Riding the wave

RISING STAR Gopika has hit the big time PHOTO: V. GANESAN

RISING STAR Gopika has hit the big time PHOTO: V. GANESAN  

Gopika's career is on the upswing and the young actress is now determined to reach the top

Bouquets and brickbats, Gopika has accepted them both ungrudgingly. She has understood that it is all part of the game of fame. With two of her Malayalam films due for release, she has reason to be excited.

"I never imagined being where I am now. Films were never part of my scheme of things. Now that I am into it, I am careful about shaping my career . It has been going well and I hope it will be the same from now on too," she says.

Although she debuted with Tulasidas' `Pranayamanithooval,' it was that trendy flick `Autograph' that made her very popular. She played a Malayali girl in it. It was the Miss Thrissur beauty pageant that paved the way to films.

"Almost immediately after this I got the offer from Tulasidas. But the film was not much of a success and nothing happened for quite some time. Cheran, who was on the look out for a Malayali girl for his Tamil film rang me up. Though I had started acting in my first film without much preparation, things were different in `Autograph.' I was asked to learn to play the veena and after completing one schedule, I had to put on weight. Soon, I started taking things more seriously," reveals Gopika.

She was planning to join a hotel management course as a stepping stone to realising her dream of becoming an airhostess. Before the release of `Autograph,' she acted in Jayaraj's `4 the People'.

Although she did not have much of a role in it, the song `Lajjavathiye... ' was featured on her and Bharath in the sequence. "I felt that the song was nothing much to rave about when I first heard it. But soon, I started liking it and the song, as the whole world knows, went on to become a rage."

She was paired opposite Srikanth in `Kana Kandein,' recently. And she has completed `Thottijaya' with Silambarasan as the hero and `Ponniyin Selvan' where she plays the heroine to Ravi Krishna.

Does the girl, who speaks Malayalam with a trademark Thrissur accent, look convincing as a Tamilian?

"Frankly, I don't know. I am told by many that with the right costumes, I can carry off both the roles of a Malayali and a Tamilian girl, with equal ease."

After `Vesham' and `Fingerprint', two of her Malayalam films in the pipeline are `Chanthu Pottu,' in which she has been cast opposite Dileep and the eagerly awaited `Nerariyan CBI.'

In fact, it was Tulasidas who had changed her name from Girly Anto to Gopika. "I was asked to choose between Gopika and Supriya and I went for the former."

However, Gopika is not the heroine in Tulasidas' new film. Was she offered the role? "I was. But I was already committed to some other projects," she says. Gopika also lost out on Cheran's new film due to date hassles.

Films are all about glamour and fame. Gopika has learned to handle them confidently. Vijay George

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