The actress has some interesting projects lined up, including the Malayalam film Christy, director Pa Ranjith’s Thangalaan and a Telugu film. Malavika Mohnanan is looking forward to 2023 and talks about her upcoming films and more in this interview.
Malavika Mohanan’s Malayalam film Christy releases in February.
By Latha Srinivasan: She made her debut in Malayalam cinema but has now worked seamlessly across several film industries. Malavika Mohanan made a name for herself when she did Thalapathy Vijay’s Master (2021) and now, after five years, she is back in Malayalam cinema with Christy. Currently, Malavika is shooting for Pa Ranjith’s Thangalaan and will be starting her Telugu film as well. Though no official announcement has been made, Malavika has reportedly been signed on for Prabhas’s film with director Maruthi. And she has the Bollywood film, Yudhra, too.
Christy marks Malavika’s return to Mollywood after Pattam Pole and The Great Father. Directed by Alvin Henry, the film stars Malavika Mohanan and Mathew Thomas, and is releasing in February. In an exclusive chat with IndiaToday.in, Malavika opened up about Christy, Thangalaan and what she’s looking forward to in her career now.
Q: Tell us about your Malayalam film Christy.
I wasn’t looking at particularly doing a Malayalam film at that point as I hadn’t done one in a long time. Life has taken me in different directions and different industries. This script randomly came my way. I hadn’t found acceptance per se in the Malayalam cinema with the projects I’ve done. I feel Tamil cinema is where my happy place is. As an actor, you have to do more work and better your craft, but Tamil cinema is what felt like home in my career.
The first thing that caught me about Christy was that the team was wonderful – Benyamin and GR Indugopan have written the screenplays; they are well regarded Malayali writers and I have read a lot of Benyamin’s books. What excited me was that it was Benyamin’s first movie script. We have Govind Vasantha as the music director, Alvin Henry as director and Mathew Thomas as actor. In terms of characters also, it wasn’t something I had done before and unique. I’ve reached a point where big hero films are good in their own way, but you want to play good characters. Otherwise, you get stuck in the rut of a female actor playing the love interest.
Watch Christy trailer
Q: As a Malayali, did you ever feel you had to make it big in Malayalam cinema?
I think we all have a soft spot for the kind of cinema we grew up watching – that’s what I personally feel. I grew up watching Malayalam and Bollywood films – so I have a soft spot for both these languages. I do strongly associate with Malayali culture, be it language, literature or cuisine. It’s nice to do a film you associate with in many ways and I enjoy the process. More than proving myself there, I hold Malayalam cinema in high regard. It’s fun to be part of.
Q: From what we know, you are doing a Telugu project. Do you think it’ll open doors for you in Tollywood as well?
I think so, for sure. You do back-to-back films and you don’t know what will click in the larger scheme of things. Of late, Telugu cinema has become so huge in terms of the reach it has. Being a part of a Telugu film which potentially has that kind of reach because of the actor and the team involved, I hope that it will help me do more and reach more people.
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Q: After you did Thalapathy Vijay’s Master, did you get any interesting offers in Tamil?
I got a lot of Tamil movie offers even before the movie was released! It was crazy the numbers of offers I got once the movie announcement was made – this had never happened before. That’s the kind of hysteria around Vijay and the people he’s working with. But I’m very selective and only take up a project if it really excites me.
Q: Thangalaan must be exciting. You are working with director Pa Ranjith.
Yes, it really is. I’m at a point where I want to play good characters and collaborate with good filmmakers. Ranjith sir is someone whose work I admire as a filmmaker and I really like the kind of ideologies and principles he has and his way of viewing the world. I ideologically connect to him in a lot of different ways and that’s not something you necessarily feel with every filmmaker you work with. It’s a lot more fun when you are on the same wavelength. Having said that, the role is such a powerful one he has written for a female actor that it’s very rare to see any female actor getting a role like this. Most other directors would probably have just cast a male actor in this role.
Q: Since Ranjith has given you a powerful role, is there pressure that you have to deliver?
There is pressure in terms of the physical training I need to do for something like this. I feel a certain kind of nervousness before I get into any role. As actors, every role is outside of our comfort zone in some form or another. If I’m not out of the comfort zone, then there’s something wrong with it. (laughs) All the films I’ve done where I’ve been lauded are those out of my comfort zone and where I’ve done roles with complacency and comfort, they have backfired.
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Q: Would you want to do female-centric films which may not be big budget but tell great stories?
Of course. It’s just about getting the script that speaks to you. Even Christy is not a ‘big hero’ film, but it’s interesting in a very different way. If I get something unique, then why not?