Shamna Kasim, better known by her stage name 'Poorna' outside Mollywood, has made a powerful return to Malayalam cinema through Mammootty's latest movie 'Oru Kuttanadan Blog.' The actor, who started off with 'Manju Poloru Penkutty' (2004), acted in around 40 movies till date.
Shamna, who landed in movies through a popular television dance reality show, aced character roles in Malayalam in the initial phase of her career. An established classical dancer and model, Shamna migrated to Tamil and Telugu movies, where she was offered powerful heroine roles. She shone in ghost roles and gained the title 'the ghost queen of Telugu films.'
In an interview to Onmanorama, Shamna Kasim opened up about the tough phase in her career, when she actually thought of quitting cinema to concentrate on classical dance. “There was a time when I settled down to quit movies. That happened years ago. I decided that there will be no more movies in my life. Nothing was working out. I hardly got any characters worth powerful performances in Malayalam. I thought I would leave movies, concentrate on my dance and shape another career,” she said.
The artiste says that she had clarity about her status in dance but not in movie industry. “I did not know anything about cinema. In case of dance, I knew my mistakes and what to correct before I perform the next time. But in cinema, I had no clarity regarding my drawbacks. I was unaware of the reason of my low graphs. I did not know what to correct and how,” she said.
Shamna Kasim says that in the initial phase of her career, she had seen female actors who showed 'a lot of attitude' on sets. When many junior actors used to turn up late, exhibited tantrums and demanded elite treatment, Shamna stuck to time, waited for technicians and followed the directors' instructions religiously. Yet, the actor says, she stayed a low-profile character artist and others were shot to fame easily.
A turning point
What brought this talented actor back on silver-screen is a box-office hit in Telugu. “It was when I decided to quit movies that 'Avunu' became a blockbuster in Telugu. That movie's unexpected success triggered my spirit. I understood that cinema is not going to leave me and that my life is both for dance and cinema,” the actor said with a cheerful smile.
Without wasting the opportunity, Shamna migrated to Kollywood and Tollywood and started multitasking as a horror actor and a heroine. She had no looking back thereafter. She adopted her stage name Poorna and and soon became a busy actor in south Indian cinema. Yet, she recalls the tough phase in her career calling it an 'eye-opener.'
A powerful return
“New heroines are coming up each day. You have to prove your talent and establish yourself or you'll be thrown out of the industry. You don't have to be obstinate about the language. Cinema is important – not the language it is shot in,” she says.
Shamna added that she waited for a good character in Malayalam cinema for a long time before she migrated to other industries. At a point of time, I realized that it is not language or industry but my career that matters. Still, I waited for a good opportunity to make a come-back to Malayalam cinema when I was shining in other industries as heroine and ghost, she says.
However, Shamna has made a powerful return to Malayalam cinema through Sethu's 'Oru Kuttanadan Blog' as one of the three heroines of mega star Mammootty. She's returned with a significant makeover, which is demanded by her character. Shamna plays the role of SI Neena in Oru Kuttanadan Blog, who is a naughty police officer with a bobbed hair and bold conduct. “My long wait was all worth it,” Shamna says confidently.