Kaniha plays a Devadasi in Orissa
Kaniha is a multi-tasker who juggles movies, marriage and motherhood with enviable ease. On Friday, the engineer-turned-model-turned-actor appears as a Devadasi in M. Padmakumar’s film Orissa.
She has escaped being stereotyped in Mollywood and has essayed diverse roles in all her films that usually featured superstars in Malayalam.
“This film is different from my previous ones. For one, there are no superstars in it. It has a young cast with Unni Mukundan and debutante Sanika Nambiar in the lead. Secondly, it is based on a real story. Orissa is a woman-oriented movie that is set in a feudal background. At this point in my career, I want to do characters who make a difference to the script. For instance, my character in Orissa, is not the heroine in the film, she has a crucial role that is vital to the narrative,” says Kaniha.
Kaniha has always been different from many actors of Mollywood. While many of them took a break from cinema post marriage, Kaniha continued working during her stints in India. Soon there were many stars following in her footsteps. Gopika, Swetha and Mamta are some of the actors who continued working even after their marriage making it clear that matrimony did not mean the end of their career.
She adds that she had always wanted to work with Padmakumar whose films are not the run-of-the-mill films that have a masala of romance, action, comedy and songs in different proportions. “His films are realistic and focus on real people,” she says.
Kaniha took it as a challenge to learn Oriya and even sing in that language. She says it was an entirely different experience to work in the film that was shot in Cuttack in Orissa, Mysore and Gundalpet in Karnataka.
The actor admits that it would have been difficult to do such films if she had been in the United States as the shooting involved a fair amount of travelling too. As of now, she is busy reading scripts to choose her next film.
Kaniha plans to take her mother, Jaya Subramaniam, for lunch and have a heart-to-heart conversation with her. “All of us are so busy in our daily lives that we have no time for real conversations. Think about the last time you had a real talk with your mother. We often lose out on the small things that are often the most important for us personally, because we keep postponing it to another day. So this is an occasion to take a break from your work, switch off the mobile and talk your heart out,” says Kaniha, whose son Rishi is now all of two.