Darshana Rajendran: In the last decade, it has become easier for actors to have opportunities
It's been six years since Darshana Rajendran He debuted as a film actor. In this period, he has performed some memorable characters, especially in films such as Virus and Mayaanadhi. But the best is yet to come for her, since she has been chosen as the protagonist in the upcoming films. Hridayam by Vineeth Sreenivasan and the anthology film Pennum Cherukkanum by Aashiq Abu. She is also part of Rajeev Ravi's Thuramukham. Darshana He tells us what it has been like to work in an industry where the former finance professional ended up by chance.
It seems that they are staying with some plum projects, lately.
And it is. There is Pennum Cherukkanum and Thuramukham, which I am done shooting for. And then there is Hridayam that is set to begin soon. All of these are very exciting projects.
Pennum Cherukkanum is your third movie with Aashiq Abu. What’s it like to work with him?
It feels like home to me. From the moment I received a call from him about this movie, I have been waiting for filming to begin. I think there is something incredible with the work that arises from a very comfortable and happy environment. Aashiq Abu is a teacher in that.
You are working again with actor Roshan Mathew, who has now debuted in Bollywood, through Pennum Cherukkanum. Please tell us about the experience.
Although A Very Normal Family, a play which he directed was our first work together, we have both been very closely associated with each other in the theater space. We have also started working on our next play. We worked on Koode, but we didn’t have many scenes together. So Pennum Cherukkanum felt new. I have a huge list of directors, actors and artists I want to work with in films ... I think all actors do. With Pennum Cherukkanum, I got to tick Roshan off that list. He is a very intelligent, giving actor and there is a lot to learn from him. It was great working with him and I hope we get to do more work together. You are someone who started in the industry playing character roles. What is it like to be chosen as a central character?
I come from the theater where sometimes I am on stage just for a five-minute scene and otherwise throughout the play. How big my share has barely mattered. Also with movies, it's not so much about screen time, but what I'm doing with that time. That said, many of the writings in movies are focused on heroin and heroin and it is not often that we have good characters. So, in a space like that, it feels great to be considered for more prominent roles. It's also great to be part of an industry that has no set rules when it comes to how the main characters should look.
In an interview a few months ago, actress Parvathi Thiruvoth said that when she becomes a director, she would like to work with you and Asif Ali ...
She did. And I was very happy to hear that. But, of course, it is not in the letters. She was just answering a hypothetical question (laughs) However, it will be great if it happens. You were a finance professional before you accidentally ran into the theater while you were in Chennai a few years ago. How was the transition to an actress?
I didn't see him coming when he worked in finance. But, finding theater really changed my life. It was very liberating to find something that I enjoyed so much. It started as a hobby that I did with my work. But slowly I wanted to spend more and more time with that. Deciding to quit my job was the most difficult decision, but I am very happy to have taken it. It has been far from easy. There is no end-of-month salary, no routine, no certainty. It was very different from the life I lived before and it took me a while to get used to it. But now it's part of the deal. A bow on the stage or a good day on the shoot seems to make up for the not so pleasant parts of the job. And the theater apparently happened to you because you used to sing. Any exploration on that front?
Yes. I went to a musical audition thinking I could sing and ended up doing much more than just singing. This is how the theater happened. I love to sing, but to be honest, I don't consider myself a singer. It has always been something very personal for me until Bawra Mann of Mayaanadhi happened. I'm still afraid to get more out of my job. But I'd love to. I explored the space a bit more and there have been some interesting developments. I hope to do much more but slowly. You are an artist who entered the industry without a sponsor, slowly revealing your caliber. Tell us about that process.
It has been difficult, but I honestly believe that the actors have it much easier than before. There is much more access now. Most movies have auditions today. I can communicate with the directors with whom I would like to work. That is a great thing for an actor. Even getting to an audition for movies like Thuramukham is very rewarding.
That said, it has not been easy to discover this world on my own. Whether for an audition or to choose a particular movie or to decide to make a particular character or just accepting my payment, I think I'm still doing tests and mistakes and learning along the way.
Tell us about the workshops you do for children.
This is another area of interest. I absolutely love working with children. I do story sessions for children. Sometimes I work with children's publications and take their stories to the children. With all this technology and easy access, I feel that we are slowly losing the habit of telling children stories. But there is some magic that storytelling can create for them and I am very happy to be able to do it. In addition to telling stories, I also conduct theater workshops for children along with my sister Bhavana. Recently we started Theater with B and D to introduce the theater to children and we have conducted workshops in Bangalore and Kochi.