Interviewer : Daya Kingston & Inian | Camera : Hamananth | Text : Daya Kingston
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Beautiful Chandini whose name means moonlight reminds you of the immortal words of Lord Byron, `She walks in beauty, like the night, Of cloudless climes and starry skies; And all that's best of dark and bright, Meet in her aspect and her eyes’. The actress who is just two films old has played contrasting characters in both. Her debut film Sidhu Plus 2 has her in an effervescent role while Padithurai shows her in serious vein. We meet the actress and she opens up on her first taste of fame, working with the legendary director Bhagyaraj and more.
How did you get the opportunity to enter the film industry?

My entry into films happened just after I had completed my school and during my holidays when I was free at home. My parents saw an ad in the paper for a beauty pageant called Miss Chennai and they asked me to give it a shot. I won Ms. Photogenic and was flooded with many offers to act.

What did you learn from the contest?

It was very informative and helped me improve my personality, body language, confidence level and communication skills, It completely transformed me. There was a lot of difference from the Chandini who finished school and the one who entered college. It really helped me, I was a better person.

How did you get the opportunity to work with Director Bhagyaraj?

Bhagyaraj Sir was planning to do a film with Shanthanoo. Poornima aunty called me and asked me to just come for a screen test. Since I got an offer from Bhagyaraj Sir, I wanted to at least say hello to him and went to his office. He gave me a dialogue to speak and I casually and easily repeated it. He was very surprised and he told me you have to work on your body language but for a first time, you have done it very boldly. He told me that he would tell me in a few days and I waited for his call. Then he told me I was selected and I could not say no to the offer.

What do you think is the reason he selected you?

He felt that the character had to be innocent and that was the major reason. He wanted someone natural, where the acting would not look like acting. I was casual since I did not know anything about shooting or acting and he liked that the best. My role is that of a naïve girl who comes from a small town and I fit the bill well.

What was your education? Have you taken any formal training in acting?

I never went behind cinema, it just happened. And coming from Bhagyaraj’s school, I was completely molded as an actor; he taught me the little nuances of acting. Everyday my experience was very new. In Sidhu, my character was almost equal to the hero. Though it’s a commercial film, the heroine has enough importance. I have completed my Visual Communication from Ethiraj Collge.

Were there any tough scenes to handle?

There were many especially the first scene where the hero proposes to me. It was difficult to apply glycerin and act as it was the first time but it came out really well.
Can you repeat for us your dialogue in the film that’s making waves?

Aasapadanunna atha Ponno maama ponnavo irukannunu illa, vayasukku vantha podhum.

Aasapadanunna atha Ponno

maama ponnavo irukannunu illa,

vayasukku vantha podhum.

How was the experience working with Shanthanoo?

Shanthanoo is a cool dude and we are of the same age group and things were quite jolly. He is a senior actor, he has done Sakkarakatti and others, and he has taught me a lot. He has no ego and very friendly to work with.

Shanthanoo always plays pranks

Was there any interesting prank on the sets?

Shanthanoo always plays pranks; there was never a day when he spared me. It was a very fun-loving set, a family atmosphere.

What is your best moment?

Every moment was nice especially the first day of my shoot. The director was so confident and we shot on the road and I had a lot of dialogues. He said I could do it, though I was a bit tense. I had about one and half pages of dialogue which I spoke while traveling by road and it was very challenging. I was very happy that for a first timer, I had done a good job.

How did you feel the first time you saw yourself on screen?

The first time I saw myself on screen was at the audio launch and I was very happy. Seeing me on screen was a big thing. Big celebrities like Vijay sir were there and I was very happy.

What did Bhagyaraj tell you at the end of the film?

He really liked it and told my parents that I had done very well and I have a great future. He was very comfortable with me and said he never felt that I was a newcomer and that was a great compliment coming from him.

What is your take on glamour?

Glamour is pretty important. I wouldn’t say that there needs to be no glamour but it should be within my comfort levels. I am not interested in very glamorous roles.

