Vasanthi had fallen in love with dancing when she was a little girl. She soon realized that academics was not her forte. She, instead, understood the nuances of rhythm and thrilling dance steps. After working as a background dancer and a choreographer’s assistant in the movies, for more than three decades, Vasanthi has come into the front of the camera by essaying a pivotal role in the blockbuster movie ‘Vikram’. Vasanthi recalls her experiences of becoming an actress from a group dancer and a choreographer.
How was your life before ‘Vikram’ and how has it changed after the release of the movie?
Until 2 June last year, I would wake up at 4.30 am and leave for the location at 5.30 am, on the days I had the shoot of a dance sequence. I worked as dance master Dinesh’s assistant. In the evenings, I returned home in Valasaravakkam in Chennai. I would go to the nearby stores to buy the essentials and would spend some time talking to friends and acquaintances. Everyone called me Vasanthi akka (elder sister). This had become a routine in my life. However, after the first show of ‘Vikram’ I had turned into agent Tina. My phone doesn’t stop ringing. Everyone is interested in knowing about me. Lots of people, including big stars, call me to congratulate me. I have been working in movies for 30 years. I think it is only now that people have realized that someone called Vasanthi has been alive.
How did you land the role in ‘Vikram’?
During the filming of Vijay starrer ‘Master’, director Lokesh Kanakaraj had asked choreographer Dinesh whether one of his assistants would act. It was I who got the chance to act. I did a small appearance in the song ‘ Vathi Coming’. Lokesh liked it and called me to act in ‘Vikram’ too. Kamal Hasan said that I did a good job. When he said that I felt as if I had flown an airplane on my own. For us dancers, acting wouldn’t come naturally as soon as the director says ‘action’. Watching me struggle, Fahadh had asked me whether someone should say ‘5…6….7…8’ like the dancers do. I really liked that suggestion. To make it easier, the scenes were divided and done with ‘counting’, just like practising the dance sequences.
Have you decided to continue acting?
I would definitely act if someone offers me good roles like this. But, dance is my life and passion. I cannot even think about quitting it.