Babymol. Helen Paul. Jessy. Three movies. Three complicated characters. And all have struck a chord with audiences.
Twenty-one-year-old Anna Ben is the toast of Malayalam cinema, as extra viewers appear to uncover her films akin to Kumbalangi Nights, Helen and Kappela on streaming platforms.
The daughter of scenarist Benny P Nayarambalam, Anna is barely a year-and-a-half into her performing profession however has emerged as a traditional instance of an actor with a robust script sense.
Anna is sort of in demand now, however she awaits the lockdown to be lifted — “I miss working and being on set more than anything.”
What does the long run maintain for her? Excerpts from an interview:
What does the success of ‘Kappela’ on Netflix imply to you? It is nearly like a re-release of types…
Yes, we had been fairly upset when the lockdown occurred because the movie had simply come out in theatres. It was my director’s first venture and we had been anticipating a good launch. This Netflix second coming has nearly felt like one other first day, first present expertise. I’ve been getting calls, texts and so many optimistic opinions… it’s truly overwhelming.
Kappela is a small film with a small crew, however a heartfelt venture. So you possibly can think about how a lot this implies to us.
All your movies have been fairly profitable on-line. Could it be as a result of they weren’t overtly industrial and had been appropriate for the small-screen expertise?
Maybe. But I’m additionally undoubtedly fortunate to be working through the pandemic, given how a lot these OTT platforms have helped us. Art shouldn’t be restricted to language or location, and I’m thrilled that small-budget movies at the moment are accessible by these platforms.
Do you place a lot of thought into selecting your scripts?
Honestly, my first film Kumbalangi Nights selected me. I simply went for the audition and bought chosen, however had no concept what I used to be stepping into. I’m at an early stage in my profession, however I maintain this in thoughts: to not get an excessive amount of into the technical elements of the movie. I pay attention to the script as a viewer and surprise if I might go to the theatre to watch a story like this. If it engages me, I’m offered!
Your characters have turn into so memorable…
In Kappela, for Jessy’s character, I had to put in a little extra effort since I’m fairly the alternative of what she is. I don’t have the expertise of residing in a small village and harbouring goals of a secret romance. That is so in contrast to me (laughs). I take inspiration from observing individuals round who resemble the character. So earlier than the shoot, I spoke to the locals. That actually helped me get into the vibe of the movie.
Baby and Helen, on the other hand, are extra like me. I’m from Kochi however I grew up in a small city, which is absolutely close-knit. I studied within the metropolis and lived in Bangalore for a whereas. I believe I’m making an attempt to say that I’ve had one of the best of each worlds.
Your father has labored in Malayalam cinema for many years. Does his affect or background add to your confidence as an actor?
Yes, undoubtedly. I’ve spent a lot of time with my dad on the units of movies he has labored on. So I understand how the system works and there’s a sure familiarity to it. I’m a director’s actor and I don’t overthink a lot. I am going with my intuition.
Do you might have plans of performing in a large industrial entertainer?
Of course! It is simply a query of what comes to me. The ones I’m doing subsequent are a rom-com and an motion thriller. I’ve been getting a lot of inquiries from the Tamil movie trade. I haven’t zeroed in on something but due to the COVID-19 scenario. Something good ought to come up quickly.
Any lockdown learnings?
It is sort of boring. I stay with my household so we spend time collectively catching up on movies I’ve missed over the past yr. I like cooking for them a lot, truly.
I actually miss working. I labored on back-to-back initiatives and was actually within the second. Then I had to immediately shut down my system. I’m trying ahead to getting again on monitor.