We parodied films, not actors: Iswarya Menon
An interview with the actor who has won praise for her role in the recently released Tamizh Padam 2
Not many know that you have been part of the industry since Kadhalil Sodhappuvadhu Yeppadi (2012)
Yes. At that time, I had just finished school and acting was little more than a part-time gig.
And since then you have been part of largely comedies.
The vibe in a comedy film is totally different, right? It has a jolly mood to it. I think it is very difficult to make someone laugh. That's maybe why I enjoy doing such films. I am a big fan of Tamizh Padam. It was a different attempt in Tamil cinema and a laugh riot. The moment a chance to be part of the sequel came about, I jumped on it.
Were you able to get all the references in the film?
Oh, yes! I was born and brought up in Tamil Nadu. I watch a lot, and I do mean a lot, of Tamil films. When they were pitching the story or discussing scenes, I was completely at home. There are maybe only a handful of Tamil films I have not seen that were spoofed in the film.
Did you have to revisit certain scenes before shooting their parody versions?
I re-watched a lot of these scenes to get the feel right and then gave my own flavour after. You could say I did my homework.
In Tamizh Padam 2, you play two characters, one of whom dies halfway into the film.
First up, I am happy that I am present throughout the film. This is a meaty role. The director could have chosen to have another actor continue my story, but the trust he had in me to carry out both roles meant a lot.
Were you ever conscious that you were making fun of established actors?
Spoof means we are not making fun of any particular actor, but just the act, no? All the heroines we have spoofed have already made it big. Avangala kalaaikanumnu ennam kedaiyaadhu. It is the same for me as well as for the film.
How has the response been from the industry?
I haven't got any such specific response. But a lot of people in the industry have congratulated me on my performance.
Which means you are getting lot of offers
Yes, by God's grace, I am (laughs).
Have you signed anything?
I have signed a Telugu film, which we will start shooting next month. I am currently listening to two to three Tamil scripts.
You have already done a film with Fahadh Faasil in Malayalam (Monsoon Mangoes) and have been part of the Kannada remake of Yaamirukka Bayamey. What has your experience in these three industries been like?
The thing is we shot Monsoon Mangoes in USA with Hollywood technicians and a director who was also from the US. The challenge there was to work in sync sound. So technically, I haven't done an out-and-out Malayalam film yet. Also, I think every industry works in the same way. It is just that I am more comfortable in Tamil because I understand the language.
With the industry going towards more female centric roles, any specific role you would like to do?
I am very greedy as an actor and want to try out different genres. But if given an opportunity, I would love to do something like Alia Bhatt's role in Highway.