Manjima Mohan is on cloud nine as her debut Tamil film, Achcham Yenbathu Madamaiyada (AYM) has been declared a Hit by the TN trade. The film is going steady in its 3rd week too, despite new releases every week. Manjima is now busy shooting with Udhay Stalin for a film directed by Gaurav Narayanan. She shares some moments with Kaushik LM for a quick interview.
How happy are you with the way AYM’s ‘Leela’ has been received?
“I am quite surprised with the way my role has been received. The movie is doing really well across all centers and this success is a blessing. When I was shooting in Tiruvallur, people recognized me, thanks to the impact of AYM. Yes, there have been mixed reviews for the 2nd half from people who expected a typical Gautham film. Everyone is entitled to their opinions and I’m sure that Gautham sir will take all this feedback into consideration and work on it.”
You’ve been very active on social media promoting AYM and interacting with users?
“Genuine response from the public comes on social media. Beyond reviews from critics, public response matters a lot to me as they are generally correct. I’ve taken positive as well as negative feedback in the right spirit.”
How has the industry responded to your performance in the film?
“Vineeth Srinivasan and Nivin Pauly liked the film. And Trisha messaged me saying that she liked the film. Some technicians also messaged me with good feedback.”
In a previous interview, you had mentioned that you fell in love with ‘Jessie’ after seeing VTV. How does it feel to be a Gautham Menon heroine yourself, now. A surreal feeling, right?
“I’m so happy to be a part of the list of his heroines. I didn’t expect ‘Leela’ to be received the way she has been. More than my looks, the performance aspect matters to me and I’m being appreciated for that too. I’m happy to stand out alongside established names like Simbu, Gautham sir, Sathish and all.”
Your favorite moments in the film as a viewer?
“The pre-climax taxi sequence and ‘Thalli Pogathey’.”
How was it to shoot for the two magical song sequences – ‘Avalum Naanum’ and ‘Thalli Pogathey’? You really impressed us in these two songs …
“‘Avalum Naanum’ was very easy to shoot, except the emotional sunrise sequence. I am a genuinely emotional person and I can cry easily. What you saw on screen was me crying without any glycerin.
And I had so much fun shooting for ‘Thalli Pogathey’ as it’s the first hardcore romantic song in my career. And all credit for the stunning edits and presentation goes to Anthony who did a wonderful job.”
The biggest learning for you after having worked with established people like Gautham and Simbu?
“Patience is my biggest learning from Gautham sir. He is very composed and a really nice person. He is someone that I look up to, for advice and direction.
And, Simbu is a really good actor and a single take artiste. He’s actually hard to describe, as he’s truly different. He won’t sit and learn his lines, and he won’t ask too many questions to the director, beyond the basic inputs. But, he’ll improvise and give something more. He has his ‘thani vazhi’ always. Personally too, he is in his own world. When I used to call him to vent out my anger and frustrations for some silly reason, he’ll advise me to keep my cool and composure. You can always go to him, when you are in trouble.”
How is the Udhay – Gaurav film shaping up?
“I’m curious to know how it’s going to come out. It has a great script and the making is really good so far. Gaurav knows what he wants and doesn’t compromise. At the same time, he gives his actors the space that they need. My role is very different from ‘Leela’ and I’m excited about trying something new.”
Another film coming up with Gautham?
“In 2017, I’ll be doing a film with Gautham sir again. There are bigger people involved in that film and we haven’t planned it yet.”
“I am just so happy. After 2 years in the making and uncertainties over the release date, it was an emotional moment to finally see AYM releasing. Like Gautham sir used to repeatedly say, ‘The wait is worth it’.”, signs off young Manjima.
Interviewed by Kaushik LM