Manju Warrier, who was last seen in Ajith’s Thunivu earlier this month, is awaiting the release of her next film in Malayalam, Ayisha. She is celebrated as the “Lady Superstar” in the Malayalam film industry, but she says that she doesn’t like the tag and sometimes finds it a burden. In a free-wheeling chat with Anupriya, Warrier says that she just wants to be a normal actress appreciated by the audience.
“Even today, with the release of every movie, the feeling I have is similar to the one I had when my first film was released. So, I always focus on my performance. I neither like nor believe in these tags. I don’t think I need to be more responsible because of this tag. All I want to do is do good movies that the audience will love,” she says.
During the promos of her first production venture Chathur Mukham (2021), Manju Warrier sported a youthful look in a black skirt and a new haircut with bangs. While the Malayalam industry went crazy about her new look, Manju Warrier says, “It might have looked unusual for others but it is something I normally wear.” Now, the posters and songs of her new film Ayisha are doing rounds on the internet for yet another stylish makeover of the actress. And this time around, she agrees and says that the costumes are something she has not worn in any of her other films.
“Many are comparing it with Daya (1998), but it is a fantasy story adapted by MT Vasudevan Nair. On the other hand, Ayisha is a very realistic film inspired by a real-life story,” says the actress. So, is it a biopic? No. Although the actress lets us know that it is a cinematic version of a particular episode in a person’s life, she doesn’t spill the beans about the real-life character on whom the film is based. It is for you to watch the first show and understand, quips Warrier.
Before Thunivu, Warrier had acted in only one Tamil film. She played the role of Pachaiyammal in Dhanush’s Asuran (2019). The actress says that she was initially a bit worried about her character in Thunivu but both her characters in Tamil cinema have been accepted by the audience. “Action is not something I am familiar with, I don’t even know how to hold a gun. So what the character does in the film is something I have never done before. But the audience loved it more than what I could imagine and that makes me happy,” says the actress.
Though it was only her second Tamil film, she felt at ease and had the space to request retakes. Warrier says, “The crew never treated me like someone who has done only one Tamil film. I had a comfort level there, especially with Ajith sir, Vinoth sir and DOP Nirav Shah. They would appreciate it when the takes were good and I also suggested a retake at times. Ajith sir had done multiple retakes of a scene just for me.”