Meena is a great survivor in the South Indian film industry for the last 14 years with more than 160 films to her credit. Her first thriller, Shock is releasing next week and she cannot stop talking about her role that she feels will be her career best. (Also see images: from `Shock`)
The diva has seduced the audience as much with her powerful and versatile performances as with her smouldering expressive eyes. Till recently she was Tamil cinema’s ‘numero uno’ actress. She has played heroine to Indian cinema’s biggest demi-gods like Rajnikanth, Chiranjeevi, Kamalhassan and Mohanlal.
Though Meena has largely been identified in her glamour roles, she has also given some memorable performance oriented roles in a few films. Meena speaks exclusively to Sify.com in this candid interview.
Tell us something about Shock.
It is my first thriller film. The character I play has lot of dimensions of being bubbly, scared, possessed and so on… I had seen Bhoot when it was released and at that time itself I was so impressed with the film and Urmila’s performance. When Prashanth contacted me to do the role I was so happy and a little scared too, as I had this fear of being compared to the breathtaking performance of Urmila. So I really worked hard on my expressions.
But what do you feel at the end of it?
(smiles) I think I have done full justice to the role and would rate it as equal to Urmila’s. And now I am waiting to hear the response from the audience. (Also read: Preview of `Shock`)
You have been a great survivor in the industry where heroines don’t last for long?
Yes. I have been around for the last 15 years. I did my first film in Tamil when I was hardly 15 years old. I have done over 150 films in all south Indian languages. I think it is the love for my work that kept me afloat for such a long time. And looking back I feel that I’ve been lucky to do some good characters.
How do you rate the younger heroines of today?
Earlier I have told in my interviews that Savithri Amma, Puppy Amma and Saroja Devi were all so lucky to do strong female oriented subjects. But now after seeing the films of today I feel sad for the younger heroines who have nothing much to do but just be there for glamour. I was lucky to do good roles in films like Bharathi Kannamma and Porkalam among many others.
So are you choosy about your roles?
Not exactly. In a male-dominated industry you can’t choose your films. I am willing to run around trees yet have three four good scenes. I have done two ‘amman’ films which were super hits and then there was a beeline of producers to cast me in such roles. I was not willing to be typecast and politely refused them. Earlier I had 11 releases a year and was running from one location to another. But now I am doing only one film at a time and I am happy and contended and have more time to spend with my family and friends.
What are your next projects?
Right now I have completed a film in Telugu with Harikrishna and is working on a Malayalam film, Natturajavu with Mohanlal. In fact it is my fourth film with Mr Lal (smiles). After that I have signed a Tamil film with director E. Niwas that will start in September.
Any marriage plans?
(Laughs loudly) Yeah I will definitely get married but I am yet to find the Mr perfect! My parents are looking out for a guy. I wish it would be an arranged love marriage. But before that I have one ambition, to get a National award!