Up on cloud nine

Saraswathy Nagarajan
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Interview Remya Nambeeshan is on a roll as a singer and actor. She will be seen as a dancer in T.K. Rajeevkumar’s new film Up And Down Mukalil Oraalundu. Saraswathy Nagarajan

Malayalam cinema is going through a creative churning that has rejuvenated the industry and revived the heroine from the sidelines of the film industry. The mundane song and dance sequences of female actors have been replaced by roles of substance that have given leading ladies of Mollywood a wide range of memorable characters to show off their histrionics. And most of them have made the most of this opportunity to set the screen on fire with sizzling acts that have wooed critics and masses. Remya Nambeeshan is one of the actors who has benefited from this transformation that has changed the face of Malayalam cinema.

After patiently waiting in the wings for years, Remya is now an actor and singer to reckon with; someone who has the spunk and the versatility to carry off almost any character with élan. “I have worked hard to reach where I am. Luck has its place. But I believe that talent speaks and a combination of hard work and talent have helped me find my feet in this industry,” says Remya.

Even while the Telugu version of the Remya-starrer Pizza , originally made in Tamil, is rocking the box office, Chennaiyil Oru Naal , the Tamil remake of Traffic , where Remya reprises her role in the Malayalam original, is making waves at the box office. In the meantime, her new Malayalam film Up And Down Mukalil Oraalundu, T.K. Rajeevkumar’s new film, is set to release next week. She plays a dancer in the experimental film that is touted as a thriller. “I have always wanted to work with a professional like Rajeev sir and this film promises to be one of its kind in Malayalam,” says Remya. However, she is tight-lipped about the story or even the name of the dancer she portrays on screen.

“I don’t want to kill the suspense in the film even inadvertently. But the entire cast of the film was enthused by the storyline and its treatment. I have also sung in the film with Indrajith. Again a first for me, as I got the opportunity to sing under the baton of M. Jayachandran sir, one of the top award-winning music directors in Kerala. He is so good,” gushes Remya.

With her career graph climbing steadily northwards, Remya agrees she is in a happy space today with her films doing well in Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu. In addition, she is soaring high as a singer with all her songs shooting up the charts. “Everything happened at the same time for me. Three of my films were released at the same time. My songs were received well,” she says.

She says she is counting her blessing that helped her be a part of films such as Chocolate, Traffic and Pizza that went on to become hits and trendsetters.

After her debut as a singer in Ivan Megharoopan , she has turned out be a much sought after singer who can create magic with her emotive and husky voice. She points out that even the acceptance of voices like hers is on account of the new phase in cinema that is experimenting with themes, narratives, music and characters.

Her busy schedules in Malayalam and Tamil have left her with no time to venture more into Tollywood. Randavathu Padam , directed by C.S. Amudam, and Arun Kumar Arvind’s Left Right Left are up for release and she says both films have her playing completely diverse characters. “I play a village girl in Randavathu Padam , my third Tamil film. In Arun’s movie, I am Jeniffer, a cold mother, a challenging role to play,” elaborates the actor.

A director’s actor, by her own reckoning, she says she needs time to familiarise herself with a new set and cast. No method acting or homework for her. “I approach each character with a fresh mind, which helps me to mould my role to suit what the director has in mind,” she explains.

And is wedding bells in the offing? “No, all rumours. I plan to continue working. I have learnt music and dance and worked on my acting. At a stage, when I am getting the kind of roles I have wanted to, why should I throw that all away?”

Short takes

I enjoy working in experimental films because they challenge the actor in me.

Fortunately I have been blessed with a face and figure that can be moulded to suit any role.

I don’t have a personal designer but I have my favorites and I go to them for my clothes. For instance, if it is a costume for a dance, I go to one person. The designer depends on the needs of the character. But I do have a personal make-up team.

No matter how busy I am, I manage to squeeze in time for a workout.

Direction may happen in the future but I know the hard work that goes into direction and so unless I am ready for it, I will not step behind the camera.


l Chocolate - Sussana

lNaalu Pennungal - Podimol

l Ivan Megharoopan -


lTraffic - Swetha

lChappa Kurishu - Sonia

lBachelor Party (special


lHusbands in Goa - Veena

lAyaalum Njanum Thammil


To be released:

l Shyamaprasad’s English

l Arun Kumar Aravind’s Left

Right Left



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