On cloud nine

Even as her Malayalam film Mallu Singh completes 100 days, Rupa Manjari is upbeat about Vijay Antony’s Naan which is doing well in the theatre circuit. “Mallu Singh is Kunchacko Boban’s 50th film and I’m happy it’s been declared a hit. I am excited Naan is also doing well; I am looking forward to Sivappu directed by Sathish Siva (Kazhugu). Contrary to the urban-oriented roles I have done so far, Sivappu will see me play a rustic character. I am keen to play a variety of roles to avoid stereotyping,” says Rupa, who celebrated her birthday on August 19.

Acting, a passion

He was first seen as one of the four main characters in Samuthirakani’s Nadodigal. A marine engineer-turned-actor, who underwent extensive training in histrionics and voice modulation, Karna has been signed by first-time director Guhan Sampath to play one of the three heroes in his upcoming flick, Dharani. “I had always dreamt of becoming an actor. But, due to family commitments, I worked as a marine engineer for five years before deciding to pursue my passion. My character in Dharani is called Kathir and the story is based on Robert Frost’s poem, ‘The Road Not Taken.’ I play an unemployed youth who loses his girl,” says Karna, who is also playing the lead in director J. P. Alagar’s (Sudesi) Pramugar. “I’d love to do any challenging role as long as it adds value to the story. I am also not against playing negative roles.”

Gain after pain

His story is similar to that of many wannabes in the industry. But, single-mindedness and a never-say-die attitude saw G. Chandrasekar complete his first feature film, Ivan Yaroo, after several missed opportunities. Having worked in Hindi and Tamil productions in various capacities — cinematography, script-writing, editing and direction under stalwarts such as D. K. Nishankar, Damodar Naidu, Yuhi Sethu and editor Shankar — Chandrasekar finally found a willing producer for Ivan Yaroo. “A psychological suspense thriller, the story of Ivan Yaroo is about two friends, who turn against each other due to the opportunism of one and the gullibility of the other,” says Chandrasekar. He adds, “I have gone through the grind in this industry for over 20 years. On days when I was unemployed, I have driven buses and taxis for survival. I have acted in a few films — even done a small role in Mani Ratnam’s Bombay. But, never have I given up the hope of making it big one day. I tell myself, hard work and honesty will always prevail.” e-books for kids

Coming to the limelight as ‘Pop’ Shalini, she has been a constant on the playback and live concert circuits for many years with more than 600 songs to her credit. Shalini Singh has also been part of a few episodes of the Super Singer reality show on Star Vijay. Now, she is experimenting with something totally new: “Considering my educational background in English literature and my writer-mother’s influence on me, I am working towards launching a series of e-books for children. Of course, my playback singing continues,” says Shalini. Her songs in 7-aam Arivu, the Tamil and Telugu versions of Ra One and Force in Hindi (for Harris Jayaraj) are some of her recent achievements. “I am working on a multi-lingual non-film fusion album,” signs off Shalini.

Keywords: Kollywood