With her glam act in Odipolaama, which releases on Friday, Sandhya hopes that she will finally move away from her Kaadhal image.
Since her 2004 debut, the pretty lass has done a variety of roles in about 14 films in the South, but has struggled to wipe the image of the feisty rural girl from the public mind. “See, the film was a bench mark, and is my biggest hit. I'm hoping Odipolaama will help carve a different image.” Other than Odipolaama, she has three films lined up — Nootrukku Nooru and Irumbu Kottai Murattu Singam in Tamil and Haasini in Telugu.
Among the many characters she has played, Sandhya loves her role in Dishyum. “It was a mature role, very different from Kaadhal. I also like my character in Kannamoochi Yenada and Koodal Nagar.”
Do any of her characters come close to the real Sandhya? “Actually, I am a mix of all of them. I am non-glamorous at heart, a bit kiddish sometimes, but mature when selecting roles.”Her most challenging role so far? “Actually, no. Although each film has helped bring out the best in me, I am capable of more; I hope Odipolaama will bring to the fore yet another aspect of my acting.”
Jeeva is one of her favourite heroes. “He is talented and has a good knowledge of films. Conversing with him is intellectually stimulating, and he is jolly too. We used to have loads of fun on the sets of Dishyum.”
It helps that her ‘non-filmi' family is rock solid behind her. “Initially, my father was a bit apprehensive about my discontinuing education to take up Kaadhal role. But, my mother supported me. Today, both of them are happy at the way my career has progressed.” And, a strict fitness regimen has transformed her into the glam queen she is today.
There's space for all
Kaadhal won her the Filmfare award for Best Tamil actress. Today, at 21, she's a confident artiste, not under any pressure to fight for her space. “Competition keeps every one on their toes, but there are so many films being made and each of us will get our share. I don't clamour for any role; I take what comes my way and try and do justice to it.”
So, how does she rate herself in the industry? “I used to find it difficult to make friends. Now, I've understood that it is vital in this industry to socialise, attend parties and maintain cordial relations with everyone. And yes, for someone who couldn't remember dialogues in school plays, I have come a long way.”