Amala Paul talks about her career-defining role in Rajesh Pillai's film Mili, and her fiancé, A.L. Vijay
Amala Paul, the Myna actress, is flying high on romance. She has stardust in her eyes as she talks about her fiancé, Tamil filmmaker A.L. Vijay. However, Amala, says firmly that marriage does not mean the end of her engagement with films. “Acting is in my blood and I will continue to act. I became an actress by choice. But there is a change in my priorities now and I plan to be choosy in my roles after my marriage. No more potboilers for me. I want to act in roles of substance and in films that have a time schedule,” she says.
At present, the actress is acting in Mili, helmed by Rajesh Pillai of Traffic fame. She is not the wallflower she plays in Rajesh’s film. “That is why I was keen on playing this character,” she says during a break in the shooting of the film that is going on in the city.
The actress has erased all glamour for her role in the film that is about an introvert who finds her own place in the sun.
“This is one role that I was not able to relate to when I read the script. I am an independent person and I have never suffered from stage fright. But all of us know a Mili, the quiet girl who always sat on the back bench, the shy student who would never speak up. There is also a Mili in each of us, perhaps an occasion when we felt inadequate. I have observed such students in my class and have always wondered what would have to be done to give them their share of sunlight to help them blossom. I am sure all those observations will help me give shape to my character who also suffers from a huge inferiority complex. It is a real challenge to be a person who is so different from you,” she says.
Mili is also very different from Renuka and Irene Gardener, her characters in Run Baby Run and Oru Indian Pranayakatha respectively, both of which raked in the moolah at the box office. It also saw the young actress work with Mohanlal and Fahadh Faasil, two of the most happening actors in Mollywood. In Mili, Amala works with Nivin Pauly, who has made it big in Tollywood and Mollywood.
“I was lucky to get the opportunity to work with them so early in my career. Even Mili, I feel, was destined for me. I got the offer last year but was unable to take it up because I had no dates for the film. Then, again I was offered the film and finally Rajesh told me through a friend that he would do the film if I did the role. I replied that I would be in the film if Rajesh was helming it!” she says with a smile.
As soon as this schedule of the film is over, Amala heads to Kochi to get ready for her wedding. And what is it that made her say ‘yes’ to Vijay?
“I am a great fan of his. Many people fall for the hero. I fell for the director,” she says with a grin. She continues: We worked together in a couple of Tamil films and while Vijay’s professionalism and enthusiasm are noteworthy, what caught my attention is the way he treats women on the sets. He is so courteous to junior artistes, stars…everyone.
“He has been a positive influence on me. For instance, I like the way he bonds with his mother. My mother is a pillar of strength and we are very close. But many of us take mothers for granted; we often forget to express what they mean to us. Now, following his example, I take the effort to express my love for my mother,” gushes Amala.
In fact, in keeping with her mother’s wish to see her daughter in a white wedding gown, Amala’s engagement in Kochi will have her wearing a gown by Delhi-based designer Himangi.
A fashonista, who enjoys dressing, Amala has finished all the shopping for her clothes and jewellery for her wedding. “In fact, I had everything planned in my head even before the dates were announced,” she says.
As you tell her that June is named after Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage, she chips in with a smile, “Yes, I know, I researched all that on the net.”
The conversation veers towards cinema, and she says that though she might not step behind the camera, she hints at scripts that she might take up with her beau. That will be another story altogether.
Here comes the bride
Her engagement and sangeet ceremony will be held in Kochi on June 7 and the marriage is in Chennai on June 12. She dons a dress designed by Anita Dongre for the sangeet while it is a traditional Kancheevaram sari for the marriage ceremony. For the reception, she is wearing a Sabyasachi creation. “The marriage is a typical Chettiar ceremony and I am wearing jewels from Amraapali, while the rest are from Joy Alukkas,” says Amala.