'I always wanted to play the oorukaara ponnu'
....says Dushara Vijayan as she opens up about playing Kavitha in Kazhuvethi Moorkan, her desire to do challenging roles, inspire people, and more
It's been eight months of basking in the glory of Natchathiram Nagargiradhu's Rene for Dushara Vijayan. Now, she has shed that skin off to play Kavitha in Arulnithi's recent release, Kazhuvethi Moorkan. Having curbed the impulse of cashing in on the fame, or starring in back-to-back releases, Dushara has a rather straightforward approach to her career. "In fact, I like the pace at which I am working now. I believe things are happening at the right time for me. My only aim is to be a responsible actor, take up versatile roles and be part of good content," says Dushara, who has realised a long-standing dream of playing a rural character through Kazhuvethi Moorkan.
If Sarpatta Parambarai's Mariyamma, and Rene showed a facet of Dushara's performance, she is confident that Kavitha will open up newer avenues. "I hail from a village called Kanniyapuram in Dindugal. I always wanted to play the oorukaara ponnu role for a long time. When director SY Gowthamaraj came up with Kazhuvethi Moorkan, I was elated. I could completely connect with Kavitha. Credits to the director for his expressive narration style. Kavitha is innocent yet bold, loving and jovial, and it was easy for me to pick up the accent and get into her shoes," she shares.
If Gowthamaraj's previous directorial, Raatchasi, the Jyotika-starrer, was a social drama with a strong message at its core, Dushara too has done her share of such films with Sarpatta Parambarai and Natchathiram Nagargiradhu. Noting that Kazhuvethi Moorkan too discusses the significant topic of anti-casteism, Dushara asserts that her choice of projects reflects her commitment as an actor. "Cinema is a mass medium that has the power to connect with the people. As an actor, I believe my contribution through acting can create an impact. Hence, I ensure to deliver the right content to my audiences," says a determined Dushara.
Interestingly, one of the biggest challenges Dushara seems to have faced in getting into Kavitha's character was to ensure Mariyamma and Rene don't slip into her performance. "I took references from women I have seen in my village to make Kavitha feel like a next-door girl. I am sure Kavitha's innocence and the romantic moments she shares with Arulnithi's Moorkan will put a smile on the audience's face," she says.
Meanwhile, in an industry where it is easy to get stereotyped, Dushara wants to break out of any such clutter, and challenge herself with roles that allow her fullest potential to be explored. "While I don't have a checkbox as such, the first thing that I see when I get a script is the kind of challenge the character throws at me. I want to understand her vibe. Then, I look into the story and the overall execution. Even if it is a five-minute role, if my character has the potential to connect with the audience, I agree to be part of such films," shares Dushara, adding, "I don't want to be boxed into playing bold women either. I want to portray a Kavitha, a glam girl, or even a role that demands me to do high-octane stunts."
"People know me as Mariyamma and Rene. Both are extremely different personalities, and yet I have played them. I am sure Kavitha too will receive the same love. Above all, when someone decides to study my films, they must wonder if I have a split personality," says Dushara with a hearty laugh. Likewise, she is also hopeful that her upcoming films — Vasanthabalan's Aneethi with Arjun Das and an untitled film directed by Balaji Mohan, which also features Kalidas — will be a promising addition to her list of roles that showcase her versatility.
While humbly acknowledging the love that is coming her way, Dushara understands that it is a culmination of a long journey, and not an overnight changeover. "When I started, I felt like a little fish in the ocean, learning to swim and finding its way. Now, I am on a particular path and I can see the light in front of me. But I will not forget my past, and I wish to stay grounded as it helps me in becoming a better person," says the actor, who believes her purpose and responsibility do not end with just being part of good films. "I am here to inspire my people," she asserts. "I am the first actor from my village. I will continue to put my heart and soul into my work because I want many more like me to come up, and for all of them, I am a living example," a promising Dushara signs off.