I am very sensitive:Lakshmi Gopalaswamy
Two-time State Award winning actress, LakshmiGopalaswamy is doing a balancing act by pursing her passion for dance and movies, all at the same time. The actress, who entered the film industry more than a decade ago, is currently seen mostly in the role of a mother. However, she is not complaining. She is happy that the characters she has done in recent films, be it a teenage mom in SathyanAnthikad’sOru Indian Pranayakadha or the dominating wife in Akku Akbar’s MathaiKuzhappakkaranalla, have not gone unnoticed. Lakshmi speaks about her role in her recent release; her love for Malayalam films; her Tamil and Kannada projects; marriage plans and more in a freewheeling chat.
You had only one release in 2014. Have you gone choosy in Malayalam? Not at all. I would love to do more Malayalam films. In Malayalam, the script is always the king, and that is the reason. But to be frank, I am not getting that many offers. It could be because I am based out of Bangalore; I’m also not good at PR (smiles).
In Mathai Kuzhappa-kkaranalla, you played an egoistic wife, a role which you haven’t done so far. It was a different character which had many layers to it. Geetha, my character, might look like a dominating wife, but she is actually a weak character. She is an indecisive woman, who is dominated and pampered by her mother. She is torn between her husband and mother and has no voice of her own. I really enjoyed playing the role as I could relate to her. Like her, I am also indecisive when faced with certain issues. I will have too many opinions in my mind and I rely on my mother during these times.
The movie was criticised for being too preachy and for blaming women for all the divorces happening in our society. What is your take on that? It could be that the movie was trying to say a lot in a short span. However, what the movie showed is something that is happening in our society. We see lots of rich kids who don’t know the value of earning and managing money. They live in an unreal world. Women like Geetha are a dime a dozen, and many divorces are happening over silly issues. While I am all for women’s emancipation, I am also sensitive to men’s issues. Many of my friends have undergone harassment and abuse at the hands of their wives. We should not empathise with women only. I empathise with men. Having said that, I must say, I’m not anti-women either.
In Oru Indian Pranayakatha, you played Amala Paul’s mother. Did you have any apprehensions about doing such a mature and elderly woman on screen? Yes, I did. When Sathyan Anthikad approached me for the role, initially I said I don’t want to do it. However, Sathyan sir insisted and said that when he wrote the character he had only me in mind and that it is not like what I imagine. Finally, I gave in. But now I am really happy to have taken up that role because I got several positive feedbacks. People even told me that after watching the movie, my face kept haunting them. For an actor it is a great compliment.
Do you have projects in other industries down south? I have one film each in Kannada and Tamil and both the characters are very different from each other. In the Kannada movie Vidaya, which is based on mercy killing, I play a woman whose husband is dying. It is all about her fight for voluntary euthanasia. I have just finished shooting for the film. It is a great role and I am just waiting for the audience’s response.
My next film in Tamil is directed by debutante Arun. It highlights the behind-the-scenes happenings of reality shows based on real-life stories, and how the electronic media operates to get TRPs.
You seem to be busy with stage shows as well… Dance will always remain my passion. I keep travelling for dance shows. I am also pursuing a PhD in Bharathanatyam.
Will you get married anytime soon? There are no plans as of now. I believe things that have to happen will happen.
Do you prefer a love or an arranged marriage? I won’t mind an arranged marriage, but the person should be familiar to me. At this age, I would prefer an organic marriage; you should grow in that relationship.