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Meet Mammootty's queen in Pazhassi Raja

Last updated on: September 29, 2009 

Meet Mammootty's queen in Pazhassi Raja

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Meghna George in Kochi

In Pazhassi Raja, the most eagerly awaited film in Malayalam in recent times, Tamil actress Kaniha plays a queen named Kaitheri Makkam.

Kaniha, the heroine of one of the biggest hits of the year Bhagyadevatha, is on a roll and has every reason to feel elated.

In this exclusive interview, the engineer-turned actor of such films in Tamil as Autograph and Five Star says that she is absolutely thrilled about Pazhassi Raja which is releasing on October 2.

How excited are you about the release of Pazhassi Raja?

I have never been so anxious for any film before. I am looking forward to watching Pazhassi Raja in a theatre with the public.

I have never been part of such a big film in my life and don't know if an opportunity like this will ever come again! I am confident that the film will find a place in everyone's heart and I will also be part of Malayalam film history for just being part of this.


Image: A scene from Pazhassi Raja

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'I was ignorant about the greatness of the film'

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How was the experience of working with such legends like MT Vasudevan Nair, Hariharan and Mammootty?

I must admit that while signing the film, I was ignorant about its greatness. But I learnt about its importance when I researched on the Internet. I am completely in awe of everyone with whom I have worked with in this film.

Whether it was learning dialogues and acting from Hariharan sir (director Hariharan) or interacting with MT sir (writer MT Vasudevan Nair) about the movie or sharing the screen with Mammootty sir, every moment was worth treasuring. They are all living legends and I am lucky and blessed to have worked with them.

What is your role in the film about?

I play Kaitheri Makkam, Pazhassi Raja's wife. She is a very bold woman with great will power that she is able to see her husband walk away from the battle. There are few scenes between Makkam and Thampuran which are very emotional. In fact, I had tears in my eyes while watching Mammooka do certain scenes. His acting was so brilliant. Working with such an outstanding actor has been a great learning experience for me.


Image: A scene from Pazhassi Raja

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'I have not gone to a beauty parlour because my eyebrows, nails, hair had to be natural'

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How difficult was it playing a historical character of whom not many are familiar with?

All of us have given our 100 per cent for this film. During the making of the film, I have not gone to a beauty parlour because my eyebrows, nails, hair had to be natural as we were narrating a tale that happened more than a century ago. We had to pay attention to every minute detail and even my body language had to be completely different from real life. Usually I am very expressive while talking and shake my head, roll my eyes and sway my hands. But I had to very subtle while playing Kaitheri Makkam.

You have been receiving really good offers in Malayalam after your marriage. Do you find it surprising?

Well, yes! But luckily I am happy about it as my husband Shyam has been of full support for me. Doing a Malayalam movie is practically easier for me as it only takes around 25 days of shooting. So I must say, I am enjoying the best of both worlds, my personal and my professional life alike!


Image: A scene from Pazhassi Raja

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'The best part about my role is perhaps the minimal make up and the costumes'

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Are you comfortable portraying Malayali girls of different shades and styles?

I have always loved Malayalam cinema for its quality realistic films. Regarding my career, I am absolutely enjoying this phase.

It has been a great pleasure trying different shades of characters here. The best part about my role is perhaps the minimal make up and the costumes [smiles]. I must say I am maturing as an actor after doing Malayalam films.


Image: A scene from Pazhassi Raja

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'After Bhagyadevatha people now relate to me as a typical Malayali girl'

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What difference did the success of Bhagyadevatha make in your career?

I was very particular that if I did a film before Pazhassi Raja's release it had to be good or I would rather not do anything else and spoil things for myself. That was when Sathyan sir (director Sathyan Anthikkad) offered me Bhagyadevatha.

The role was too tempting and I immediately agreed to do it. I am glad that I did it because people now relate to me as a typical Malayali girl. The film has been one of the biggest hits of the year and the role of the simple girl next door has opened lot more opportunities for me now.

Do you plan to do more movies in Malayalam? Which are your future projects?

Of course. I will choose the good films from the ones that are being offered to me. I have just completed shooting for My Big Father, with Jayaram as the hero.


Image: A scene from Pazhassi Raja

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