Lakshmi Gopalaswamy on her upcoming Kannada web-series ‘Namoorina Rasika’

While the actor-dancer plays an older woman wooed by a younger man in ‘Anantham’, in ‘Namoorina Rasika’, she plays a woman opposing outdated rituals

June 04, 2022 08:35 am | Updated June 08, 2022 01:33 pm IST

Lakshmi Gopalaswamy. The name brings to mind a conventional beauty with large, dancing eyes, a classical dancer of repute and an actor, who can carry off any role on screen with elan. Born and brought up in Karnataka, the dancing sensation carved a niche for herself on screen in the Malayalam film industry with Arayannangalude Veedu with Mamooty. “I played a wife and mother of two,” Lakshmi says. “At that time, it felt like a safe option as cinema was an unknown field.”

Lakshmi, has won hearts with her role in the Tamil web-series Anantham, directed by V Priya. She is also working on the Kannada web-series Namoorina Rasika, for the platform, Katte, founded by the Jugari brothers (SD Aravinda and Avinash).

While in Anantham, she plays the role of an older woman who is wooed by a younger man, in Namoorina... she plays a woman, who opposes outdated rituals such as tonsuring the head of child widows. “Both roles are powerful. Anantham, shows that there are roles for women of a certain age. I am honoured to be part of Namoorina... as it is based on the works of the legendary writer Guru Ramaswamy Iyengar.”

On why we see so little of her in in Kannada films, Lakshmi says, “I was offered roles. Being a classical dancer and having had the aesthetics of movement ingrained in me since a young age, I could not visualise myself doing the dance numbers that were created for films then. In Malayalam films I was offered roles of a mother or wife, which was bereft of such demands from me as an actor.”

Lakshmi says she has slowed down her pace since the pandemic and the lockdown. “Having lived with a packed schedule for years, the lockdown put me into an introspective mode. It was time to rethink and re-pattern my life choices. Seeing the drastic effect of the virus, taught me to be grateful and value what I have. “

The isolation gave her the space to heal, Lakshmi says. “When you become a public figure and an influencer, it makes demands on your time and energy. You end up being fragmented in every aspect. You do not have the bandwidth to take on your creative pursuits and are driven by deadlines. You find yourself on the treadmill.”

Not having a fixed salary, prompts actors to take on whatever works comes by, Lakshmi comments. “The stress of having to take on every kind of work, eased in the past two years. Life took on a slower pace and taught me to just ‘be’ in the present and not worry about lost opportunities. The pandemic taught me to live an organic life.”

Lakshmi won critical acclaim for her role in the Kannada film Vidaaya where she plays the wife of a paraplegic man who supports his fight for euthanasia.

There is no dearth of content in Kannada cinema, Lakshmi says. “I hope we start thriving on OTT too. Kudos to the KGF team, as they have put commercial cinema in Kannada back on the global map. The numbers are talking for the film. I applaud Yash for what he has done with KGF for Kannada cinema. To know that a Kannada film has beaten many big films hollow at the box office is an achievement and let us hope we manage to stay up there in the game.”

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