I’m afraid to think about the nights in Kerala: ‘Uncle’ heroine Karthika speaks
Karthika Muraleedharan is all excited to be able to play the lead role in films starring megastar Mammootty and his son Dulquer Salmaan. In her debut film CIA, she was the heroine of Dulquer. Her second film is the recently released ‘Uncle’ starring Mammootty in the lead role. Both movies were widely accepted by the audience.
Karthika is the daughter of cinematographer C. K. Muraleedharan. He has filmed many movies of Aamir Khan. Her brother Akash has already entered film industry through the Rosshan Andrews film ‘School Bus’. Karthika is a student of Bachelor of Creative Arts in Bengaluru Srishti School of Art Design and Technology. She is interested to be active in cinema.
Career began with star actors
For me, it is an honour to be the heroine in the films of Mammookka (Mammootty) and Dulquer. The movies of Mammootty and Mohanlal generated the love for cinema. Finally, I got a chance to act with Mammootty in ‘Uncle’. I was even scared to talk to him in the beginning. I talked to him after Joy chettan (writer of the movie Joy Mathew) encouraged me. Later we became friends. It took 25 days to shoot our combination scenes in a car. The thrill of acting with Mammookka in a film that conveys a social message is not over yet.
Character in film and life
I played the role of Sruthi, a bold girl who studies in Ooty, in ‘Uncle’ film. There was not much distance from my behavior to the character in the movie. So I could communicate with it easily. While shooting the anxiety of parents, I thought about my parents. Though I’m a girl, I grew up with utmost freedom. They have not forced me into anything. My extra-curricular subject in school was acting. I have gone up to national level with Greek plays. Also I’ve learned Odissi and street jazz.
Why didn’t you focus on Bollywood?
If my father considered, I can act in a Hindi film. But I was not interested in it. Once when he asked I had told him that ‘if I got a chance to act with Dulquer, I am ready’. I am a die-hard fan of Dulquer. Amal Neerad called me to ‘CIA’ seeing a photograph of mine taken by my friend. Gireesh chettan (Gireesh Damodar) called me to ‘Uncle’ after that. They conducted an audition and thus I was selected to the movie.
The film harshly criticizes the moral policing in Kerala. You were born and brought up in Mumbai. How do you see this social condition?
I’m afraid to think about the nights in Kerala. Mumbai is a place where both men and women work alike. I travel there even at 2 o’clock at night. My strength was the thought that we are safe in the city that is awake all night. But in Kerala, no girl is seen on the roads after 10 pm. In case somebody dared to go out, the men will stare at them as if they were criminals. I don’t think that women can go out freely here.