Malayali movie buffs adored Sai Pallavi since she shined on screen as the beloved 'Malar miss' in 2015 blockbuster 'Premam'. Though she has just done two Malayalam movies, 'Premam' and 'Kali', Keralites love her like their own girl. After a gap of three years, Pallavi is back with thriller movie 'Athiran'.
Meanwhile her Malayali fans watched Telugu flick 'Fida' and Tamil super hit movie 'Maari' to enjoy her amazing performances. Sai Pallavi gets candid to Onamanorama about her latest movie Athiran and her experience of working in the film.
"I am, in fact, extremely happy. Malayalam gives me unique roles to perform. After 'Premam' and 'Kali', I essayed Nithya in 'Athiran'. The actor in me is incredibly happy and satisfied. I wish to do more such amazing characters. So it is I who is happy and excited to do Malayalam movies,” revealed Sai Pallavi.
"I think I have learned Malayalam a bit well this time," said the actress with a smile. "I was scared while doing 'Kali'. However, I had less pressure this time. I have very few dialogues in Athiran. I tried to speak mostly in Malayalam on the sets," Pallavi continued.
Sai Pallavi makes it clear that she is not at all interested to portray characters that are similar. She observed that the audience would be bored if she continued to essay roles like 'Malar'. The actress said she wishes to do unique roles to keep her motivated to do more movies. "It is for the first time that the role of an autistic girl came my way. So I was instantly drawn to it. When I knew that there were fewer dialogues for me, I felt good as it offered me scope to portray emotions using just my body. 'Athiran' was a learning process for me in many ways. I am proving or surprising myself. I keep telling to myself, 'Hi, Pallavi, not bad, you can do this'," noted the actress.
Preparation for roles
"I wish to do all my characters after knowing them very well. For instance, to portray the role of an autistic person perfectly, I should do that after watching and observing such people. I visited a care home to meet the inmates. Some kids cannot stand even tiny noises. They would start hitting on their own heads if someone speaks loudly. Some children would keep flapping their hands or tie knots with a piece of thread on their fingers.
Mannerisms and behaviors like these have been used in the movie as well. In 'Athiran', I perform Kalari too. I had to find out different ways of portrayal which also justified that aspect of the character. I couldn’t do the extreme mannerisms of autism, because if I did that, then the part where I do Kalari won't be believable. So I had to be subtle," explains Pallavi.
Sai Pallavi says that being a dancer helped her perform Kalari quite effortlessly. The actress was relieved when she realized that the audience felt such scenes amazingly real and believable.
"I think everyone has unique experiences in the industry. The directors who have approached me for roles or those who wished to have me in their movies never expected me to wear too much makeup. They never asked me to do many other things that may have distracted my acting capabilities. All of them have approached me with such realizations. I feel happy when many girls tell me that they feel confident to go out without covering up their pimples. I have no qualms to go out without wearing any makeup. Girls should be able to say, 'Just like Pallavi, we too are walking around without wearing makeup.' I will be incredibly happy if I could make them that confident," notes Sai.
Sai Pallavi admits it was pretty difficult for her to perform the dance steps in the super hit song 'Rowdy Baby'. The actress confesses that she was scared of Prabu Deva who choreographed the song. "Though I went expecting the steps to be easier, he gave us the toughest moves. We had to practice for 2 – 3 days. At the final takes, I danced with all my energy because Dhanush sir is someone who has incredible energy levels. The audience wouldn't notice anyone else on the screen when he dances. I worked hard to do that dance sequence perfectly, because I wanted at least a few to see that I too am on the screen. But, I too got appreciated when the movie came out. However, I cannot take the credit for that. It was Dhanush sir who lifted me and did those amazing steps and the choreography by Prabu Deva sir. I just danced enjoying every bit of it," says Sai Pallavi excitedly.
Dr Sai Pallavi
She admits she misses practicing as a medical doctor. However, the actress believes that one would experience some losses when there are other gains. Pallavi says that she is the one who prescribes medicines for her family members.
"I am generally a stress free person. I practice meditation daily. My sister is my biggest stress buster. We love to travel together. As she has exams right now, we have postponed our travel plans for a while," concludes Sai Pallavi.