sundarikal. And now the actress has got a plum role in Ranjith’s Kadal Kadannu Oru Mathukutty, in which she plays Mammootty’s character’s wife, Jansy/Jansamma.

Muthumani says. “She is a nurse, hailing from Thiruvalla, working in Germany, who, after her marriage to Mathukutty, takes him also to Germany. This role is very different from what I have done so far. Jansy is headstrong, bold, tough and practical,” says the artiste. She has no clue about how the role landed in her kitty.

The experience has been great, she says. “We had a day’s shoot in Kerala – Jansy’s marriage with Mathukutty. The rest of the shoot was in Germany. I was a bit tense in the beginning, because I was acting with Mammootty for the first time. But he turned out to be very different from what I had thought about him. He is a warm and jovial person who kept updating us about the latest technology. I was overwhelmed when I saw him performing in front of the camera. I used to stand there watching him in awe as any fan would do!,” she says.

Muthumani’s ticket to Mollywood was the laurels she won on stage. “I have been closely associated with theatre from my school days, thanks to my parents, S. Somasundaran and Sherly Somasundaran, both teachers. My father is no more now, but he was the one who actually inspired me and my sister Ponnumani to turn to arts. My mother, also an actor, is more into writing plays for children,” she says.

During her school days at St Mary’s Convent Girls High School, Ernakulam, she was part of the drama troupe that won prizes at the school youth festivals. “One of our trainers was Anwar Rasheed. Even in those plays, I used to play character roles and was appreciated. Later on, I became active with theatre groups in Kochi. It was while doing my Plus Two that I travelled to Greece for the Ancient Greek Theatre Festival with Lokadharmi troupe. The play was Medea, based on the Greek character. It was quite a challenge for a 15-year-old like me to play a 35-year-old mother of two, but the effort was worth it. I was also part of Celebrations, a students only theatre group. It was for their play Mukkanji that I won the best actress at the Theatre Olympiad held in Orissa. That honour eventually got me the role in Sathyan Anthikkad’s Rasathanthram.”

In the meantime, Muthumani became a lawyer and was working in the audit and HR wing of a private bank for five years. Married to Arun P.R., Muthumani is now focussed on Prerana, her lifeskill training centre, which “gives need-based training for students, teachers and corporates. I rely on theatre a lot to give the training.”