Malavika Mohanan, who is gearing up for the release of her next, Christy in Malayalam, looks at the film’s shooting days as one of the most challenging phases of her career. Helmed by Alvin Henry, Christy traces the story of a teenage boy who falls in love with an older woman. The actress who has found her footing in multiple industries acted simultaneously in two films — Thangalaan And Christy — for the first time. “I have got so many beautiful scripts in the past six months. And I have been greedy that I signed back-to-back films,” notes the actress.
Although she agrees that date clashes are quite normal in the industry, this is the first time she has personally experienced shooting for multiple films at once. “Before this, I used to do one film and there will be a 2-3 months break. While shooting for Christy, the shoot will get over around 9:00 or 9:30 at night. I would travel to Madurai after that. It used to take a lot of time to get ready for Pa Ranjith’s Thangalaan shooting. So, after shooting there, I would travel back to Poovar in 4-5 days,” she says.
Malavika found this not only physically straining but artistically tricky. “These characters are like two extremes, literally 180° different.” So, she had to keep switching between the characters and the actress did have difficulties adapting to the varying environments. “In Christy, my character is soft and simple. In Thangalaan, I had to do the opposite. I had to be bold and fierce, more like a warrior. When I would finish Christy shoot and go to Thangalaan, they would be like: You are too simple. Become wilder. And once when I came back to Christy shooting, Anend (Cinematographer) told me, “Your eyes are looking so fierce on camera.” It felt like a jet lag period. But I was in love with both the characters and wanted to do justice to them. Even if there was a small shuffling period, I didn’t want any scene to look like I have lost the character,” says the actress.
The actress says that earlier she used to set goals based on which actor she wants to work with. But after years of unlearning the thought process, she has a different set of goals: to do different films that help her explore more. “Master (2021) was focussed on Vijay sir and Vijay Sethupathi sir. My character was a small female lead but it gave me so much spotlight and love from his fans. This recognition has helped me get a lot of different scripts. Similarly, Thangalaan is Vikram sir’s film but Pa Rajith is a fantastic director and I have got a good role to play.” So right now what she yearns for is good characters and interesting roles. “I like the mix of different personalities that I am playing instead of getting stuck with the pretty girl, or sexy girl, or cute girl. That bracketing for women in cinema has to change,” concludes the actress.
Christy, co-starring Mathew Thomas is slated to hit the screens on February 17.