CHAT Lekha Washington speaks about her upcoming films and her new art studio

Lekha Washington will play bride again! After the late Jeeva’s Unnale Unnale, with Vinay Rai, the actor will don a similar role in her next movie, Kalyana Samayal Saadham with first-time director R.S. Prasanna. The romcom is produced by Arun Vaidyanathan and Ananth Govindan.

Saying her role in Unnale Unnale was just a cameo, Lekha elaborates, “Prasanna had seen me in a play and was impressed with my theatrical abilities. He approached me when he decided to make the movie. I loved the script as it was different.”

Kalyana Samayal Saadham (KSS ) revolves round the preparations that go into organising a wedding and Lekha confesses she was treated like a bride during the shoot. The beautiful actor recalls, “Right from selecting a partner to go wedding shopping, to being dolled up for every ceremony and even the exhaustion, I went through it all. Apart from the wedding preparations, there is a twist to the tale.”

Having become a bride on screen, is marriage on the cards? Lekha says, “Unlike in the movie where I have an arranged marriage, I will choose my life partner and my wedding trousseau too.”

How similar is her personality to the role in the movie? “In the movie, I am outspoken and have a modern outlook and a strong character. I enjoy doing roles which have depth. For the first time, the audience will see me draped in pretty saris.” Lekha enjoyed working with a young and enterprising crew and is looking forward to the film’s release in June. “Prasanna and the producers had a clear vision about their movie. They had the confidence to try out something new and original.” She has high regard for her co-star Prasanna, who went through the whole wedding process with his lady love Sneha last year. “He is a thorough professional and it shows on screen. Sneha used to drop in on the sets sometimes; she was supportive and shared her experience.”

The American TV series Born to Explore with Richard Wiese will feature parts of KSS on the show. Lekha says, “They visited the sets and shot and interviewed us.”

Bollywood bound

Lekha has also made her way to Bollywood, and will be seen sharing screen space with Amitabh Bachchan in Rajkumar Santoshi’s Power . She is also the heroine in Peter Gaya Kaam Se opposite Rajeev Khandelwal. Although she was born and brought up in Chennai, she is fluent in Hindi. Incidentally, her mother tongue is Marathi. Lekha beams, “It was awesome to work with Amitabh Bachchan. In Peter Gaya Kaam Se, I play an adventurous Anglo-Indian girl who loves riding bikes. I am waiting for the release of both my movies.”

Although Lekha is getting many offers, she is wary to reveal more. She is clear she will work on one movie at a time, so that she can also focus on her new art and design studio Ajji, in Mumbai. “This is my art space that will be open to friends and well wishers.” How does she manage to balance her art and acting? “I have a partner who looks after the studio when I am out shooting. That apart I have the support of my family and friends,” she signs off.

DEEPA VENKATRAMAN

I enjoy doing roles which have a lot of depth and character

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