The bold and beautiful Anumol – Exclusive Interview
‘Slow and Steady’; that will be the apt usage for Anumol’s film career. The valiant actress who lured us through ‘Akam’ has achieved a matchless reputation with her characteristic acting in an array of stimulating roles.
She has always been selective in her roles and is known for the versatility in choosing them. All her roles have been widely discussed and appreciated. “It’s not like I choose these roles to create a picky image. I choose the best characters from the ones I’m approached for. The basic things are that I should be able to relate myself with the character and scope of performing should be there. I think I’m a person who is intense in life and luckily majority of my characters has been so till now. My emotions are very deep and so were my characters! We should be able to relate every character with ourselves”, she says.
‘Njaan, Oru Naal Iravil..’
Njaan and Oru Naal Iravil (remake of Shutter) were the two other movies which showcased the fine acting skills of Anumol. She portrayed the role of Janu in Njaan and in Oru Naal Iravil she came to us as Thangam. “Njaan was a film with a big cast and Renjiyettan at the helm. Renjiyettan is a director who makes actors very comfortable, gives us space and freedom to execute our character. Working with Dulquer was enjoyable as he is a very supporting co-actor. He is a very enthusiastic actor imparts energy to the entire cast and crew. It was really admirable working with such a big cast & crew. The character was well received by the audience and it was heard that even some people fainted during my abortion scene in the film. Even though that’s sad, it’s also an acknowledgement of my commitment to the character”, she says proudly. The role of Janu presented her the Jaycey Foundation award and NP Abu award for the best actress.
Oru Naal Iravil starring Sathyaraj and Anumol was directed by Anthony. She reprised the role of Sajitha Madathil in the remake. “It was A.L Vijay who called me to do this film. Naturally, I was excited, but at the same time I had lot of inhibitions too. The movie ‘Shutter’ was a highly successful movie and it had already created high standards. However, I badly wanted to do the film. It was Sajitha chechi who gave me the confidence to move forward. My tensions and inhibitions got eliminated as soon as I joined the shoot as the support of cast and crew was that amazing. Honestly, I have never worked with such a supporting crew till now. Without their help I couldn’t have done justification to this role”, she says proudly.
“Since Shutter has already made a massive impact, we had a fear of people comparing both the films. However, people treated the Tamil version as a fresh film and collected good response. The role of Thangam was well appreciated by the leading newspapers and magazines there. Even Sathyaraj sir made good comments on my role in many of the interviews. It gives a sense of pride and happiness when our hard work is accepted by a different film industry in the same way our industry does”.
VK Prakash’s latest film ‘Rockstar’ presented her in an entirely different getup and personality. “The role of Sanjana Kurien gave me a drastic makeover. It was one role I couldn’t connect myself with; maybe to a small extent emotionally, but not in the dressing style and mannerisms. Sanjana is a person who rides bike, smokes cigarette, a very bold character. Many were actually surprised to see me in such a role. I was very pleased that social media and other media gave great response and acceptance to my character. All credits to VKP for this audacious attempt! I should thank the entire crew of this film for successfully incorporating Sanjana in me”.
‘Birds with large wings’
‘Valiya Chirakula Pakshikal’ directed by Dr.Biju was one of her releases in 2015. The film based on Endosulfan saw her donning the role of an environmental activist. The film has already been screened in many international film festivals including IFFK 2015. “It was my first film with Dr.Biju and second film with Chackochan (Kunchako Boban). Dr.Biju had appreciated me after seeing my performance in Chayilyam. He is a director with a superior vision and got a talented team of technicians to support him. He has clear idea about what he is going to do and to have a team who are very understanding and supporting is big thing. Very happy to have worked with such a passionate team.”
Anumol’s next film ready to be released is ‘Amoeba’ directed by Manoj Kana. Eralier, she played the lead role of ‘Gauri’ in Manoj’s ‘Chayilyam’, which earned her great appreciations. “Amoeba will be getting released this month. I play the character of an endosulfan victim in the film. Other than that I have committed 2 Malayalam and 1 Bengali films this year, the details of the films will be soon affirmed by the respective directors”, she says happily.
