S.R. Ashok Kumar
"I am ready to wait for a role of substance, however rare it may be"
Archana has proved herself to be an artist of high calibre. She has won national as well as State awards within a short span of time. She attaches more significance to quality of work than quantity. Her recent release was "Parattai Engira Azhagusundaram" in which she worked alongside Dhanush and Meera Jasmine. Archana talks about her life and outlines her set of criteria for accepting films.
I am basically a contented person, which is perhaps why I have not done many films unlike some other stars.
My first day at work, working with a legend like Balu Mahendra, was unforgettable. The film "Neengal Kettavai" was shot at VGP Golden beach.
I am very conscious of the quality of the work I associate myself with. I must have done nearly 30 films in all the South Indian languages, as well as in Hindi and Oriya. I have got recognition fairly quickly by industry standards. But, one fine morning I decided to switch off.
I will give a high rating only for three films "Dasi" and "Veedu", that fetched me the best female actor award at the national level, and "Nireekshana" (a Telugu remake of the Malayalam film "Yathra").
After a lay-off for nearly 14 years from the industry, I got a call to watch the Kannada film "Jogi". The film, starring popular heroines Arundhathi Shankar Nag in the Kannada version and Oorvasi Sharada in the Telugu version, ran for more than five hundred days in Karnataka, while the Telugu remake has been running for more than 100 days. Producer Keyar convinced me to accept the role. I felt that the mother's role in "Parattai Engira Azhagusundaram" was a lifetime chance and accepted it. The discipline in the unit of Keyar and Suresh Krishna was one of the reasons why I agreed to work in the film.
In fact, there was a remark that I looked too young for the mother's role. But one must remember that even when Nargis did "Mother India" she was not too old.
My favourite artists are Smita Patil and Shabana Azmi in Hindi. In Tamil, it is Radhika and Revathi. Among heroes, it is the inimitable Kamal Haasan.
Somebody in the industry remarked that 14 years of `vanavasam' would be followed by `pattabishegam'. I will continue to act in films if I come across a good role.
Good roles are not that easy to come by. Heroines nowadays are not getting enough good roles.
We are all experimenting in life. Some succeed, others do not. So I am not in a hurry to grab all that comes my way, but waiting for a role of substance, however rare that may be.