Her shot at success
Actor Gopika has landed quite a few plum roles after the success of `4 The People' and `Autograph'.
Gopika... at ease with all South Indian languages
SHE CAME into the limelight with the film, `4 The People'. She surfaced again in director Cheran's Tamil hit, `Autograph.' Her role as a Malayali college student in the film made everyone sit up and take notice of her.
Girly Anto, aka Gopika, has now crossed over to the Telugu film industry where she's acting opposite Srikanth in `Lethamanasulu' which is a remake of the Tamil hit, `Azhagi.' The Telugu remake of `Autograph' is yet another project. She plays the lead opposite Ravi Teja in this Gopal Reddy film.
Like most wannabe actors these days, Gopika too came into films through modelling. A Plus Two student at St. Raphel's, Ollur, she was adjudged Miss College during the farewell celebrations. She was also the first runner-up at the Miss Thrissur beauty pageant. A couple of modelling assignments later, her photographs in a magazine attracted the attention of photographer Taha, who proved instrumental in giving her celluloid career a fillip.
Director Tulasidas then cast her in `Pranayamanithooval,' and decided to rename Girly, Gopika. She followed it up with a Kannada film, `Kanasina Loka.' But it was `4 The People' that turned her life around and the rest, as they say, is history.
But did Gopika plan a career in films? "My ambition was to become an air hostess."
Now that she is going places, what does she think about her work and the industry? "I enjoy my work and feel I could not have done anything else."
Films are not frivolous
And, as Gopika says, films are not an exercise in frivolity. "They are a way of life for many people. The industry employs thousands of people and I feel proud to be part of it."
"Almost everyone in South India knows me. It feels nice," says a cheerful Gopika, a final year Sociology student at the Calicut University.
On location experiences are fun, she says. The schedules do not bother her as, except for the shooting of `Autograph' in Kulu Manali, she has rarely been away from home for long. Her ambition is to do roles that do not require her to expose at the drop of a hat. She doesn't mind playing the village belle even. "I come from an orthodox family and don't want to give them a reason to be unhappy with me."
Post `4 The People', the actress has disappeared from the Malayalam film industry. Quiz her about it and she says it is not deliberate. "Roles coming my way are not good enough. If there is something that really interests me, I will surely take it up."
While Gopika was just another actress hoping to make it big some time ago, she is confident after the success of her films. She is comfortable in all the South Indian languages. "In Malayalam, I dub for the dialogue myself. I also dubbed for `Autograph'. I am dubbing for its Telugu remake too."
The shooting of `Lethamanasulu' is over and Gopika is all set to act in her next Tamil film, this time opposite Simbu. With some big projects lined up, Gopika is clearly having a ball.
R. K. ROSHNI
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