Breaking new ground

FROM RAMP shows and TV compering to bagging the best actress award in the small screen category for 2001, Jyothirmayee has come a long way. Her acting career _ two TV serials and a few cameo roles old _ has received its share of attention. From this point she is only too eager to turn her talent and visibility into a full time career.

The best actress award for her role in `Avasthaantharangal' has pitched her into the centre of the world of Malayalam cinema and television serials.

In the first serial she was cast - `Ashtabandhangal', she played the role of an immature college-going girl. In the second one, she made the right impact under the directorship of Jude Attipetty who has carved a niche for himself in the industry. "He has the ability to make every actor and actress feel comfortable,'' says Jyothirmayee.

In that 27-episode story, she portrayed a Brahmin girl who fell in love with and married a Christian boy. In its storyline, treatment and the quality of performance by its leading actors and actresses, `Avasthaantharangal' marked a high in the quality of Malayalam tele-serials.

`Bhavam', a two-hour feature in which she plays the lead role against Murali Menon and Mita Vasisht, is ready for release. The film, based on Tennessee Williams' `A Streetcar Named Desire', is directed by Sathish Menon and is experimental in nature.

Jyothirmayee now hopes to break new grounds in the big screen ventures that have come her way with her mini screen success. After her brief appearance in the runaway hit `Meesamadhavan', she will play the lead role opposite Jayaram in an yet-to-be named film by Sibi Malayil. She will also play the lead in `Chekavar' by Lal Jose in which a few new faces are expected to emerge.

Jyothirmayee, however, seems to have her feet firmly on the ground. After all the compliments that have come her way in the recent weeks, proving her worth as an actress would be the ultimate test.

Her family has roots in Palakkad where her late father owned a small industrial unit. She completed her studies at Cochin College and at the Maharaja's.

It was by accident that she stumbled into the world of acting, she says. "I had absolutely no experience in acting when I was cast in the first serial,'' she says recalling her first experiences in the industry.

Jyothirmayee considers herself lucky to have had the right start even though she says that she has had no training in acting. Occasionally though she dillydallies with the idea of undergoing formal training in acting.

Given her current ratings, however, Jyothirmayee may not have enough time on her hand for an acting course. But certainly, she hopes to find some time for painting, a hobby she has cultivated from the time she was in school.

In fact, she has undergone training in painting under the famous sculptor, M. R. D. Dathan, and finds time to indulge in the world of colours.

Prior to making her debut in serials, Jyothirmayee presented the `Pepsi Top 10', `Your Choice' and `Vaalkannadi' programmes on Asianet as well as `Kalaalayavarnangal' on the Kairali channel.

In her English-tinged Malayalam, Jyothirmayee still seems to have the compering hangover. That could be her plus point. With optimism and talent, and with age on her side, the `Chingamasam' girl's could be Malayalam film industry's face of the future.

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