I am here for the long haul: Manjima Mohan
... says Manjima Mohan, who is now more assured as a heroine, with projects like Ippadai Vellum and the Malayalam remake of Queen in the offing
It's been exactly a year since Manjima made her debut in Achcham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada. In between, her second film, Sathriyan, didn't do too well, but she isn't perturbed. "When I signed the film, I thought it would be great," she says. "I'm glad though that my character in the film was very different from the one in AYM." She's not really thrilled about the roles she's getting, but "those are all that I'm getting. I can't keep waiting. So, I sometimes compromise on my role if the script seems interesting."
Manjima can't talk too much about her third film and this week's release, Ippadai Vellum but says her role will again be "something interesting. I think that the trailer would have given an idea on what my role is. What I wear and the songs I dance to in this film are all quite different."
Director Gaurav, she says, made sure that things were easy on the sets. "His meticulous preparation was a big reason why," she says, and adds words of praise for the members of the cast too. "Udhay was a lot of help and Soori anna was so sweet. I have a lot of scenes with them and we all had a great time. With Radhika ma'am, I only shot for a day, but she was also so much fun. I told her that I wished we had more scenes together."
She hasn't been too prolific, but it's a conscious decision. "I believe that I'm here for the long haul. In order for that to happen, I have to be choosy and patient. Some filmmakers have told me that I'm too choosy, but they need to know I'm not going to be satisfied with mediocre scripts," she says. Apart from asking herself if the script's good, she also tries to investigate if the film will do her career some good. "You never know how a film will end up after it's made. So, it's important that I don't just do films for the sake of money. It's a sacrifice I make for longevity," she says.
The actress is presently in France for the shooting of Zam Zam, the Malayalam remake of Queen. She's equally excited and nervous about the project. "It's a huge responsibility. I had the same nervousness when I did Oru Vadakkan Selfie as that film too was about my character. This is my second Malayalam film in two years, and I'm not at all how people will accept this," she says. "But at the same time, I know it's going to be a lot of fun. It's great to have been offered such a heroine-oriented project." She didn't prepare for the role too much. "The more you prepare, the more you spoil. I choose to go with the flow and follow the director's instructions."
Manjima is feeling confident as a heroine. "From when I began my journey as a child artiste, I knew I would become a heroine," she says. "I was criticised following the release of Oru Vadakkan Selfie. It made me feel weak, but I am past that now." She'd rather that people recognise her for her choice of films. "I hope to do good roles and films, and prove my original detractors wrong."