I am back home…back to the mini screen..”, reads a post on Sarayu’s Facebook page. The actress had endeared herself to Malayalis with her small yet notable roles on the big screen. The post on her Facebook page appeared after she got the lead role in a daily soap ‘Eeran Nilavu’ on Flowers TV. She seems to be enjoying every bit of her stint on the small screen when Friday Review caught up with her for an interview. The youngster, who has also directed a short film, Pacha, talks about her career as an actress.
On a rewind mode
It was dance that led me into the industry. I first faced the camera for two albums directed by Lohithadas sir’s associates. They had seen my dance photos and offered me the work.
My first serial was ‘Manaporuth-am’ on Surya TV. But since I was pursuing my graduation I opted out of the show after two months. After that I didn’t do any serials. I was more into films. I had acted in one shot in Lohithadas sir’s Chakkaramuthu. My first film as heroine was Kappal Muthalali opposite Ramesh Pisharody. Films such as Sahasram, Chekavar, Four Friends, Janapriyan, Husbands in Goa, Nidra, Varsham and Salt Mango Tree followed.
Getting back to television
Lot of offers for serials came my way while I was doing films. But they were all run-of-the-mill stuff where I had to wear a lot of make up, garish costumes and do over-the-top acting. I can never bring myself to do such acting.
But ‘Eeran Nilavu’ is different in that the role is very realistic, I can be natural in front of the camera. It is based on a story by Joycee.
I play Nandana, who is brought up by her step mother who doesn’t like her. Her life changes when she is identified by her mother’s family. They take her home, much to the chagrin of her real mother.
On top of the world. It is not that I was totally cut off from television. I was a permanent judge of the show ‘Let’s Dance’ on Amrita TV and was part of several reality shows and other programmes on television. But being Nandana is totally different. Many serial artistes have told me how much they are loved by the audience when they meet them.
I never thought that it would happen to me. Now, there are times when I am addressed by my screen name and some of my fans even come up to me and pacify me saying that everything will be alright for Nandana (laughs).
The kind of love and affection that viewers shower on a serial artiste is totally different from how they would behave with a film actress. They tend to keep a distance with a film actress, but serial artistes are like their family members.
On missing out on big roles in movies
I definitely feel bad about that. It has got a lot to do with the fact that I didn’t plan my career well. I don’t have a godfather in the industry. So in the first couple of years I did whatever roles that came my way unlike the new faces of today who are focussed and careful about the roles they do.
In my case I learnt while on the job and it was only after a few years that I became choosy.
However, I have been part of some really good movies, even though the roles were small. Be it Nidra or Varsham, people have appreciated my character.
I think it is better than playing the main role in a film that doesn’t do well at all.
Some people ask me why I haven’t done movies in other languages. It is because I am not comfortable in glamorous avatars. Also, I don’t have a PR machinery or manager to hardsell my resume or work in other languages.
Having made a short film, I would love to direct a feature film one day. Meanwhile I want to devote more time to my writing. My favourite authors are M.T. Vasudevan Nair, Madhavikutty and Priya A. S. I had brought out a short story collection, ‘Njayarazhchakale Snehicha Penkutty’ three years ago. I would like to bring out another collection soon.