After all the pain I went through for Velaikkaran, I feel disappointed: Sneha
The actor expresses unhappiness at how her comeback role in Tamil cinema was curtailed
Sneha, who was last seen in Un Samayal Arayil in 2014, was back with a cameo in last week’s Velaikkaran. The actress, who has done more than 60 films in her 17-year career, says she never missed being an actor. “I’m a happy mother at home. I didn’t think about doing films again but The Great Father (Mammootty starrer) happened. It was a huge hit in Malayalam. I wanted to be a part of a film that delivers a message and that’s why I agreed to be a part of Velaikkaran,” says Sneha.
Given that it was her comeback film in Tamil cinema, she wanted to make a mark and hence, signed up for the film that takes on the issue of food adulteration and corporate ethics. “After Vihaan (her son), I wanted to do films that would be meaningful for him. I keep track of what I offer him to eat. I think 100 times before buying something for him and I’ve even found a replacement for packet milk. That’s the reason I got on board for Velaikkaran as it was also the story of a doting mother,” says Sneha.
It wasn’t an easy task for her to get into the character though. The role demanded that she lose weight. “I actually went on a rigorous diet for three months and exercised to lose more than 7 kilos. Losing weight after pregnancy isn’t easy at all.”
But after everything, she says that she is disappointed by the treatment her role has gotten in the film. “We shot for more than 18 days and I expected my role to be seen for at least 15 minutes in the film but what I have instead got is barely five minutes of screen time. The weight loss also wasn’t shown exactly well on the screen —in a way that would register. With all the pain I’ve suffered for for the film, I feel disappointed,” she laments.
She says she didn’t realise this while shooting the film. “What’s on screen is what I shot in just three days. The rest of my work didn’t make the final cut,” she says curtly. The actress adds that the film took a toll on her body. “I was tired because of how much work I had to do. They shot non stop and I had to change costumes regularly. And most of the scenes I shot had only me in it, as they were scenes that showed me being locked up in a house. This alone was shot for more than a week.”
Her role also demanded that she not wear makeup and have her face covered with rashes. “I was not even told about the rashes when the story was originally narrated. That was decided on the spot. I agreed to that too because of the message of the film. Otherwise, I don’t really mind about the no make up part. In almost all my films, I wore little makeup anyway. Let me just tell you that my best scenes have not made it to the final film,” says Sneha.
She says she was told that her character would be the turning point in the film. “I was told it was the soul of the film. But what I’ve gotten is the sort of character role I’ve constantly kept away from. I get such offers all the time, even from Telugu cinema. I didn’t want to do a role that anyone could’ve done. I want to do roles that directors think, ‘Sneha panna nalla irrukum’. I don’t think any heroine would accept to have rashes on her face in her comeback film When you do so much and you don’t get the value out of it, it’s heartbreaking,” she adds.
Moving on, she expresses happiness at female-centric films doing well at the box office, this year. “It’s a healthy trend but the makers should be cautious about the topics that are touched in such stories. I’m happy that most of them have worked.” Ask her if we can see her in one, she says, “If it’s a sensible one, why not?”
Apart from her, there’s another member of her houshold who made quite a splash this year. A smile pops up as she talks about her husband, Prasanna. “This year has been a very good one for him and I’m very happy for him. The different genres he was a part of in films such as Pa Paandi, Nibunan, Thupparivaalan, Thiruttu Payale 2 and Jawaan, has proved once again that he’s a good actor. I’m sure the number of releases he will have next year will be more. He might get tired and disappointed when something doesn’t go as per plan but he never gives up. He’s a self-made person like me and it’s not easy in this industry.”
She ends the conversation by lamenting that the idea of actresses doing lead roles after their marriage is frowned upon by the industry. “After marriage, I was asked to play the role of a leading Telugu star’s mother. I laughed my heart out. Very few filmmakers ask if the role demands an artiste of a certain stature, before approaching them.”