An actress who doesn't flinch from controversy
Pon Swathi, who plays an actress in Oru Iyakkunarin Kadhal Diary, talks to CE about her experience working on the controversial film
Pon Swathi, who plays an actress in filmmaker Velu Prabhakaran’s Oru Iyakkunarin Kadhal Diary, is glad she followed her gut instinct and agreed to be part of the film. "Now that it is all over, I can tell you I am relieved. When the call came from the director, I wasn’t really surprised, as I’d done a small part in the director’s previous film, Kadhal Arangam. He'd promised me then that he would keep me in mind for a bigger project," she says. "He was candid enough to tell me that some popular actresses had turned the film down. I heard the script and went into a shell, unnerved by the steamy scenes, including a kissing scene, which were essential for the story."
Swathi says that the director was smart to have a minimal number of unit members on the sets of the shoot. "This made it less stressful for me," she says. "The film depicts the relationship of a 37-year-old man with a 20-something girl. Once I slipped into character and got the hang of it, things fell into place. Velu Prabhakaran sir knows how to extract the best out of an artiste. At the end of it all, I was really happy to have accepted the role. It’s the sort of learning you don’t get out of teaching manuals."
The actress, who played a transgender character in her debut movie Narthagi, said tough situations bring out her best. "I didn’t know Bharatanatyam, but the character demanded it." Having worked as a child artiste in over 50 films in Tamil and Telugu, Swathi has had a small stint in television too. "I am learning the ropes and am also hoping to turn cinematographer in the future. An actress has a short shelf life, but only when you are in front of the camera," she smiles.