The character Alphonsa in the latest hit Operation Java is very practical and represents the modern woman who wishes to earn a good job and secure her future rather than getting hitched to her lover. Actress Mamita Baiju, who studies in plus two, has been earning kudos for her fabulous portrayal of Alphonsa. Mamita’s entry into the filmdom had been quite unexpected. However, now, the young actress says she is deeply in love with cinema. The young actress says she is nothing like Alphonsa; but she has clear ideas about life and career. Mamita, in a candid interview, speaks about Operative Java that became a super hit, first in the theaters and later in OTT platform too.
How was your entry into the movies?
I had played the role of actor Chali Pala’s daughter in the movie Sarvopari Palakkaran when I was studying in class nine. My entry into the movies was quite unexpected. I used to take part in dance competitions and youth festivals when I was in school. I got the offer to act in Sarvopari Palakkaran through my father’s friend who saw my picture on a newspaper. However, I wasn’t interested in acting then. I decided to give it a shot as I was curious to see the shooting.
I have always enjoyed watching movies. But, I hardly imagined that I would act in one. The cinematographer of Sarvopari Palakkaran had wielded the camera for Honey Bee 2 as well. It was he who called me for a role in it. I played Asif Ali’s sister role in Honey Bee2. Similarly, I acted as Soubin’s sister in Vikriti. It was, however, in Operation Java that I got a prominent role. Besides, I had acted alongside Rajisha Vijayan in Kho Kho. After doing Kho Kho, a person asked me whether I had acted in any movies before. He was surprised to learn that I had played the role of Alphonsa in Operation Java. He said he couldn’t believe that it was really me. The character in Operation Java looks a bit older.
Now, do you think you should continue in the movies?
I learn more about cinema as I do each movie. My interest in movies has really gone up. I have completed my plus two and this is the time to decide about my future. My father is a doctor. My family wished for me to become a doctor like him. But, I wasn’t interested in that. Not everyone gets a chance to act in movies. I consider myself lucky that I got the right opportunities in the films. I wish to essay my roles as amazing as possible. I want to continue my studies along with movies. So, I should look for a course that would allow me to do that.
My father Dr. Baiju was working as a diabetologist at Amrita Hospital. Now, he runs a clinic near our house. My mother is Mini Baiju. Brother Midhun has completed his graduation from Canada. My family is very supportive. My brother, meanwhile, is the main critic. He points out the good and bad in my performances. He also gives me tips to improve my performance. My family really appreciates my flair for art.
Do you feel any difference when you watch movies after you have started acting?
Earlier, I didn’t know anything about the movies. I would either enjoy the movie or find faults with it. I didn’t know the efforts and hard work that go behind the making of a film. But, now, I have changed. I understood the difficulty with which each shot is taken. From writing the script to exhibiting in the theaters, movie making involves countless processes. I feel great respect to those who work in the film industry when I think about those struggles. Besides, it indeed was a unique feeling watching my face on the big screen. I feel happy when the audience discusses about my character. Now, I am passionate about movies and admire it very much.
Have you ever imagined playing a character essayed by someone else?
No, I haven’t imagined like that. I am not adamant that I would do only certain type of roles. I am ready to do any kind of roles. I would try my best to make it perfect. In case, I wish to do a character essayed by another actor, it means that she had portrayed the role spectacularly. There won’t be anything left for me to improve in it. I prefer learning from others. I admire lots of actors in the industry. Many new actors are making entry into the industry and all of them are really talented. Now, realistic movies are in trend. I try to learn from every film. I feel love and respect for everyone.
The movie must have given you the image of a ‘theppukari’ (slang for a woman who ditches a man). Have you ever given up on love or experienced heart break?
My friends would have definitely made fun of me. But, I got saved as we don’t have classes. However, some of them would send messages hinting like that. I haven’t seen much heartbreak other than small crushes and breakups. I had minor crushes when I was in school. But, it fizzled out as I grew up. There is still time for it and I prefer leaving such decisions to my family. Actually, Alphonsa is not a theppukari. It is her circumstances in life that force her to take such decisions. Even the character Antony says in the film, ‘she hasn’t ditched me sir; it is her situation’. They share a deep understanding. When the audience discuss about such factors, it shows the success of that character.
How did you land the role in Operation Java?
I got the role through audition. It was the movie’s associate director Mathews sir who told me about the audition. Director Tharun really liked my performance. I had amazing experiences on the sets of Operation Java. You learn a lot from each movie. Similarly, each set is unique. Tharun is a very gentle person who doesn’t pressurize the artists. He was open to feedbacks and opinions from us. He makes us comfortable and extracts whatever he needs from the artists. It didn’t feel as if the movie was his debut project. He had clear idea about how the movie should turn out. He would patiently wait until we give him what he wants. He wouldn’t make his artists uncomfortable. The director would patiently explain the scenes to us. Everyone was very friendly on the sets. I am friends with Balu Varghese from the sets of Honey Bee 2. So, I was very comfortable there.
What were the responses after the release of Operation Java?
Operation Java had been a success in the theaters. I am receiving great response from everywhere since then. It’s been amazing especially after the movie got released in OTT. My friends called me and said that they have watched it many times. I feel happy hearing all those wonderful comments. I am proud that a movie in which I had acted became a hit and my character got noticed. I am glad that the audience liked Alphonsa.
What are your new projects?
The release of the movies Randu and Four got stalled due to the pandemic crisis. Four narrates the story of a few school students. The child artists who had acted in Parava and veteran actor Sidhique too are part of that movie. I play the role of Sidhique’s daughter. I am also doing a movie called Super Saranya directed by Gireesh AD. I play a pivotal character in that film. The pandemic has stalled many things, including my studies. I wish to restart my studies after the lockdown. Moreover, I plan to take my acting career forward too. I hope to portray amazing roles in good movies.