Actor Meena talks about balancing family and work and her new TV show
She is among the few actors who have been successful in all the South Indian languages. With a charming face and smile, Meena has acted with the who’s who of tinsel town. Be it Sivaji Ganesan, with whom she debuted as a child artiste back in 1982, or Nageswara Rao, Chiranjeevi, Rajinikanth, Kamal Hassan, Vishnuvardhan, Nagarjuna, Venkatesh, Mammootty, Mohanlal and Suresh Gopi, she has shared screen space with them all. Post marriage and motherhood, the award-winning actor, also a singer and dubbing artiste, took a break from movies. However, Meena has much to look forward to these days. She is excited about making a debut on TV — as a judge on a reality show on Asianet. Excerpts from an interview…
Romancing the small screen
Offers for serials and reality shows have been coming in for some time now. Somehow it never worked out. This time when the channel approached me with the concept, I quite liked it. It is a family show and so I thought I should give a try. I’m judging a reality show, Super Kudumbam on Sun TV, in which actors of different serials on the channel compete for the title. It is more about dance, song and skit. But this show is different. I’m dealing with real families.
We’ve shot a couple of episodes. Frankly speaking, in the beginning I was not sure how to handle it. I haven’t done something like this before. I was worried about how would they take my comments. Would they be hurt? Thanks to my co-judges Navya Nair and Jayan, I managed to do it.
I’m a half-Malayali. My mother, Raj Mallika, is from Kannur. Though I was born and brought up in Chennai, I have a special affection for Kerala. Even career-wise, the Malayalam film industry has given me some of the best roles of my career.
Family vs showbiz
Right now my life is all about my daughter, Nainika, who will turn two-and-half. It was difficult in the beginning to go for work leaving her behind, but now she understands. Even then I make it a point to be back home by 6 or 7 in the evening. I haven’t signed any movies as of now. I’m doing one Telugu serial, that’s all. I shuttle between Bangalore, where my husband, Vidyasagar, is working and Chennai. I don’t want to miss out on the pleasures of being a wife and mother. I enjoy this, though at times it makes me crazy. I rarely get time to watch movies or even watch my own serial.
I have no idea and I don’t plan anything. Right now I’m excited about working on television.