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Child no more: 'Drishyam' actor Esther Anil turns leading lady with ‘Johar’

After being a child star in 29 films, the actor talks about balancing movies and academics, and taking the next step in the industry

The little girl in Drishyam who acted as the daughter in the Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu versions is now a lead heroine. Her film Johar will be releasing this month. Directed by Teja Marni, a newcomer, the entire cast features debutants. Esther has been getting offers for sometime and she has been discussing about them with her parents till she came across the script of Johar. She immediately told her parents she is interested in doing it. It is a compilation of stories and each story is connected to the other; she plays the lead in one of them. The film which was shot in Varanasi and Hyderabad is due for release in February and Esther had dubbed for it.

Esther Anil

Esther Anil   | Photo Credit: By arrangement


Speaking about her entry into the world of showbiz, Esther says, “My mom used to host a cookery show on TV in 2010 in Wayanad. I was in the third standard then and the crew saw me and asked if I would be interested in anchoring for a TV show for children. At that age you don’t know what you are doing and aren’t shy of the camera. May be now I am scared but back then it was an easy job.” While Esther’s mother, over the years shifted to becoming an organic cooking expert, Esther and her younger brother Eric moved towards acting.

Ask her the influence that the beautiful Waynad had on her, she says whatever she is today, it has got to do a lot with Waynad. She reminisces, “I was surrounded by trees and fresh air. Dad would tell us that the land belongs to ants and birds and not us, we were connected to nature very early in life.”

While managing her acting career, Esther has not abandoned her academics. “By the time I came to tenth standard, I became serious about my studies. Right now I am pursuing BA in St Xavier’s, Mumbai. There have been lot of instances when I wanted to quit acting. As a child I missed out on a lot of things. I got to work with legendary filmmakers in the south and I realised I had some talent and not pursuing a career in films will be a waste of talent. I’ve decided to manage both — films and studies — well.”

Having done 29 films so far in south languages, Esther says a film’s success or failure has an impact on her but adds that she wouldn’t have been the person she is now without films.

On the transition from child artiste to heroine, Esther says, “ Lot of people think I am still that little girl. The reactions are quite funny actually. When they see me on screen, they comment I’ve grown up but when they see me in person they exclaim, ‘You look small!'. I’m getting used to all this,” she laughs.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 11:18:05 AM |

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