The sunshine girl Anupama Parameswaran talks how life is after her debut film ‘Premam’, career plans and Tollywood debut. Sashidhar Adivi listens in.
Post the success of Malayalam film ‘Premam’, Anupama Parameswaran has had to cope with two difficult things – studies, for one. Popularity, for another. “I have taken a break from studies. I will rejoin college from next academic year. As for popularity, I want people to see that it was not Anupama but the character. I just want my fans to pray for me and support me,” says the fledgling actress, adding that she loves both her admirers and critics.
“I always loved movies, but I never expected a big bang project like ‘Premam’. I did dream of becoming an actress, but wanted to try my luck only after completing graduation, when I turned 22-something. But a friend pushed me to send my pictures to the filmmakers of ‘Premam’. I sent some crazy selfies, which they fell in love with. I auditioned for the role and was roped in. I can’t believe all that happened to me,” says the beautiful girl, beaming a smile.
We ask her why she quit her studies and what if she becomes busier after ‘Premam’ and ‘A…Aa’ – her forthcoming Telugu film. “I hail from a village near Irinjalakuda and later moved to Kottayam for my studies. It was during my first year of college that I shot for ‘Premam’. I had to take a break because my hometown, my place of education, and my current shooting location (Hyderabad) are all different. I want to concentrate on one thing now. I would like to restart my studies once my mind is settled. I am a beginner. It’s difficult for me to sail in two boats. I should become comfortable, and be in a position to handle both,” she clarifies.
So what’s her mind saying now? “I want to do films for now. My first interest is toward the art,” Anupama chuckles. Celebrity status at a young age hasn’t gone to her head. With her feet firmly on ground, the humble-sounding diva says, “I can’t believe that I am a celebrity. People recognize me now. I knew Keralites knew me well, but I imagined that Telugu people identify me. Even people from Bengal come and talk with me whenever they spot me in a public place. All credit goes to Alphonse Putharen, who wrote my character.”
Is it because of her curly hair that makes the common folk adore her? “Maybe it’s this curly hair which I can’t hide that makes people identify me easily. I really do love my curls. My love for them has only increased after ‘Premam’,” says the Thrissur-born with a smile. Come what may, she won’t go for a hairdo that does away with the curls. “I guess it doesn’t suit me. I can temporarily change my style for, say, a photo shoot. But I may not be ready to change it permanently.”
So, what is her fashion statement? “I am not a fashion girl,” Anupama shoots back, adding that she gets lazy when it comes to shopping. “I don’t like to shop at all. I am lazy. If I have to be ready for a party tonight or even tomorrow morning. I prefer to be simple. Being natural is what attracts me. Putting on the makeup is just a part of the job I do,” says the actress – quite ironical for a girl who is in the showbiz!
Needless to expound, Anupama doesn’t buy into the current definitions of glamour. “Glamour is different for different people. To someone, wearing a sleeveless dress is glamorous. It may not be so to me. It’s all about getting the getup that best suits a character. What’s comfortable for me will be my costume,” she asserts.
Having been to Hyderabad to shoot for her Telugu film, we ask her how she finds the Pearl City? “The climate is beautiful. My mother loves the boulders there and I would often joke that we carry some of them to Kerala since she likes them so much,” she says, giggling like a girl-next door friend.
The Telugu film industry’s newbie learns about the stars and directors by googling their names. “I never used to watch Telugu movies much. I was mostly in the hostel. During SIMA awards, I happened to talk with Balakrishna sir. He is very talkative. I had also met Naga Chaitanya and Venkatesh sir there,” she says.
Ask her about her familiarity with Telugu, she replies, “I can’t understand it if you talk at a stretch. I can speak words like akali, manchi neellu, bagunnara, ela unnaru, emi chestunnaru and the like. Some of the words are like tongue twisters. With Tamil, I don’t face this problem. Nevertheless, I have dubbed for my character in ‘Premam’ as there are only a few scenes,” she says. “Tollywood is the Bollywood of South cinema. In Malayalam, the shoot gets over fast,” Anupama analyzes.
Few actresses have got to work with Trivikram Srinivas so early in their career. Talking about his humbleness, Anu says, “I don’t get his lines at the first instance. I then watch a scene (from a movie) thrice or more than that. If I don’t get it even then, I find out the meaning from someone else.”
What is her role in A…Aa? “I can guarantee you that it’s a completely different girl from Mary (in Premam). There is no similarity whatsoever,” says the actress who is tight lipped about her role in ‘A…Aa’.
Talking about her parental support, she says, “My entire family is very reassuring. They always knew that I am not going be a doctor or engineer as I am not a book worm. If not an actress, I don’t know what I would have been. I don’t go by any plans. I might have rather done wildlife photography or travelling. I might have been in the media.”
How does she de-stress herself? “I am a very talkative girl. Besides talking, I watch films. I like music and heart it a lot. I am not addicted to TV. I don’t know how time passes.” A foodie, Anupama loves whatever her mother cooks. “Plain dough with the right mixing is my favourite,” she signs off.