Actor Aparna Gopinath believes that her no frills attitude to stardom has worked to her advantage.

Aparna Gopinath is an actor with a difference. She wears her hair short and uses no make-up for the photo-shoot. “I am here to act, and not to be a glamorous diva,” declares Aparna, the actress who is sitting pretty with some plum roles in her kitty.

She has just completed the shooting for Munnariyippu and is getting ready to fly back to Chennai, her hometown. “I consider myself lucky that I bagged the role of Anjali in Munnariyippu. I am there in more than 80 per cent of the film. It’s an author-backed role,” she says.

Aparna adds that it was not an easy role. “I have so many dialogues, more than all my previous roles in films put together! I am a Malayali but since I was born and brought up in Chennai, I am not very comfortable with Malayalam. So I have had to work hard for this film, as I had to mug up all my dialogues. You could always spot me with the pages of the script on the set of Munnariyippu,” she says, with a smile.

Mammootty plays the male lead in the film. “I loved him in Thalapathi, one of my favourite films. I hadn’t seen many Malayalam movies before I joined cinema. It was nice to work with him.”

She had acted with Dulquer Salmaan in ABCD and had met Mammootty as Dulquer’s father. She was not keen to act in ABCD, though. In fact, she says she never wanted to act in films in the first place. “It was Naveen Bhaskar, one of the scriptwriters of ABCD who suggested my name to director Martin Prakkat. I agreed to act after much persuasion from my friends and family,” she says.

Aparna has memorable experiences about ABCD – and not just as an actor. “I was also an assistant director during the film’s schedule in the United States. That was a lot of fun; while watching the film, I was more interested in those sequences than in the ones I acted in,” she adds. The youngster has also acted in Bicycle Thieves, playing a coy girl in love.

Right now, though, she is pretty excited about her role in Gangster, which is releasing today. “It’s a cameo but a great role nonetheless. This is the first time that I have dubbed for my character. Since I talk Malayalam with an Anglicised accent, it wasn’t that difficult to pull off,” she says.

She was active in English theatre in Chennai. “I have been acting from my school days. I love theatre. I have enjoyed doing plays such as ‘Six Characters in Search of an Author’ and working with troupes like Koothu-P-Pattarai. I don’t know when I would be able to do theatre again since I may not able to find sufficient time because of my commitments in cinema,” she says.