Amala Paul’s Cadaver releases on Disney+ Hotstar on August 12. She plays Badra, a forensic surgeon (pathologist) who helps police crack murder cases. In this interview with Vishal Menon, Amala Paul opens up about why she was even ready to do Cadaver without a salary.
“Everything started with the character because I was attracted to her and I wanted to play Badra’s role as a forensic surgeon. So initially, I was not the producer, but I was ready to do it without a salary to support the film. And then, I got really attached to the film because I knew the team, Abhilash Pillai (writer) and Anoop S Panicker (director),” says the actress.
The writer-director duo narrated the script to her back in 2016, but they could not find any producers. The project got a new lease of life after Amala decided to bankroll it under her own venture in 2019. Explaining the reason, Amala tells us, “The producers weren’t backing a film with a female protagonist subject and they instead wanted a male protagonist. But Abhilash and Anoop were not comfortable when they met some of the male actors because they wanted to change the character, story, and all that. So, they waited. In 2019, I started exploring heroine-centric films like Aadai, so I got a little confident and that’s when this film came. And I thought why not. If others are producing films for me then I should also believe in it and take that chance. I had to put in a lot of money and I became the sole investor and producer. ”
Amala Paul visited a mortuary to prepare for the role and understand Badra and her routine. Talking about the need to visit a mortuary and her experience, she says, “I didn’t have an option. When I play a teacher, I can use my imagination because I have seen teachers. When I play a normal doctor, I can still use my imagination. The same applies when I play a wife or a lover. But when I play a pathologist, it’s completely unknown to me. They have the strength to do a post-mortem and their life is surrounded by dead bodies. In our first-look poster, Badra is seen sitting and eating in a mortuary. That’s how their life is, as there are staff and attendees who sleep there. So for me to understand the depth of it, I had to put myself through that experience. I saw a couple of things that happened in the mortuary and that really changed me. It was one of the most worthy and mortifying experiences in my life and it really changed me.”
But being a producer was not easy for Amala. “Everything was going well in the beginning, but there were some unexpected things that happened in my life, like losing my father. Since I didn’t have any idea about production, I was clueless. It happened by destiny and it was way out of my comfort zone. I had to deal with a lot of people which otherwise I wouldn’t have to do in my life. There were a lot of very scary and negative experiences, but I think it was huge learning,” the actor-turned-producer concludes.