VARU SARATHKUMAR DEBUTS AS DON IN MALAYALAM OPPOSITE MAMMOOTTY
by RINKU GUPTA
After her bold performance in Bala’s Thaara Thappaattai as a Karagattam dancer, heroine VARU SARATHKUMAR is on a high. The actor has been besieged with a spate of offers in Tamil and has also stepped into Mollywood. Cast in Kasaba, a Malayalam flick opposite none other than the legendary Mammootty, Varu is ecstatic over her Malayalam debut. In an exclusive chat she gives us a peek into her role and the experience of sharing the screen with Mammootty.
The first look of the film, with Varu in a red sari, was released by her on social media recently. The photo had everyone intrigued about her role. The excitement in her voice is palpable as she discloses, “I’m very excited about doing my first Malayalam film, and that too opposite a legend like Mammooty sir.” And by the looks of it, its going to be an unconventional entry indeed. Says Varu, “I play a girl called Kamalakka, who is a don in the film. Mammooty sir plays a police officer. Actor Sampath plays one of my associates, another don, in the movie.”
The film is the directorial debut of the 28 year old Nithin Renji Panicker, the son of the famed director, actor, scriptwriter and producer Renji Panicker. Varu’s first shot was in a police station. Was she nervous, considering it was her debut in another language film and she was acting opposite Mammootty? “I had a few butterflies in my stomach. But I was nervous in a nice sort of way. Working in a Bala film has given me a new confidence to tackle anything. Moreover, Mammootty sir and Nithin were very caring and put me at ease.”
Describing Mammootty she says, “He’s a family friend and was very helpful during the shoot. He knows I love good food and so he used to arrange special Biriyani for me in every place that we used to shoot in. We shot in places like Hosur, outside Bengaluru and in Palani.” So is there any change she had to make, working in a different industry? She laughs as she recalls, “Everyone knows how fast I speak. But in Malayalam, the pace is slower with lots of pauses. This is something that took me time to get used to. I remember that every time I would say my lines in my usual speed, Mammootty sir would tell me, ‘slower, slower’. Gradually I got the hang of it!”
Speaking about her Tamil offers post Thaara Thappaattai, Varu is happy that challenging roles are now coming her way, “In Tamil, it’s great that directors are coming to me with different characterisations. It’s a huge compliment for me that directors are coming to me with the faith that I can carry a film on my own. I’ve zeroed in on three scripts which have very challenging roles. I’ll be deciding on them soon.”
In the meanwhile, the shoot of Kasaba has wrapped up and we hear, the makers are looking at a Ramzan release.