Ansiba Hassan started her showbiz career with her Tamil debut in ‘Konjam Veyil Konjam Mazhai’, and followed it up with ‘Udumban’ and ‘Nagaraja Cholan MA, MLA’. The versatile actress tells Sashidhar Adivi how ‘Drishyam’ lifted her spirits and prepared her for bigger challenges
“I used to watch a lot of Tamil films, so I was fluent in Tamil even before I entered Kollywood. I never thought of becoming an actress. I wasn’t confident about myself. But I was the winner of a reality show ‘Screen Test’ (2010) in Kerala and director Rosshan Andrrews who was on the jury panel spotted my acting talent,” she says speaking about her acting debut.
“I played two characters – a college-goer and a 28-year-old. Since I was lean, I had to put on weight for the latter role. I had to eat a lot of curd rice, ice creams, and a lot of junk food to gain the weight. They also wanted me to deglam for the role and so I had to be under the sun for long hours. But I’m glad I pulled it off. In ‘Drishyam’ too, they wanted me to sport a dusky look – an innocent face. Finally I asked my director but then he told me that was what was demanded of my character in the film. So I realised that I needed to adapt to the role and work accordingly.
The Kozhikode-born has, however, lost weight for her commercial films. “It was not just for the just commercials films but e ven my brothers and cousins were teasing and calling me ‘fatso’. So I wanted to get slimmer and lose weight. I was 56 kilos when I was doing ‘Drishyam’ and wasn’t that fat, but because of my costumes (half-skirt) I look plump. I have very sensual eyes and they are my best feature. And because of them I can still look hot in traditional outfits and don’t necessarily have to show skin.”
At a time when most of the actresses are taking up glamorous roles, the Malayalam actress has her way out and is game only for homely roles. “I want to essay roles like Revathi, Suhasini, Saritha did and I’m ready for new challenges. I’m ready to do glam roles but within my limits; personally I love my homely characters,” she states.
Life after ‘Drishyam’
Her role in ‘Drishyam’ has taken the actress places. She adds, “People started recognising me and that is equal to doing 100 films. When I go to Chennai or Mumbai, people ask me ‘You are the Drishyam’ girl’ right?’ It makes me happy. It has really lifted my spirits and boosted my confidence. At the same time, people think I’m a Class 10 student; I often correct them that I am almost a graduate. I like to be part of commercial cinema but looks like people haven’t been able to get over my role of Anju in ‘Drish yam’. I keep telling everyone that my name is not Anju but Ansiba (smiles). The still treat me like a baby. In fact there are a few people who called me ‘Baby Ansiba’. It is embarrassing and I want to break that stereotype.
In ‘Little Superman’ as well, my role was that of a Class 12 student. I told the director, ‘Please don’t portray me as a Class 12 student. I don ’t mind being a college-goer’. He replied, “All actresses want to be projected young but surprisingly you want to look older? But then you need to act your part”. It was then that I started preparing myself for the challenges ahead.”
Post ‘Drishyam’ Ansiba was flooded with several matrimony proposals. “Many people came home and asked ‘Is Ansiba ready for marriage’? We have our son! Since the mo vie portrayed a village belle, they wanted a pretty girl like her.’ Just to put them off, I said I would get married only two years later. It has been two years since and just last month a guy called asked me, ‘Two years are over, are you ready for marriage now?’ My family was shocked. But honestly, I have no marriage plans as of now,” she reveals.
Romantic but no to love
Ansiba says she wants to focus on her career. “I used to watch a lot of romantic films and am a great fan of Suriya. I’m a very romantic person in real life and you can see it in my eyes. But I don’t want a boyfriend. Right now, I’m focusing only on my career. Even before ‘Drishyam’, I got several proposals but I have turned them down.”
So what is her ideal man like? “He should be romantic as well; else, I’ll just be a bother (laughs). He should be tall, handsome and come from a good family. My brothers are all tall and tease me saying they want a tall brother in law.”
And how does she chill out? “I like to travel a lot and explore a lot of places. I also read a lot of books, most of them by Madhavikutty and Vaikom Muhammad Basheer.”