Glamour is pretty important

How did you get the opportunity for your next film Padithurai?

I had finished the dubbing of Sidhu and I got a call from Arya Sir saying that they were making this film. I was very happy as this my second film gave me scope for performance. In Sidhu I play a bubbly girl but in Padithurai, my character is more serious as it is realistic film. It’s very nice to get a role like this.

What is your role in Padithurai like?

In Padithurai, I have a homely role with the nativity of Tirunelveli. I don’t speak much and have a lot of silent shots. It’s a very homely role and offered good scope for performance.

The Tirunelveli dialect in

Padithurai was tough to speak

Have you dubbed for your films?

Yes, for both my films. The Tirunelveli dialect in Padithurai was tough to speak. I acted easily but dubbing was tough as they were very keen on every dialogue. It helped me as an actor and I was very happy I could dub for myself.

How was it working with director Suka?

Suka Sir had worked with Balu Mahendra Sir and it was his first film. However, it did not feel like that because he planned everything he had to shoot well and it was moving at a very fast pace. Whatever he wanted, he brought it out from me. Though it was a very serious film, he handled me properly and brought the emotion out right. I am happy Padithurai has turned out well.

Was there any difficult scene in Padithurai?

Padithurai itself was difficult because it’s not me. I have grown up and studied in Chennai but dubbing in Tirunelveli dialect, changing the way I walk and talk like a girl from Tirunelveli was a challenge. I had to change my body language which was tough.

What was enjoyable about the film?

Everything was enjoyable, especially the second half where there is a transformation in my characterization. I completely enjoyed it.

Will you work for Bhagyaraj Sir again?

Yes, because the experience of working with him in one film is equal to having worked in 10 films. I learnt so much from him. There were small things I never understood at that time but later especially while acting in Padithurai, I applied a lot of what he taught me. In Sidhu, I could not apply it too much but did it in Padithurai. It really makes a difference when you work with a good director in your first film. It helps you and you are molded really well.

one film is equal to having

worked in 10 films

Sidhu + 2 is completely

commercial while Padithurai is


What is the difference in working styles between both directors?

The working style is the same; there was no difference as both know what they want. Though Suka Sir was doing his first film, he knew exactly what he wanted. Only thing both are completely different films. Sidhu + 2 is completely commercial while Padithurai is realistic.

You don’t have any problems doing realistic films?

It’s really not about doing realistic or commercial films, but if I have a good character and it has something I like, a strong role, I will definitely do any kind of film. I don’t want to categories myself.

How was it working with Abiram in Padithurai?

Abiram is doing his first film, it was a good experience. It never felt like working with a first-timer.

Any interesting incidents while shooting Padithurai?

Padithurai did not have interesting incidents as we shot more outdoors. It was nice. It was not as much a jolly film as Sidhu but a different atmosphere since this was the first time I traveled to Tirunelveli.

What is your style quotient like?

I generally dress up very casually like a college student and wear jeans and T-shirt.

Do you have a dream role?

Cinema just happened. I have no dream role but I want to pick up good roles, something which makes good sense.

Who are the actresses you admire?

I admire Sridevi a lot; she’s wonderful and very versatile. I like her.

What about heroes?

Rajini Sir always.

What are the kind of qualities aspiring actresses should have?

All upcoming actresses should be hard-working. Hard-work is the key, there is no shortcut. One should have a lot of patience, everything does not happen easily. If you work hard you can reach heights.

What do you like about Behindwoods?

Behindwoods is a very interesting website and I always log on to it. What I like is that it’s easy to use and updates are quick, even in a single day there are 4-5 updates. Everyone should look into Behindwoods because their updates and reviews are so nice and perfect.

Everyone should look into

Behindwoods because their

updates and reviews are so nice

and perfect

What are your future plans?

I just finished My Viscomm and I have 2 films coming up. I am going slow; I have not committed films in a hurry. Let us see what happens.
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