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Interview Team : Jyothsna

Although Gayathrie’s first film was Yen Ippadi Mayakkinai, it was her role as Vijay Sethupathi’s love interest in Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom that got her noticed. After having done Pon Maalai Pozhudhu and Rummy, she is presently working in Mellisai and Ula. In conversation with Senior Editor Jyothsna Bhavanishankar, Gayathrie opens up on her first film, Vijay Sethupathi, her upcoming projects and many more.


A brief intro about yourself

I am from Bangalore (Tamil origin). Acting was just a dream. I never really planned on working towards it or taking it seriously as a career. I wanted to be a psychologist.


What made you take acting as your profession?

I got an offer when I was in the 12th and took it up. I had stage fright and was petrified of public speaking. But once I started acting, I got over camera fear and it was actually nice. Now that I am in films, I want to make a name for myself before I move on to do other things.


Your first film and experience

My first film was Yen Ippadi Mayakkinai which gave me the memorable experiences of my life. All the assistant directors, the director and the cameraman are responsible for my performance and for molding me into a director’s actor. I had around two months of rigorous training. I learnt how to ride a geared bike (for the movie). I used to get up at 6 in the morning to be at the beach for bike practice, get back home by 9, have breakfast and watch a movie (part of homework!). Post lunch was dance class and evening I had to practice my scenes.


Two months I was living and breathing my character in the film. It’s the first time I had put in so much effort into anything. I surprised myself.


Just because the movie did not release a lot of people expected me to complain about how valuable time of mine got wasted, but actually it’s not true! I got to learn so much! And that too in such a short period of time!


Experience working in NKPK?

It was like family! Balaji who worked in Yen Ippadi Mayakkinai helped me with my scene practice. So I was very comfortable on the sets and slowly everybody became familiar. I like all of them, the entire team.


My scenes were shot in a place called Kizhapazhur. We all ate together and even played together after shoot. The most chilled out shooting I’ve done, yet so productive is very definitely NKPK.


In NKPK, your appearance is being scorned by Vijay Sethupathi. What was your reaction when you first heard the scene? Did you feel bad?

Haha! That was a real challenge! I had to keep reminding myself that I’m just playing a character. Nobody is actually saying it to me!


Working with Vijay Sethupathi

He has transformed a lot. He has become more confident since NKPK days, but still sincere and best of all, he’s humble. It’s interesting to work with actors who actively make an effort to give performances that heighten the impact of the scene. He’s sensible and has foresight when it comes to judging a script. I have learnt a lot from him.


Rapport with Vijay Sethupathi

During NKPK we worked together for only 8 days. I had no combination scenes with him in Rummy.


Mellisai shoot gave me the opportunity to interact with him on a daily basis. He’s been like a big brother, making sure I’m comfortable with the team. Also he never misses a chance to pull my leg at every opportunity he gets.


Your role in Ula?

My character is called Priya, a very normal middle class girl who loves her family. The day she decides to take control of her life, fate decides otherwise. A series of events connect Priya and Kathir’s (played by newbie Nandan) lives to so many other people, who are also affected by the events. The story takes place over a period of 24 hours or so. It was interesting to play a meek girl whose life has turned upside down. The uncertainty and the despair my character faces has been told with a hint of humor in it, dark humor I guess... haha... it’s interesting!


Your role in Mellisai

I play Meera. She’s a music teacher. And I’m not allowed to talk much about Mellisai.


Your favorite actors/actresses

Loads!! I Love the kind of movies that are being churned out right now. Rima Kallingal, Nithya Menon, Lakshmi Menon, Varalaxmi, Priya Anand, Nivin Pauly, Faahad Fazil, Vijay Sethupathi, Jai, Siddharth, Gautham Karthik are all my favorites!


A recent film that you liked

Neram, Vanakkam Chennai, Theeya Velai Seiyyanum Kumaru, Raja Rani, Irandam Ulagam, Pannayarum Padminiyum, Rummy


What kind of films you like to watch?

Entertaining kinds


How do you de-stress?

I’m an emotional eater. I eat and then play badminton. But the best stress busters are dogs!


A dream role

I hadn’t really thought about this much until I recently reread an old favorite book of mine. If anybody is ever making “The God of small things” I’d love to be Ammu.


If not an actress, what would you have done?

I’m a gypsy at heart. I’d have travelled and done something related to psychology.


About your family and their support

I am blessed to have unconditional support from them! Initially they were apprehensive but after seeing my work they believe in me and support me 100%. I have the best family!


About actors being active in social networking pages

It’s a great platform to connect with our audiences. I have been showered with affection and acceptance on social media.


Current projects

I am doing Ula which is in post production and Mellisai which is being filmed now.