My best choice so far - Arayannangalude Veedu - recalls Lakshmi Gopalaswamy

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The Lohithadas movie 'Arayannangalude Veedu' is undisputedly well-crafted and accordingly received the adulation of both critics and masses alike. The movie, which focussed on family bonds and relationship, saw perfect casting with finely woven characters.

The 2000 film marked the debut of actress and dancer Lakshmi Gopalaswamy. In an interview aired on Mazhavil Manorama' Nakshatrathilakkam show, she talked about how she zeroed in to the project.

“Although I had my focus on dancing, many film offers were coming in. But I was hesitant to take up anything as my family and I barely had any kind of exposure to movie industry,” she revealed.

Even the thought of shooting for a song prompted Lakshmi to step back from a project. “I was always interested in acting. But thinking about shooting a song sequence always held me back. I used to ponder how the movie crew used to shoot a song, where the cameras would be and how people would be looking at the working artistes all the time... All such doubts kept popping into my head all the time,” she confided.

Lakshmi's father had set several conditions before she stepped into the glitzy world. “There were at least two weeks of negotiations before I signed up for the project. It was not about the financial aspects. He had concerns about me doing intimate or bedroom scenes. When I asked the crew, they told me that I had to do a mother's role. Then, I felt relieved as I thought such a role would be perfect to start with. I still believe it was the best choice I had made,” the classical dancer from Bengaluru said.

Ask about her first reaction on working with Mammootty, she said, “Honestly, Mammootty was not in my head during that time. I mean I knew him as a big actor but I was not fully aware about his stardom and what he meant for Kerala audience. Only later on sets I realised what a fine actor, star and human being he was.”

However, it was Lohithadas who surprised her. “When I first met him, he wouldn't utter a single word and I wondered how would I work with him. I was asked for a look test and wore 'setu mundu' for the same. He looked at me and smiled and nodded without making any comments,” she said.

In 'Arayannangalude Veedu', Lakshmi played the role of a North Indian named Seetha who is shown as the wife of Mammootty's character Ravi. Seetha is the mother of two kids named Lakshmi and Chinnu. With that (film) there was no looking back for me, she recalled.

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Release: 2000

Director: A. K. Lohithadas

Music: Raveendran and Johnson (BGM)

Lyrics: Gireesh Puthenchery

Screenplay: A. K. Lohithadas

Starring: Mammootty, Lakshmi Gopalaswami, Kaviyoor Ponnamma, Devan, Oduvil Unnikrishnan, Siddique.

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