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Meet Rathi Chechi's Pappu

Last updated on: June 16, 2011 11:03 IST

Meet Rathi Chechi's Pappu

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Meghna George

It's not easy playing a teenager who is smitten by the charms of an older woman. Krishnachandran played the role with ease in Rathinirvedam which came out in 1978, with Jayabharathi as the female lead.

Now, more than three decades later, Sreejith Vijay is stepping into the same shoes in a remake of the classic. He plays Pappu, the teenager who falls for the older woman Rathi, played by Swetha Menon.

With Rathinirvedam ready to hit the screens this week, engineer-turned-actor Sreejith gives his take on his unusual role and his entry into showbiz.

How did films happen for you?

After completing my engineering in 2008, I was working for a while. But I always wanted to be an actor. I didn't know anyone in films so I took up modelling.

I slowly started making connections in the industry and began attending auditions like the one for Malarvady Arts Club, for instance. Sometime later, I got selected for Fazil's Living Together.


Image: A still from Rathinirvedam

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'It was great working with Fazil'

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What was it like working with a veteran director like Fazil?

It wasn't a lead role and my character was called Niranjan in Living Together. Still, it was absolutely great working with Fazil. He taught me a lot and it was a wonderful experience.

How did you get selected for Rathinirvedam?

I was still sending my photos to various directors even after Living Together. Director T K Rajeev Kumar saw my pictures and selected me for the role.

Image: A still from Rathinirvedam

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'What happens to Pappu could happen to any teenager'

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How do you see your character in Rathinirvedam?

As this is the remake of a cult film, everyone knows about the character. Rajeev sir (director T K Rajeev Kumar) told me that it won't be the same Rathinirvedam made more than 30 years ago and that this will be a new version. That is to say, it's almost the same theme but has a different treatment. 

My character is that of a boy who has completed his 12th standard and comes to a village where he is attracted to this older woman. It is a challenging character to play and I loved wearing the costumes of those days.

Have you seen the original version of Rathinirvedam?

Yes, I have seen it. Actually, I didn't know about the film when the offer came to me. So I watched it and felt that it was a classic. It can happen to any youngster and that includes me. So I am very happy playing this role.

Image: A still from Rathinirvedam

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'I'm passionate about films'

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Were you hesitant at any point of time to accept the role considering the sensuous content?

Of course there were issues, especially for my parents and family, about accepting this role. They were worried that it would give me a negative image, but I believe that it is a great platform for a relatively new face. 

And I don't think I will be typecast. Everyone involved in the film, including the director T K Rajeev Kumar and Swetha Menon, gave me the confidence to do the role.

What's it like being an engineer in showbiz?

(Smiles) My parents wanted me to work after I graduated, and I did. But I resigned from my job after working for a while, to be in movies. I am passionate about films and extremely serious about my career as an actor.

Image: A still from Rathinirvedam

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