For Abhirami Bose, art has been a natural choice. Born in a family of artistes – her father is Carnatic music professor from Thrissur and her mother is a Kathak dancer from Maharashtra – Abhirami learned music and dance before choosing her preferred career in acting.
Having graduated from the prestigious Film and Television Institute of India in Pune, Abhirami got a big break when she got the lead role in Marathi movie - Rathricha Paus (The night rain) – directed by Shine Ravi, who also hails from Kerala.
“I am blessed to get a such a strong role on my debut,” Abhirami told Onmanaorama.
Abhirami says best regional movies in India are being produced in Marathi and Malayalam. Little wonder, then, that she loves to venture into Mollywood soon. “I have to polish my Malayalam speaking skills before that,” she said, and added that she understands Malayalam well.
Abhirami is a currently acting in a Bollywood movie.
Here is the edited excerpts from the interview.
How did you get the opportunity to act in a Marathi movie?
I completed my post graduate diploma in acting from the Film and Television Institute of India in Pune. My professor, who heard the script, recommended me for the lead role. My audition happened on the campus. A couple of hours later, they offered me that role.
How about your passion for acting?
I always wanted to be an actress. I completed my graduation from Christ University in Bangalore, where I had studied theatre for one year. Though I was not much into theatre, I was always into dance and music.
What about your Kerala connection?
My father is from Thrissur and my mother is from Maharashtra. But we are based in Pondicherry. I came to Maharashtra for the film, and now I have stayed back as I am getting more work.
The movie's writer and director Shine Ravi too is from Kerala. He lives in Maharashtra and is familiar with the Marathi culture.
How about your role in the movie?
I am the protagonist Manasi and the movie is about her journey from her draught-stricken village to Mumbai. She comes with her farmer husband in search of a better life, or one can say, in search of rain. Though she finds rain in the city, her life takes unpleasant turns which makes her life draught in symbolic terms. It is a strong character, and to get such a role on debut is a big thing.
Language was a big challenge to me, but the script was so fleshed out and there was so much to do. There were so many shades and transformations to it and I am blessed to get such a role.
What is your take on regional films?
Best regional films in India come from Malayalam and Marathi.
Do you have any plans to venture into Mollywood?
I would love to. It is in my bucket list. Malayalam cinema is making the most sensible films in terms of content. But the biggest challenge for me is the language. I can understand Malayalam easily but I find it tough to speak. I need to brush up my speaking skills first. I had faced the difficulty in Marathi too. But I am glad that I myself could lend my own voice to the movie.
Which is your favourite Malayalam movie?
Recently I watched Kumbalangi Nights and it I think it will stay in my heart for a long time.
Who are your favourite actresses?
I love Parvathy and her films because she makes us root for her characters. And Shabana Azmi is also there.
How supportive is your family?
My family is the pillar of my strength. My father is a Carnatic music professor. My mother is a Kathak dancer. That's how my journey into dance and music began. In fact, it was my father who suggested me to join FTII. He was the one who advised me that if I really want to be an actress, then I need to get some training.
What about your current project?
I am working on a Hindi feature film right now. But, I am not allowed to speak anything about it. It's from a big production house from mainstream Bollywood and is slated for release this year.