Singer and actress Andrea Jeremiah made her acting debut with Gautham Vasudev Menon’s Pachaikili Muthucharam in 2007. While it has been 15 years since its release, and thus her debut in the industry, Andrea still finds it unbelievable to have entered Kollywood over a decade ago. Ahead of her upcoming film Anel Meley Pani Thuli, which is slated to be released on SonyLIV on November 18, the actress revisits her filmography in an interview with Krishna.
Speaking about the three favourite female characters from her filmography, Andrea says, “In these 15 years, from Pachaikili Muthucharam to Vadachennai, the roles that I’ve done with great interest would be Chandra from Vada Chennai (2018), Althea from Taramani (2017) and Anna from Annayum Rasoolum (2013). So over these years, many films could’ve given me a box office hit, but none of them affected me as much as these films did. It was about connecting to the role as a woman, more than an actress,” says Andrea, gleefully adding, “While I’ve picked three roles from the past 15 years, post lockdown, I’ve already been able to do three other such films. Isn’t that a wonderful thing?”
The three films Andrea is referring to are Anal Meley Pani Thuli, Pisasu 2, and an untitled project that is set to be released next year. Anal Meley Pani Thuli follows Madhi, a village girl who moves to Chennai with the dreams of finding new work and a good man. But her seemingly beautiful life comes crashing down when she is raped. How she overcomes this trauma and leads her life forms the plot of this Vetri Maaran production. Andrea looks at the film as one of the most important ones she has been part of.
“The narration was brief, but more than an actor, I was moved as a woman. I thought to myself that this kind of movie must definitely come out. This is something that happens to women in our country every day. What really appealed to me is that this is not the story of a rape victim, but a story of a rape survivor. There’s a huge difference between these terms. We as a society use the terminology of a victim. It's only in the past year or two that we have started using the term rape survivor. Because before now, being raped indicated an end to one’s life. But this girl (Madhi) doesn’t think so. She does not believe her life is over,” says the actress.
Andrea has always asserted that she is drawn only to character-oriented roles and not be part of films just because it has a big star. But that was not the case with Vijay and Lokesh Kanagaraj’s Master (2021), and Andrea agrees. Although she had a very small role in the film, the actress explains why she took it up. “I have said no to big hero films before and after that. But maybe I did Master because I really wanted to work with Lokesh (Lokesh Kanagaraj). I like him as a filmmaker and he was honest about my character. And I have a lot of respect for Vijay sir, especially after acting with him. He is a very down-to-earth human being. I also did that film because of that archery sequence. Usually, in big hero films, only the actors get to do action, where they might be seen saving a woman or something.”
The experience also led her to realise the kind of expectation people have of her. “After Master, I understood that people expect something from me because of the films I have done. So, I have decided to do a film only when I have a very good character to play and I have stuck to it. And maybe, that’s why you will see me in fewer films but all of it will be worth watching,” concludes Andrea.