Within a short span of time, Amala Paul has quickly risen to fame in the Kollywood industry with a series of successful movies. In her 13 years of acting career, she has also established a strong presence on the Malayalam screen through a number of hits including ‘Run Baby Run’, ‘Oru Indian Pranayakatha’ and ‘Mili’. After a brief break, the actress is back to Mollywood with the latest movie ‘Teacher’ directed by Vivek. In an interview with Mathrubhumi, Amala Paul opened up about her life and her latest movie.
‘Teacher’, survival of a woman
'Teacher' reminds you of someone who imparts a lesson; that is exactly what we wanted to imply through my character Devika in the movie. We learn certain lessons in life through unexpected circumstances and it will give us a kind of strength and courage that comes only in such circumstances. Devika in this movie is an ordinary teacher from Kollam who lives a very mundane life until she encounters a particular incident that changes her life. This thriller movie follows Devika’s survival.
I often choose my characters and movies based on how much I relate it with my personal life. I believe this allows me to simultaneously learn from the characters as well as contribute to the characters from my own experiences. In the movie ‘Cadaver’, I played the role of pathologist Bhadra, during which I had to get acquainted with mortuaries and autopsies. When I was busy with this project, my father’s cancer advanced. So, this character helped me form a better understanding of death and thereby cope with my father’s demise. Most of the movies I did during this period were dark thrillers. After my father’s death, I have been wanting to do more feel-good, comedy movies, but I also want to do roles that I have not done before. I feel I am in the mood for a career shift now.
Comeback to Mollywood
As a Keralite, Malayalam cinema has always been my pride, and ‘Oru Indian Pranayakatha’ was a milestone in my career. I have been offered many roles in Malayalam, but I have said no to most of them because I felt there wasn’t anything new to those characters from my previous roles. My next Malayalam release is Mammootty starrer ‘Christopher’ directed by B. Unnikrishnan. I am also doing an important role in Blessy’s ‘Aadujeevitham’.
I’ve been in the industry since I was 18. In these 13 years, I have created a place for myself through sheer hard work. Even after all these years, most mainstream movies tend to be written from a male perspective. I also had opportunities to play the female lead just for a namesake in big-budget superhero movies by receiving huge remuneration. But there is a huge difference between having control over the steering wheel and sitting in the backseat of a car. For me, the steering wheel of my life is safe in my hands. This is why I believe in contributing more bold, strong, female characters into the industry, instead of taking up mainstream roles. The Malayalam industry has definitely progressed in this regard, and I am hoping for more female-centric movies such as ‘Teacher’ in the future.