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Varalakshmi: I always wanted to become an actress

Last updated on: May 06, 2014 09:56 IST

Varalakshmi: I always wanted to become an actress

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Srikanth Srinivasa/Rediff.com in Bangalore

Varalakshmi Sarathkumar, daughter of Tamil actor-politician Sarath Kumar made her debut in Kannada cinema with Manikya last week.

Varalakshmi plays the role of a village belle in the film.

The actress has just one Tamil film to her credit, Podaa Podi,that released in 2012.

She is excited about having signed a film to be directed by Bala, titled Tharai Thappattai.

A graduate in microbiology with a Master’s in Business Management from the University of Edinburgh, Varalakshmi is eagerly awaiting the release of the much-delayed Tamil film Mada Gaja Raja where she is cast opposite Vishal.

In this quick chat, the Bangalore-born actress talks about her debut in Kannada cinema and explains her long absence from the screen.

What was it like working in your first Kannada film?

Initially, I was very scared about doing this film because sometimes I could not understand what I was saying. I took time to learn the lines by heart, although I understand the language.

Sudeep, the director, was very helpful. He had patience with me. I have found a new friend in him whom I can visit whenever I come to Bangalore.

As a film, Manikya is a total commercial movie, a paisa vasool film for the audience.  


Image: Varalakshmi Sarathkumar


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'I can understand Kannada though I cannot talk fluently in the language'

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We hear you have a Bangalore connection. How are you related to the city?

I was born in Bangalore but brought up in Chennai. My mom is a Bangalorean. It was here that my parents met.

I can say that Bangalore is my second home or half my home town. Eventually, my father moved to Chennai.

I used to visit Bangalore every weekend. So Bangalore is quite close to me.

But having said that, I am the quintessential Chennai girl more than a Bangalore girl.

You are known to pick up languages quickly. Is it true?

Yes, I pick up languages quite quickly. I can understand Kannada though I cannot talk fluently in the language.

I know Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and French. My father speaks Kannada quite well as he lived in Bangalore where he met my mother.


Image: Varalakshmi Sarathkumar


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'I have nothing to do with the delay in the release of my films'

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Why has the release of your films always been delayed?

I have nothing to do with the delay in the release of my films. You will have to ask this question to the producers.

If Podaa Podi took a long time to release, so has Mada Gaja Raja which has been made by the same producers.

I got a lot of positive feedback for my performance in my debut film. I played a dancer and a mother in the movie. Everyone was curious about why and how I could play a mother in my first movie.

I am looking for quality work. There was a beautiful graph to my role in the movie with a lot of conflict between the first half and second half.

How successful was your debut film commercially?

I think the film was targeted at city audiences, the A centres.

As both characters in the film were based in London we couldn’t have expected the movie to do well in villages.

The film ran well in the A centres and the producers expected the movie to do well only in those centres. The movie met their expectations commercially.


Image: Varalakshmi Sarathkumar


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'Director Bala is considered to be the God of Cinema'

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You graduated in microbiology and did your Master’s in Business Management. What made you jump into movies?

I always wanted to become an actress. I was already learning dance. I honed my acting skills at Anupam Kher’s Acting School in Mumbai and jumped into the profession as an actress.

What is your role in Bala’s film? Which forms of dance are you adept at?

I play a Karagattam dancer, which is a popular form of South Indian dance.

There is a lot of curiosity about the film as Bala is considered to be the God of Cinema.

I play a folk dancer in the movie. I have learnt Bharatanatyam. You name the forms and I have done it all, be it ballet, jazz, salsa or hip-hop. 


Image: A scene from Manikya


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