Testing new waters

Vijay George
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Chat Actor Swathi of Subramaniapuram fame on her debut in Mollywood opposite Fahadh Faasil in the film Amen. Vijay George

A search for her profile reveals that this Telugu girl was born in Vladivostok in Russia and was nicknamed ‘Svetlana’ by a doctor there. “Now only my friends and my family call me by that name at times,” laughs Swathi, who shot to fame as a quiet village belle in the 2008 Tamil hit Subramaniapuram . Prior to making her mark in tinsel town, she was known as ‘Colours’ Swathi during her stint as a popular anchor in Telugu. She is making her debut in Malayalam cinema by playing the female lead opposite Fahadh Faasil in Lijo Jose Pellissery's Amen .

In an interview, Swathi talks about her role and why it is quite unlike most of the characters that made her a star. Excerpts:

How comfortable are you playing a Malayali Christian girl in traditional costume in Amen ?

In fact, I was telling my friends that just as I was getting comfortable with the traditional outfit of ‘chattayum mundum’, the crowd here and the atmosphere on the set, the shooting is coming to an end. I was initially told that the character was being presented in a kind of magical realism genre. But when some pictures of the clothes were sent to me just before the shoot, I was quite surprised. I just could not see myself in those clothes. I wondered what I was getting into. But gradually I started liking it.

Your character in Amen is called Sosanna. What is she like?

I think people still remember me as Thulasi, my character in Subramaniapuram, and so people perceive me as a quiet and shy girl. But Sosanna is a wildcat, when compared to Thulasi. She is very strong and bold. If she believes in something, she will stand up for it. For me, that is refreshing.

What are your memories about Subramaniapuram ?

Really good ones. Subramaniapuram was my first Tamil film. Initially, shooting for the film was difficult for me, as I was really uncomfortable playing the character. I am a bubbly and talkative person but my character in the film was just the opposite. Looking back, it was a great experience and I am still in touch with members of the cast and crew of the movie.

When did you know that you wanted to be an actor?

I didn’t grow up thinking I would be in films some day. But I have always been getting offers and that increased after my TV programme ‘Colours’ on MAA TV became really popular. Even after becoming an actor, I was always a regular student at college and I shot for films only during my holidays. It was only after Subramaniapuram and Ashta Chamma in Telugu that I became serious about acting.

Are you choosy about your roles?

I am choosy because I have the luxury of my parents looking after me (laughs).

Have you watched any Malayalam movies?

After I started working with Fahadh, I watched some of his movies. I was really impressed by Chappa Kurishu . I feel it is the right time for me to come to Malayalam because people are welcoming such experiments in cinema.



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