`Stars are made by the audience'

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SOUTHERN STAR: Meena will be working with Suresh Gopi in Vinayan's `Black Cat.'
SOUTHERN STAR: Meena will be working with Suresh Gopi in Vinayan's `Black Cat.'


Meena stars in Kamal's `Karutha Pakshikal,' which is being released today.

I have been lucky that my roles, both commercial and offbeat, have been received well by the audience.

"It was such a delight to watch the song `Mazhayil Ratri Mazhayil.' I watched it on television and I loved it - the way it is rendered, the way it is shot. The emotions of the character were portrayed so neatly. Hats off to director Kamal and cameraman P. Sukumar," gushes Meena on her latest release `Karutha Pakshikal,' starring Mammootty, Padma Priya and Jagathy Sreekumar.The 100-film-old Meena has been in the limelight since the age of four. A front-ranking heroine in Tamil and Malayalam, Meena dwells upon her latest films, actors and her fans. Excerpts from an interview.Working with MammoottyI am working with Mammookka for the second time. My first film with him was `Rakshasa Rajavu.' I am not paired up with him in this film. I play a young woman who develops a liking for Murugan's visually impaired daughter. Mammootty plays Murugan, a dhobi.Mammooty went in for a complete makeover for the film. On the sets... I failed to recognise him. Although it is very difficult to deglamourise Mammootty, I was amazed at the way he and Padma Priya had transformed into the characters. On the day, I joined the sets, I wondered why so much of attention was being given to a shabbily dressed girl. Only when the associate director called out her name, did I realise that it was Padma Priya. Priya plays a girl who takes care of Murugan's children. A dream come trueI was impressed by `Ulladakkam.' Since then I had wanted to work with Kamal. Only a versatile director can elicit such good performances from actors. Mohanlal, Sobhana, Amala - Kamal has moulded all of them into their respective roles. I have been waiting for a long time to get an offer to act in his film.At last, it happened with `Karutha Pakshikal.' It is not a commercial film or an offbeat film. It narrates a gripping story and a competent crew has worked behind the scenes too. Fickle box officeCinema is so unpredictable. One can never predict the fortune of a film. For example, when I signed `Udayananu Tharam,' I just thought of giving it a shot since it had a good script. Somehow, I knew that Srinivasan's character would be noticed; but even in my wildest dreams, I didn't expect it to be such a hit. But `Chandrolsavam,' contrary to my intuition, did not do well at the box office. But I felt that it was a sincere attempt by Ranjith. Everything in `Chandrolsavam,' from the story to the cast and the songs, had a touch of class to it. I cannot understand why it was not a hit.The power of the audience Even the stars are made by the audience. If they like your face, you are in and if they don't, you are out. I have been lucky that my roles, both commercial and offbeat, have been received well by the audience. I think, I have a reasonable level of acceptance, in all the languages I have worked in. It is a great feeling to be loved and recognised. I feel, it is the most important and inspiring factor for an actor. I was touched by the response of the Japanese audience after `Muthu' was released in Japan. On the anvil"I will be working for Vinayan's `Black Cat' with Suresh Gopi. There are some other Malayalam projects under discussion. But I am very choosy these days. As of now, I am working on a tele-serial and Vinayan's film. I am trying to learn Malayalam. It is a shame that I still cannot speak the language properly. My mother who hails from Chirackal, near Thalassery, is helping me learn the language.



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