Melissa Raju Thomas: debuting with Moothon is still amazing for me
I want a girl who can be a mermaid, a village girl and a bar dancer, that's what Geetu Mohandas said model and actress Melissa Raju Thomas who played Amina in Moothon , when the filmmaker first met her. Melissa tells us: What girl doesn't want to debut in a movie that plays a mermaid, even if she's in a fantasy sequence?
The criticisms of Nivin Pauly-starrer that were launched in November have been excellent and it has been an exciting moment, says the actress, who apparently does not look anything like her character in the film.
“I just submitted myself to Geetu Mohandas,” says Melissa. “She said she wanted me to have no make-up. While playing Amina, I didn't think too much about that or even who I am in real life. Also, once I went to Lakshadweep and saw the people there, it was a humbling experience. They were all welcoming and loving, and I spent a lot of time there walking around and living the island life. That too helped get into the character. ”
Melissa landed the role after an audition, thanks to her winning the Navy Queen beauty pageant after Class 12. “I went to college after that. But when I came to Mumbai after my education and started modeling, the organizers of the pageant shared my photos with Geetu, who told them she would like to meet me. When Moothon was happening, she called me and said that she would like to audition me. The moment she told me about the character, I had this gut feeling that this was the right role to make my debut and I flew down to Kochi the next day for an audition, ”she says.
For the audition, he had to perform a scene with actor Sujith Shankar. “As soon as I finished the scene, I looked at Geetu for his reaction. She was smiling at everyone else in the room and said: That's it. I found my Amina. It was a very filmy experience, ”Melissa recalls.
Shortly after the audition, the entire cast, including Nivin, Sobitha Dhulipala and Shashank Arora, had a workshop in Mumbai with different tutors, including the acting coach Atul Mongia. “It was an incredible experience for me because I could tell how much attention the actors pay to the details to get into the characters. Nivin also helped me a lot. Initially I was nervous about the talent achieved in the team, and he approached me and said: Have fun with the role. That helped lighten the mood and made me feel comfortable, ”she says.
His biggest conclusion to playing Amina's character in the movie is how sometimes, even when you have the best intention for the people you love, you could end up hurting them more than you think, he says. “Amina acts in a way to protect her brother in a community where her sexual identity is not accepted, but her actions end up hurting him. In addition, his life also changes a lot with those actions with his move to Mumbai and become a bar dancer.
As an army girl, Melissa had spent her growing years throughout the country. “My parents now live in Thiruvananthapuram, but I have been a nomad all my life. As a child, I spent a lot of time in northern India and learned Hindi before my mother tongue, Malayalam. I picked up Malayalam after my father was published in Kerala, ”she says.
Post Moothon, Melissa has also grabbed a role in Solo director Bejoy Nambiar’s upcoming Bollywood film. “I only have a special appearance but it’s an interesting character. We are done with the first schedule and have a few more portions left, which will be shot this month, ”Melissa informs.
Ask her if she is planning to prioritize Bollywood or Mollywood, she says, “I think cinema is what has always spoken to me. I am not restricted by any language. Stories and characters draw my attention and I have always wanted to do roles with good directors. That’s why to make a debut in a film like Moothon that also had Rajeev Ravi sir and Anurag Kashyap sir is still mind-blowing to me. ”