Anumol’s characters in Vedivazhipadu and Oru Naal Iravil has similar shades even though their background was different. However, she is an actress who isn’t image conscious. “I’m very happy doing performance oriented roles. Good roles have always come my way and I believe it will continue to. The roles of Vedivazhipadu and Oru Naal Iravil were of substance and had the opportunity to explore and perform my talent. For me, film industry is responsible for typecasting. How can actors be responsible if they are approached with the same pattern characters? Once they perform a character well, approach them with another challenging character and not with the same type ones! Anyways, I have decided to take a break from roles like in Vedivazhipadu for 2-3 years. However, if a challenging character comes my way, I’ll definitely do!”
“Yes, definitely I love to do it. I’m open to any type of roles. I love experimenting with diverse roles. In that case, I can be termed as a greedy actor! The only factor is that my character should have enough space to perform”, she adds.
Anumol is a very busy dancer too. She has been doing stage performances in Bharatanatyam for quite some time. She also loves doing Mohiniyattom and Kathakali. “I’m still practicing under Sheela Nalledam. I have already done 3-4 programmes this year and have lined up a few in March too. I’m a person who loves and gives 100% in whatever I do. Dance gives a bit more freedom when compared to films. Directors and scriptwriters have their say in film characters whereas a dance performance is completely on our own. It gives the freedom to express more. Another advantage if dance performance is that we get to know the reactions on the spot. I’ll completely nervous before the performances commence. However, I get into the grove once the performance begins and as it nears completion I feel like performing more and more. The real excitement begins when we meet the audience while walking to the backstage; they share their opinions, reviews, appreciations etc. It’s an exuberant feel!”, she says happily.
‘Not figure conscious’
Majority of the celebrities are running around trying to maintain their figure or trimming down to size zero. But Anumol has never been worried about her physique. “My physique was always like this. I’m neither a slim person nor a fat one. I have never done anything to my physique to survive in industry. It’s easy for me to gain and lose weight. I may gain or shed weight if the character demand, and have even done it sometimes. Other than that I don’t feel there is a need to be figure conscious. In short, I love the way I’m”.
Travelling and sleeping tops her list of hobbies. She is also an ardent foodie and shopper. “So far all travels has been connected either with shoot or dance performance. I really want to travel more in a vacation mood. Wherever I go for shooting purposes, I end up trying out the local cuisines and shop well. I used to read well till some years back, now the habit has got lost somewhere. Maybe I’m not getting the peaceful ambiance for that! I hope to get that habit back on track soon”.
“Family is my greatest asset! I got a family who supports me well and have 100% trust in me. My amma supports all my decisions and believes I always take the right decisions. This really gives a positive energy and motivation for me. Amma gets worried when I overstrain during shoot. That’s when she feels I could have taken up a job after engineering. But she really is the pillar of strength for me. My sister is my best critic. She conveys her opinions frankly as she genuinely wants me to perform better”, proudly she says. She graduated in IT Engineering from Hindustan College, Coimbatore in 2007.
Anumol’s statement on marriage was misquoted in one of the online media and that paved way to some controversies sometime back. “Marriage is on the cards, definitely. However, I’m not sure when and how it is going to happen. The relationships these days are short lived and that scares me. I’m still unaware about my ability in managing a relationship. Maybe everything will fall in place when the right person and correct circumstance befall. Let it happen so”, she adds.
Plans for future?
“I take life as it comes. It’s all about the good and positive decisions we take in this moment. I hope and wish to perform good roles as long as I’m in the film industry. Now life is going in the way things are happening, hope to have a happy and peaceful life. I love to live as Anumol; forever, always!”
“Trivandrum evokes mixed emotions in me. My first stint with the city was during my college days. I was there as a part of my final year project and I really didn’t have much good experience there. The next time I landed there was as an actress for the film festival. My film ‘Akam’ was completely shot there. The second coming gave me very good experiences and has now got good remembrance about the city. The places and people gifted me good memories. Whenever I’m in Trivandrum, I visit Shalini (Director, Akam), her family and a couple of my friends.”