Interviewer : Richard | Coordination : Venkatesh | Camera : Rijeesh | Text : Prathap
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Tapasee, who has started her film career as the heroine in Vetrimaaran’s Aadukalam, is happy about the reviews that the film is receiving. She spoke to behindwoods.com on Aadukalam, Dhanush and her roles. Over to Tapasee.

On Aadukalam

Aadukalam is my first ever movie, not only in Tamil but the first ever movie I took up. Though it took a long time to come on screen, it will always remain very close to my heart. I have played the role of Irene, a somber and mature Anglo Indian girl in this movie. It’s not like the normal college-going girl, jumping around having fun. She is a very mature girl and a calm character. She is not a chatterbox, she conveys more through her actions than words. She is a very strong-headed person from inside.

How was it to act in a language that you don’t speak?

I just knew three words when I came to act in Tamil. But by the time I am in my second movie I started speaking Tamil dialogues that run up to a page and a half. The journey has been very tough, no doubt. Because it’s very difficult for a North Indian to get used to the South Indian languages. But as they say, where there is a will there is a way. I keep listening to people speaking in Tamil and watch television and movies to pick up the language. I am making constant effort to learn the language. Please give me a couple more movies and I will start speaking pretty decent Tamil.

How did you find the Madurai dialect?

When a person comes from North India with no clue about the language, any slang – be it Madurai or Chennai – is the same. For a person who doesn’t know Tamil, the slang doesn’t matter.

Aadukalam shooting experience?

It was like a fresh experience for me. Only after the movie started rolling and I started working for a couple of months, I realized that there are vast differences between Madurai and Chennai slang. But when I started working in my second movie, I got to know more about the two slangs closer.

Madurai will always remain close

to my heart

How was it like in a new place?

My director, Vetri sir, picked me because he thought I could carry the look. When I went to the spot, I was given the costumes which were typical Anglo Indian costumes. The portions were shot among the Anglo Indian community in Madurai and people who played my father, grandmother and friends are actual Anglo Indians who live in Madurai and they are not artistes. That was a huge helping hand. I used to interact with them a lot and observe minute details about their mannerisms and lifestyle to get to know more about my character.

As a newcomer from Delhi, Madurai has been a different experience for me. It will always be special for me because Madurai is my first ever workplace. So I will never be able to forget it.

Working with Dhanush

As an experienced artiste, Dhanush has helped me a lot; on-screen and off-screen as well. He used to go through the dialogues with me and give tips and also lots of suggestions on how to deal with the work pressure so I can have a longer life in the industry.

Dhanush gave me many tips on

and off screen

Scene that took maximum retakes

The maximum retakes I took was for a dialogue that was 5-6 lines and at that time that was too much for me in Tamil. Now it’s like the easiest thing for me to do, considering my second movie. When we were shooting for that I broke into tears after going through so many retakes. But Dhanush and Vetri laughed it off and explained how difficult it would be for me in the beginning.

Do you recall those dialogues?

Every scene I do I need to keep that in my memory so I can perform the next scene better. So I keep refreshing my memory. In the process, I have to wash few scenes out of my memory so I can perform the consequent scenes.

Romance in Aadukalam

This movie will not show romance in a typical romantic movie style. Audience will feel the romance more than the film’s leads feel for each other. It’s very subtle and silent; the girl will walk out of her house for the guy, the guy will change his life for her. Yet, it’s not a lovey-dovey movie. It’s not at all larger than life, very raw and real. Whatever chemistry you see between the two characters is typically how it would happen in real life. It’s a coming together of two different cultures; a Madurai Tamil boy and an Anglo Indian girl.

What do you like about Madurai?

What I like about the city is its ethnicity. It’s a very quite city. For me Madurai reminds me of my first workplace but as a traveler, I would say Madurai is a very ethnic and culturally rich city.

Favorite song in Aadukalam

My favorite song is Yathe Yathe. The day I heard the song I fell in love with it. Thankfully, it’s also my introduction song in the movie. GV Prakash composed and sung it. I became the biggest fan of GV the day I heard this song.

Future projects?

I have already started working on my next Tamil movie which is almost halfway through it. It’s with Jiiva under Kannan’s direction and it’s called Vandaan Vendraan.

Is your next film different from Aadukalam?

Yeah. That is how I plan my career. I will do such movies that people will not recognize it’s the same girl who did the previous movie. So that is how I plan it, that’s what I want and that’s what I work on.

When I was told Trisha was

supposed to do this movie, I got


How was it to replace Trisha in Aadukalam?

I got to know this only after I started working on the movie. Nobody in the crew told me that. But slowly I learnt it and I my initial reaction was fear. Because Trisha is a big star here with a huge fan following and I was scared that her fans should not get offended. I was also nervous because I realized if Trisha was considered for the role, the role must have huge potential. So it was nerve wrecking for me to fulfill the expectations.

How do you plan to choose your roles?

I don’t want to specify any type of roles. I want to experiment a bit. I also humbly request my audience not to expect me to be the lady love of my hero all the time because I am the kind of person who gets bored doing the same thing time and again. So please be ready to accept me in different roles.

Please don’t expect me to be the

ladylove all the time

Tamil people are more grounded

and real

Difference between various film industries

The basic difference is the audience. What audience wants, the cinema will reflect. Telugu people like to see larger than life films with over the top sets and drama. On the other hand, Tamil people are more grounded and real. They want to see the reality in movies. Malayalam is also similar to Tamil and is closer to reality. Since I have only started working on my first Malayalam movie, I cannot really comment on that.

Tags : Tapasee, Aadukalam, Vandhan Vendraan, Vetrimaaran, Dhanush
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