Dilani Rabindran




Vidyu Raman may be a funny girl, but don’t call her a comedienne. The intelligent, lively and ambitious lass much prefers being called a character artist, and has proven her worthiness of the title. The talented 21 year-old made her debut in 2012’s Neethane En Ponvasantham, playing the ‘Jessie’ to Santhanam’s ‘Karthik’ in the comedic track of the film, which stole the show. Her latest release Theeya Velai Seiyyanum Kumaru is already garnering great reviews & box office success – with a special mention for her performance. I had the pleasure of chatting with the former theatre performer, & daughter of actor Mohan Raman, in a candid interview the very same day TVSK released, while the web was alight with praise for her work. As the first comedic actress Kollywood has seen in a while, Vidyu is aware that she has begun repaving comedy in Tamil cinema. For a girl who’s barely in her 20’s, that level of focus is a rare feat.

Despite her phenomenal success in just a few films & her young age I found Vidyu to be entirely humble and wise. She happily credited her early success to the guidance of her directors Gautham Menon & Sundar C, along with her directors from the Telugu industry. As she explains that “these directors have a certain confidence in me in order to cast me for these roles… so if I even get to 90 or 99% of what they want it’s all thanks to their motivation and constructive tips” I get the sense of a hard-working star who is eager to learn. Like appreciating her directors, Vidyu was also very candid with how blessed she felt to have debuted in a GVM film, describing NEPV as a “double bonanza”, as it introduced her in both Tamil & Telugu – but made a special point to credit the comedic success of the film to her overwhelming chemistry with leading funny man Santhanam. “We hit it off instantly”, she gushed about the award-winning comedian, whom she describes as always fun to work with & immediately collaborated with in NEPV to extract the maximum amount of laughs from the audience. And Vidyu knows how to get the laughter going - astutely noticing the differences between comedy in the Tamil & Telugu industries. “In Telugu they like the comedy to be more over the top…but I find in Tamil, audiences like more subtle & underplayed jokes”, she explains as she updates me on the status of her upcoming Telugu flick “Ramayya Vasthavayya”. She remains appreciative of any roles she is offered, even explaining that being a part of TVSK helped her “realize that you don't need to be in a film from start to finish in order to make a mark” – as clearly demonstrated by the amount of praise for her brief appearance already. And although she has quickly become a star in her own right Vidyu remains a fangirl at heart – describing to me in detail her experience of meeting mass hero Ajith on the set of his new movie, in which she plays a role – emphasizing her awe at his extreme modesty.

Vidyu & I first connected over our shared love of American sitcoms via Twitter. I couldn’t have dreamt of a more fitting introduction, because, to me, she embodies in Kollywood what the West is now immersed in – talented females breaking comedic molds with a new ‘brand of funny’. With ultimate dreams to one day be in an American sitcom, she considers herself inspired by actresses like Kaley Cuoco and Zoey Deschanel. She is well aware of the current gap in the female comedian category of Tamil cinema & is focused on dominating the niche market like many females celebs are similarly doing in the West. And of course, as a student of theatre & a fan of “Saturday Night Live” Vidyu would love to bring a major sketch-comedy show to Tamils one day, whom she describes as “an evolving audience”. It’s this level of insight as to her role in the modernization of comedy & entertainment that impresses me, but don’t group her as solely a funny girl just yet. The go-getting gal is clear about her desire to do a wide range of dramatic roles, and is even receiving the chance to do so now, like in her upcoming Telugu flick ‘Weekend Love’.

Chatting with Vidyu was a pleasure & I consider myself lucky for getting to know her in her early days. I look forward to the day I turn on the TV to find her further advancing Indian entertainment in some manner, or perhaps to see her making a name for herself in American sitcoms; I only hope she’ll remember to send me an autograph from Hollywood.

"Stay tuned to Behindwoods for the results of Dilani's 'Rapid Fire Question Round' with Vidyu Raman"

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