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Balancing act

y. sunita chowdhary
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interview Archana Kavi wants to juggle between serious and glamorous roles

Archana Kavi genuinely likes media people. Reason? Her father is a journalist and she too was once a journalist before moving into acting. Born and brought up in Delhi, Archana’s Hindi is much stronger than her mother tongue Malayalam. She did her first film in Malayalam when director Lal Jose saw her reviewing a movie on a television channel. With a script by Vasudeva Nair who is a literary legend and Jose as a director who would say no to the film. “True, but when Jose said it was a remake of Neela Thamara made in 1979 that had Ambika playing the lead role, I was sure he would tell me to wear a bell bottom but to my consternation I was made to play a maid. I had to change completely. But the film had too many pluses to even refuse. It was a huge hit. ”

Despite Neela Thamara being a hit, Archana did not decide if she could continue with an acting career. It took her three or four films to make a complete shift and finally she’s happy.

“None amongst my family are into films. We are neither critics nor movie lovers, we just see and enjoy. After two more hits and an average film, I did Eka Veera ( Aravaan ), an 18th century periodic film and then I made up my mind. Back Bench Student will be my first direct Telugu project. I always wondered how one can emote without knowing the language but it’s not rocket science, I’m loving it. The story was narrated over the phone and I agreed. It is a script that everyone will connect. I have been doing so many hatke roles now I crave to see myself doing a routine role. I don’t want to be tagged as a serious artist or a glamorous heroine, want to be known as someone who can balance both perfectly.”

Archana remembers being a Tomboy in college. How did she transform into a gentle woman always trying to look good for the screen?

“I went through a lot of grooming. Earlier I wasn’t bothered and would come before the camera to tell my dialogue. The director would ask me if I had ever looked into the mirror and I thought it was the make up man’s job. First film was my gurukulam.

Acting is not about looks alone but it is extremely difficult to look good always. I think the female artistes are doing a good job.”

y. sunita chowdhary

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