Utthara Unni on Cloud Nine
Utthara Unni is on cloud nine after the release of her first film in Malayalam “Edavapathy”. Though there was a delay in the release of the film, Utthara was not sitting idle. In a free-wheeling chat with Mathrubhumi Online, Utthara talks about her film and opens up on her experiences.
What was your first reaction when the film was released?
Happy! I was worried as there was some delay in the release of the film. The anxiety went away when the film was released. I did not expect that ordinary people will accept this film.
How do you explain your journey to “Edavapathy”?
I acted in a Tamil film immediately after my twelfth class. Later, I completed my degree. I did not think of joining films. Once, Lenin sir called my mother. I did not feel like saying ‘NO’ when I heard about it. After some days, I met Lenin sir.
Madhu Ambat sir was also with him. One seeing me, they said that they did not think the girl would be so young. They did not tell me whether I was selected or not. Some days later, Lenin sir called me and said that the shooting will start the next day and I should reach immediately. It was a relief as I was getting worried about not getting response from Lenin sir.
Were there any preparations for the character?
I did not make any serious preparations. As I said, the call was sudden. Lenin sir did not tell me about my role in the film even after I reached the location. Only after some days did he tell me that the character I am going to play is of Vasavadatta. Sir told me to act according to what I understood from his description about the character.
Tell us about your experience of working with a leading filmmaker like Lenin Rajendran
Lenin sir has made many female-centric films and he has done it all very differently. Biju chettan and Samyuktha chechi (actor couple Biju Menon and Samyuktha Varma) were at home when I got a phone call from Lenin sir. It was Samyuktha chechi who made me wear saree and took photographs for sending it to the director. She gave me her full support.
What was the response from your family and friends after the release of the movie?
The response was very good. As my friends knew that I had a special attachment to Edavappathy, they were actually waiting for the release of the film. In fact, two of my friends came to Kerala just to watch the movie.
Your experiences at the film's set?
I was very comfortable. I did not get a chance not talk to Manisha madam (Manisha Koirala) initially, but later she congratulated me for my performance. Sidharth was also very friendly and a fun loving guy.
I did not have any scenes to act along with Kelly, but he was a very humble person. Prashant Narayan is a very brilliant actor and he has handled the role of the villain with feminine touch perfectly.
Was your long break after the first movie intentional?
My studies were one reason. I was scared to take up a movie in between my studies. I had no plans to give up movies. Also, I did not come across interesting characters. Again, I do not have plans to do a lot of movies.
Which one do you like the most; Dance or Cinema?
I love both. At first, my focus was on movies as I grew up seeing my mother and sister who has been in the film field. It was not just acting that I was interested in. I was equally passionate about choosing other roles in the movie industry.
Right now, where do you think your focus should be?
I learned classical dance from Padma Subramanyam in Chennai. I have done a lot of programmes there and got chance to mingle with people who loved dance. Also, I am running a dance school in Mumbai. I want to give equal importance to both dance and cinema.
What are your area of interests other than dance and cinema?
I like painting and I used to assist my mother in saree painting. Last year, I did a short film ‘Randam varavu’ and got awards for it. My second short film ‘Ninth Month’ has not been released yet. I have also done some albums.