Thulasi has this innocent smile. This toothy, grinny smile that extends all across the face.Having grown up in a film family, Thulasi Nair’s entry into films always seemed inevitable. However, what came as a surprise to many was that veteran actress Radha’s second daughter chose to make her debut at the raw age of 15!
In this conversation with Sridevi Sreedhar, the confident, youngest actress in Tamil cinema opens up about her entry in films, working with Mani Ratnam, how she surprised her parents and much more.
Straight from school and onto the sets, how did that work out?
When Mani sir came to my house, I took it very casually and never expected him to select me. And trust me, we never grew up watching Tamil films so I never knew how big a film maker Mani Ratnam is. Only when I came for shoots did I realise that he is the biggest brand in India.
How was it at the sets for the first few days? Were you nervous?
As you know, I had neither experience nor any training so I was literally like a fish out of a pond.
I didn’t know where to look, which pitch to say dialogues in, which mark to come on, what light was used etc. But within few days Mani sir made me comfortable and he treated me like his own daughter. Gautham and me were groomed by Mani sir and I am proud of it.
Did you want to prove something to your parents?
It is not about proving (smiles) but I wanted to surprise them.
Were you able to surprise them?
Yes I did. (Smiles) My mom had never been on the sets intentionally as she was scared if I would perform well and do what Mani sir wanted. But now they are happy and relieved after watching the songs and trailer.
There is a lot of buzz about that scene where you and Gautham kiss which is there in the trailer. Please comment
It is a very intense film. And as a debutant the first thing you do is to trust your director completely and that’s what we both did. I knew that I was in good hands and Mani sir explained the situation which is very integral for the story and I don’t know why everyone is making a hue and cry about it? I think it’s better you watch the film and then ask me this question.
Do you think that being a star kid put you in a privileged spot?
It only helps in getting the platform. But if you aren’t able to deliver then it doesn’t help. Mani sir knew me as Radha’s daughter but if I wasn’t able to live up to his expectations he wouldn’t have cast me in Kadal.
So you have started work on your second film and is here to stay?
Yes. I have started enjoying my work and is currently shooting with Jiiva for Ravi K Chandran’s Yaan.
At the press meet, when Gautham was introduced by his dad Karthik, you were introduced by Mani Ratnam. Were you upset that your mom could not make it for the function?
(Smiles) Actually my mom had gone on vacation with my brother and the date for this function was fixed in a jiffy. It was she who was upset, not me. When the same event happened in Hyderabad, she introduced me, and when I heard that Mani sir was going to introduce me,I was so excited and it will remain the best moment of my life.