Malavika Mohan has breezed into Mollywood like a breath of fresh air in Pattam Pole. Making her debut in the film with Dulquer Salmaan, the Mumbai-based youngster catches the eye with her urban chic and stylish turnout at the marquee.
“Our costume designer in the film was Cuckoo chechi [Cuckoo Parmeswaran] but less than a week after the shoot began, she fell ill. Many costumes were required for the song sequences and we were at a loose end. Then I began choosing my clothes and many of the dresses my character Riya wears are mine. I would pick one and Alagappan sir [the director of the film] would finalise the colour of the costume,” says Malavika, speaking on the phone from Mumbai.
Daughter of cinematographer K.U. Mohanan, Malavika says being in front of the camera was the last thing on her mind after her graduation in media studies and advertisement. A huge fan of world cinema, her blueprint for the future was to work behind the camera as a cinematographer or director. “After my graduation I was doing a lot of soul searching. I was unsure if I should work and then go for higher studies or the other way around,” says the vivacious actress.
That is when her father mentioned that he was shooting for a fairness cream with Mammootty in Mumbai. “My mother was delighted and she and I tagged along with him to see the star. Mammokka sir has an aura around him and I was keeping my distance when he called me over and asked me if I was interested in acting in a film,” recalls Malavika.
The flabbergasted youngster did not know whether to say yes or no to the offer. She told him that she had never ever faced the camera as an actress or a model and acting was something that was completely alien to her. But Mammootty assured her that acting could be learnt but it was her affirmation that was necessary. “He added that I would be acting with his son,” she chips in.
After another round of soul searching, Malavika decided to step into tinsel town. Admitting that the first three days of emoting for the camera was “very difficult”, she goes on to say that Dulquer and Alagappan discovered the actress in her and also instilled in her a passion for acting.
“Dulquer is passionate about his work and if he felt that a scene was not done well, he would get upset about it. He had to feel every emotion, every mood because he says the camera can catch the flaws when one is only going through the motions without feeling it. Now, I am equally obsessive about my work and I am eager to see where my work as an actress will take me. I don’t want to give up after one film,” she says.
Although there were several offers during the shooting of Pattam Pole, that one role to enthuse the actress in her was missing. Malavika is no hurry and would rather wait and cherry pick her characters instead of filling her oeuvre with mundane roles.
These are a few of my favourites...
I am a ring person and have a large collection of rings. I am not so much into earrings.
In clothes, palazzos, pants, long skirts…I look for comfort and is not a blind follower of fashion trends.
Pattanapravesham is a film I can watch again and again.
Favourite director is Wong Kar-wai. His movie In the Mood for Love is a family favourite.