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LEELA MURALI INTERVIEWS RAJSHRI DESHPANDE

Tell us about your new Malayalam film, Haram, releasing in January.

Haram is a story based on relationships and follows two separate strands—set in urban and rural India.

What character do you play?

I play a struggling actress, Ameena, who is the body double of a superstar actress.

You’ve been called an “actor of substance”.

I just put my heart and soul into my work and try to understand my character.

You say you love acting as it allows you to transform yourself into another person….

I find it fascinating to play someone who has experienced an emotional journey that I’ve never faced.

Tell us about your theatre production Bahula?

Bahula is based on characters from the Mahabharata and talks about the restrictions women still face in society.

The biggest challenge in acting?

I get deeply involved in the character I am playing and I find it difficult to get out of it.

You love travelling. Which has been your favourite destination?

I like coming back to Kerala. I love the people, the literature and the culture.

You’re said to love uncertainties, to be always prepared for an adventure.

If everything is set and planned, what’s the fun in that?

You’re a Kathakali dancer, and you have also trained in Kalari.

I love learning different things. It’s like meditation for me.

From studying law, to advertising to being an actress. What has the journey been like?

My mother wanted me to have a professional degree so I studied law. I got into the advertising industry to support myself, but I soon found my calling in acting.