'Kumbalangi Nights’ changed my life, says Grace Antony
With a single dialogue in the movie ‘Kumbalangi Nights’ which explains the importance of respect between men and women is more than enough to remember about the character Simi. This character was a golden opportunity for the upcoming star Grace Antony.
In her debut movie ‘Happy Wedding’, Grace made the audience laugh out loud as a college student. Now, she is shining in the role of Saphiya in the latest movie ‘Thamasha’. In an interview to Mathrubhumi, Grace Antony shares her experience in film industry.
Shaiju Khalid, one of the producers of the movie ‘Thamasha’ was the cameraman of the movie ‘Kumbalangi Nights’. He offered me the role in Thamasha. I was happy about the invitation from such a good team and accepted the offer without any doubts. Because, I was very much confident about the team. Kumbalangi Nights was under post-production when I got the offer. I was very happy and thought that I am lucky to get an offer in Thamasha.
Character in Thamasha
The character in the movie ‘Kumbalangi Nights’ was a bit mature than my age whereas, in the movie ‘Thamasha’ I got the character of my age group. My role is one of the three women in the life of Vinay Fort’s character named Sreenivasan. The story of the movie has great social significance and it is a complete entertainer too.
Vinay Fort as co-star
Vinay Fort is a very talkative, jovial person. He always tries to make others happy and comfortable. I think his character Sreenivasan in ‘Thamasha’ will be one of the best in his career. The lesson he learnt in life might have helped him to portray this character.
He was very much dedicated to this role. He shaved off his hair in front daily for the makeover of the character. Vinay used to say that this movie is like winning a lottery for him.
About Simi in ‘Kumbalangi Nights’
Shyam Pushkar is the first one who called me for this movie to discuss about the movie and character. He detailed my character almost after five meetings. I was also asked to try the character Babymol. I was super-excited when he informed me that I’m co-starring with Fahadh Faasil. When I got the news, I immediately called my family to share this with them. I was unable to sleep that night due to over excitement.
I was not much bothered about playing a character older than my age. Because, my priority was good characters in best films. Because I was sure that even small roles in the movies of Dileesh Pothan and Shyam Pushkaran will definitely get attention of the audience.
But I never thought my character would get so much response. As an actor, I learned many lessons from Kumabalangi Nights. I feel very glad to realise that audience accepted me as an actor.
Punch Dialogue of Simi
When the director explained the scene, I was asked to say the dialogue by facing Fahadh Faasil. But I said to Shyam Sir that as an individual I can’t say such a dialogue by looking into someone’s eyes. So he allowed me to say the dialogue without looking into the face. The dialogue came out very well as Fahadh was really into the character and supported the same way. In that scene, the bat should be broken with the left hand and during the rehearsal it didn’t break but it came out well in the first shot itself.
Fahadh Faasil, a dedicated actor
He is very dedicated and very reserved person. During the shootings, he was always into his character in the set and leaves the set after his work.
About debut movie Happy Wedding
I got the chance to act in this movie through an audition. I was a degree student during that time. Fortunately, my character in this movie also got good attention. When I was watching the movie on the first day, I was really nervous and closed my eyes when I was on screen. I was upset after watching the scene in which I was singing a song when seniors rag me.
I was worried about the thoughts that will people like my character or whether they’ll make fun of it. So I closed my eyes and I found my voice too irritating. But I was surprised when I came to know that my scene made the audience laugh. Later I watched my scene from television and YouTube.
After ‘Happy Wedding’ I did small roles in movies such as Kamboji and Georgettan’s Pooram.
Passion for acting
I love acting from my childhood. When teachers asked me about my ambition during my childhood, I used to reply that I wanted to become an actress. I am confident that hard work pays and it was really hard for me to get into film industry. I’m so lucky that my parents supported me well to pursue my ambition.
Though I do not belong to a rich family, my parents supported me to learn dance. When I was learning dance, I dreamt that I become a ‘Kalathilakam’ like Kavya Madhavan and Navya Nair and get an easy entry into film industry. So my first aim was to become a ‘Kalathilakam’.
But my parents were not able to manage funds to send me to youth festivals. So I started teaching dance to children to find my pocket money.
Shyama Prasad’s appreciation
I started acting in drama after 10th grade. Noted director Shyama Prasad appreciated me after watching my performance in a drama. His words encouraged me to attend the film audition. I found his compliment a big gift.
I’m always the same Grace
Films never changed my life. I got an opportunity to learn a lot about the profession. Still I keep in touch with all my old friends. The only change that happened to me is that people started to recognise me when I go out.
I’m not planning to get married soon. I want to act in good characters in many movies. I wish I could find a life partner who supports me in acting even after marriage.