Tuesday, December 5, 2023

CELEB TALK: ‘Tamil films are my comfort zone’

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With as many as six films in the pipeline, actress Ishwarya Menon is set to roll, and in Telugu once again. She converses with The Pioneer’s SHIKHA DUGGAL about movies, making a living out of acting, and childhood, among others.

ISHWARYA MENON’s journey has been quite happening. The actress, who made her debut with Kadhalil Sodhappuvadhu Yeppadi, has seen many commercial releases in the past eleven years. The actress was recently spotted in SPY, and working for the movie actually made her understand that RAW agents go through so much suffering even though their sacrifices are not recognised enough. After working on the film, the passionate actress feels that she will do stunt sequences even more confidently in the future. It gave her the required confidence.

Followed by her performance in the movie, the actress is said to have bagged six films.

For her to be more understanding and accommodating of the roles she plays, it is her roots that keep her easily getting into the skin of any role she plays. “I learned valuable lessons of a lifetime from childhood. From the very beginning years of my life, I was moulded right. I had kindness, I had confidence, and I had courage. Now I have an elder brother; we have the best sibling relationship, but chumma, we used to have our own little wars,” begins Ishwarya.

As we sit down to chat with the actress, who predominantly works in Tamil films, she confesses that she is not eying Bollywood films. You heard it right. She shared, “Not that I mind. Neither am I stuck in a rut at work. Tamil films are my comfort zone. From the age of twelve, little does my audience know that I am already a part of the entertainment industry. Yes, I was spotted! Then, my parents were slightly apprehensive — what if it becomes a routine job? Commercial after commercial, I found a sense of financial security in this business. I was being paid to act! And I had no interest in instrumentation engineering.”

“But my parents were not ready to compromise on my degree. I studied at SRM College. I was a gifted child and stood out in my studies, even in engineering. I had the best time in engineering college. And the most unbelievable would be that my attendance was 95 percent because my best friend was equally studious. We had a pact; if she takes a holiday, I would too,” she laughed out loud.

However, engineering is not an easy piece of cake for her. “I was supposed to crack AIEEE; oh my god, it was so difficult to crack. It still is! Now people wonder what instrumentation engineering is. There is an examination that is a little less difficult than the former one, which is my stream. I cracked it and pursued it for my parents.

Gradually, over the years, they understood the essence of commercial success and started to support me. The moment my fans started to come up to me and ask for pictures, it was the best feeling ever,” shared the Tamil Nadu-born actress. However, her maternal roots hail from Kerala. She explained to us, “Chendamangalam is the town; we still go to refresh our roots. We feel like royalty there. We have so many architectural details to note there; that’s imbibed in me. The hillocks also contribute to spirituality. Though the Keralite roots are very visible, there are also traces of Portuguese. That’s a beautiful town where my maternal roots hail from.”

Furthermore, speaking about her cinematic career, she takes the cat out of the bag, as she shared, “No, I have worked really hard to get my first film in spite of already being mesmerised by this industry. Commercials and films are poles apart! The team changes. So no, I didn’t get my film very easily. I had no point of contact. I never had a godfather.

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