Think Gayathrie Shankar and you immediately think of her layered performances in Tamil films such as Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom, Super Deluxe and Vikram. But for her next film, the actress is all set to make her Malayalam film debut with Ratheesh Balakrishnan Poduval’s Nna Thaan Case Kodu, and she couldn’t be more excited.
Being a half Malayali, Gayathrie’s tryst with Malayalam cinema started off as a young viewer of Mohanlal films. As she goes on to list some of her favourite Malayalam films, she says, “I have watched Kumbalangi Nights eight times in the theatre (laughs). My mom used to watch a lot of Mohanlal movies such as Thenmavin Kombath (1994) and His Highness Abdullah (1990) when I was a kid. And then I got in touch with Malayalam movies much later when films like Diamond Necklace (2012) and 22 Female Kottayam (2012) happened. They make the most exciting projects. Here I am on the threshold of being part of the industry and I couldn’t be more excited.”
Gayathrie, who will be seen opposite Kunchacko Boban in Nna Thaan Case Kodu, notes that the film will be very rooted to its culture. “It is a film set in Kasargod and is rooted in its culture. But there is an injection of Ratheesh ettan’s progressive thinking. The lead pair in the movie meet, fall in love, have a family, but they never marry. When you think of live-in relationships, you think about an urban setting. But here it’s different. I found this matter-of-factly approach very exciting, where nobody is trying to titillate you with scandalous things or anything,” Gayathrie says.
She then goes on to speak about her desire to act in Malayalam films and why the process took so much time. “I’ve been dying to work in the Malayalam film industry. As an actress when you approach people, the dynamics change and the conversation takes a different turn. I know some people are adept at maneuvering, but I am not. I am too cut and right to maneuver through all this. If my work is good enough, it will come to me. I have sent audition tapes for Malayalam movies some years back. But it never really materialized for some reason.”