Interviewer: Inian | Camera: Hemananth.B | Text: Jyothsna
Sandhya, who came as a fresh whiff of air in Kaadhal, has come a long way in the industry. Having established herself as an actress who can perform well, besides looking good, she is awaiting her next release Manjal Veyil with debutant director Raja (Vaseegaran). Meet Sandhya, our guest this week.


BW:
How did Manjal Veyil happen?

Sandhya: The opportunity to act in Manjal Veyil came my way. I did not go for it. I was told that the director wrote the script keeping me in mind. When I listened to it I liked and agreed to do the film.

Is Manjal Veyil YOUR film?

Yes, definitely. When Raja sir narrated the script, I liked it very much because it is basically about friendship. It is about a different and an intense friendship. It is also a very touching and sentimental film. When the script was narrated to me, I came across a lot of things I liked. There was love, there was friendship and all this packed in a commercial wrapper. Performance wise, I am sure it would fetch me good reviews.


It was said that your role was to be done by Sneha. Your comment?

Yes. I know about it. Both our names were considered. But due to date problems, Sneha could not do the film. When Raja sir chose me, he said it is because of my eyes. The film is shaping up very well.

" Raja will definitely be

a good film maker to

the industry
"


Your experience working with debutant director Raja (Vaseegaran)?

It was really nice working with him. He is a very talented director and the zeal and enthusiasm that one comes across in a new director, who wants to prove, was evident in Raja. Of course, to be honest I had a lot of misunderstanding with him. We had a few tiffs at the sets but it was nothing serious. Now, I find those episodes highly comical. When I saw the film recently, I felt it had come out well and I congratulated him. Raja will definitely be a good film maker to the industry.

Can you recall any unforgettable fights that you had with Raja?

Fights are meant to be forgotten. Anyway, to recall, I can mention about the arguments we had on costumes one day. The light was setting and we had to complete a song but my costumes, which had gone for alteration, had not come in time. This delay made Raja sir angry and I retorted. That’s about it.

About the three characters in Manjal Veyil?

I can say all our characters – mine, Bala’s and Prasanna’s will definitely be registered in the minds of the audience. Prasanna’s role is very good and he features as a college going student.

" Prasanna’s role is

very good
"


Who is your pair in Manjal Veyil - Prasanna or Bala?

I don’t want to break the suspense now. However, role wise, both of them have equal importance and footage. And all our three characters have clear differentiation. Though we will be taking the same route, we will have our unique colors. But I cannot divulge my pair, as that is the main knot of the film.


How was it working with Bala and Prasanna?

We shared a perfect rapport with each other and it was fun working with them. We had a blast especially at Bangkok where we got close. Although we had difficulties, we used to help each other during the shoots. We had good compatibility and it was an enjoyable experience altogether.

What did you learn and gain from Prasanna and Bala?

I gained good friendship of Bala and Prasanna. We keep in touch. I also got to learn their cinema experiences, their decisions, their mistakes and their viewpoints on many matters.

Did your experience in the industry help in Manjal Veyil?

In Kaadal, my role was highly matured and so is in Manjal Veyil. My role in MV will be like a journey and is an evolved one. When I talk of experience, I would say it is related to the directors and their working styles. Each director has his own way of narrating. In Manjal Veyil, Raja sir’s style was different. He would not act out his scenes but would convey his requirements and bring out the emotion unmindful of the number of takes. He was clear what he wanted and that helped me bring out my best.


The characters in Manjal Veyil – do you come across like that in real life?

Yes, definitely. I have seen many such people like the ones in Manjal Veyil though I have no personal experience like that.

Do you have similarities between your role in the film and the real YOU?

In Manjal Veyil, I am a college going student and any such girl of present times can relate to my character in the film.

" Foreign trips help

you bond well with

the team
"


Did the finished product of the film satisfy you?

Yes. The imagination I had while listening to the script was almost translated on to the screen. I am glad and satisfied I have chosen a good film.

Compare Kaadhal Sandhya to Manjal Veyil Sandhya

Of course, there are a lot of changes. My opinions have changed. I have grown in the way I talk, in the way I interact. I have matured as a person also.

Work wise, how have you evolved from your initial years?

In my first film, I was very immature and was completely naïve. I was able to absorb the director’s word and give out. Now, I am able to fathom better and visualize. I am also able to contribute constructively.

" I had a lot of

misunderstanding

with him "


About the Bharathanatyam dances in the film?

I am not a trained Bharathanatyam dancer. But I had training sessions before the shoot and it was easier.

Do you think the late release of Manjal Veyil will have any effect?

No. I don’t think so. The talk that comes along with the release of the film is more important because these responses are essential and not the time a film was under production.


About your singing in Manjal Veyil?

It was really shocking to me. Raja sir used to ask me if I could sing and I always thought he was joking. However, one day he called me to studios to test my voice and asked me to sing. It was a pleasant and a different experience and I enjoyed. Singing helped me understand the technical aspects of recording.

How did Bharadwaj help you?

He had no restrictions and let me sing in my comfort zone. Though I was tensed initially, he put me to ease and improvised my singing by giving tips.

Can you sing the song that you had sung in Manjal Veyil?

I don’t remember the lyrics. Anyway… (sings the song).

Will you sing for others?

Let me see. I got an opportunity in this film. Perhaps I will. I don’t know.

About your filmography in Malayalam?

I have done three films in Malayalam - Alice in Wonderland, Prajapathi and Cycle. Currently, I am working in a film. Cycle was a huge hit.


What are your current Tamil projects?

I am working in Nootrukku Nooru and Odipolama.

What about your role in Irumbu Kottai Murattu Singam?

I am doing a guest role in the film. What appealed to me in this film are the color, style and tone of the film. I am doing a Red Indian princess and I like my role. I felt my role would be remembered even through it is small. That’s why I accepted it.

" fights are to be

forgotten "


Whose advice do you take on the sets?

I listen to my director and act accordingly. I don’t go to the sets with a fixed notion. I leave it to the director.

Share your experience on overseas shoot?

For Kanna Moochi Yenada we went to Malaysia where we shot a song sequence and few scenes. It was a wonderful experience with Priyamma (director Priya V). We felt as though we were having a picnic. For Manjal Veyil, we went to Bangkok. Foreign trips help us bond well with the team. And we had an enjoyable experience as well.

If a role like in Kaadhal comes your way, will you do it?

Of course, I will do such challenging roles. Bu I have not got any such films right now.

How do you see Tamil film industry right now?

It is very obvious that audience wants a change. They accept good scripts unmindful of actors or banners. According to me, it is a positive change.

 

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