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The big break

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Actress Anandhi opens up about Kayal and working with Prabu Solomon

When Prabu Solomon’s Kumki released, Telugu actor Rakshita was moved by its music and Lakshmi Menon’s role in the film. The 16-year-old listened to Imman’s melodies hundreds of times and wondered if she would ever get to do a film like that. A year later, she was signed on by Prabu to play the lead in his ambitious Kayal, a tribute to those who lives were changed irrevocably by the 2004 tsunami.

“It’s nothing short of a dream come true,” says Rakshita, 18, who has now been christened Anandhi.

Road to stardom

The young dancer lived a regular life in Warangal before she became a reality show star, her dance moves earning her many awards. Telugu director Maruti signed her up for Bus Stop. She entered tinsel town and moved to Hyderabad after Class 10. She did a couple of other Telugu films before Manimaran got her to be part of Udhayam NH4. That eventually led her to Kayal.

The young actress has also dubbed for the movie. “I’m so grateful to Prabu sir for the opportunity. It’s the first time I’m dubbing for myself,” she says.

“He explains everything in such detail. It becomes very easy to emote. In fact, he’s more Kayal than me,” she says.

The best part of doing the film, she says, is that she got to live the role of a girl with great depth.

“In fact, I take some time to respond when people call me Anandhi. I turn around instantly when someone calls me Kayal.”

She’s also completed work on the much-delayed Poriyaalan and has been signed up for two other films — Sargunam’s next with Atharvaa, produced by Bala, and Trisha Illana Nayantara with G.V. Prakash Kumar. “The units here are very caring. They make sure you are comfortable,” she says.

For someone who grew up in a protected environment in a small town, Anandhi has learnt the ropes pretty fast. “I just try to give my all to the role. Once the director explains the character graph, I imagine myself in her situation and emote.”

That way, she says, Kayal was draining, because the film involved a lot of emotions and some tears. “I just can’t cry. I’ve never cried much in my life. I worked hard to make the tears look real.”

Bonding with friends

Though she’s making a name for herself, Anandhi says she does wonder how different life would have been had she stayed on in school. “I am very quiet and have few friends. My besties Vaishnavi and Shwetha from Warangal keep me in touch with their world,” she smiles.

And, when she was shooting in Chennai, she lived it up too.

“I hit the beach almost every other day. I love the water. I ate bajji on the beach and tried out ice creams… it was refreshing,” she says.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 6:15:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/anandhi-opens-up-about-kayal/article6331805.ece

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