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Updated: September 1, 2009 14:14 IST

Shining bright

MAITHRI SHRIKANT
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Asin talks about films, stardom, Onam and what keeps her ticking

“Whenever people say I’ve been a pioneer in Bollywood, I feel like I’ve stepped on the moon,” quips actor Asin Thottumkal. Her success story is nothing short of the stuff that makes fairy tales.

After a forgettable debut in Sathyan Anthikkad’s film “Narendran Makan Jayakanthan Vaka” in 2001, Asin took a break and resurfaced in Tollywood and then Kollywood where she soon became one of the top stars with some huge hits in both Telugu and Tamil.

In July 2008, Asin became the 10th cover girl of Vogue, since its launch in India, and the first South Indian actor to grace its glossy cover and then went on to make a splash in her Bollywood debut as Kalpana in the Hindi remake of Ghajini.

This Malayali girl is now going places in her career as a model and actor. Despite her starry career, this 24-year-old Scorpio is firmly grounded as she herself puts it in a mix of fluent, accent-less Malayalam and English: “I carry a piece of home wherever I go. It feels nice to represent an entire community and a State.”

She fondly recalls that at a cricketing event, Siddhu recognised her and referred to her as the ‘Malayali Asin’.

Speaking about her success formula, she attributes it to her parents who recognised and nurtured her talents. “My Dad, Joseph Thottumkal, is my pillar of strength and my mom, Seline, my angel. They have supported my career. My mom, a civil surgeon, has taken voluntary retirement to accompany me for shoots and dad manages my career,” explains Asin.

Ask her about the solitaire she recently received from one of her fans and the chirpy lass is all embarrassment. She quickly adds: “It’s a way of expressing people’s love and I’m overwhelmed by the love and affection behind it. Human beings, after food, shelter, and clothing, want love and people have different ways of expressing it.”

Asin is involved in numerous causes and organisations that work for mentally disabled, orphans, cancer patients, AIDS… and others.

As a Chera princess

Her latest project London Dreams, (directed by Vipul Shah) and various brand endorsements keep her shuttling between States. Recently, she had undergone initial training in Kalaripayattu for a new venture, Bharat Bala’s The 19th Step, in which she dons the role of a Chera princess.

“You get the real impact of your reach when you are amongst the audience; it motivates you to go higher, even if it means getting modestly mobbed. Otherwise stardom is nothing but a bubble.”

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