Actor Vidyullekha Raman looks forward to her upcoming films


| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Vidyullekha Raman has been in the film industry for 11 years and is happy to note that more author-backed roles are being written for supporting actors now. “Niche films that highlight such roles are accepted. Even if you are a fresh face, the audience cheer on if you perform well. It is no longer South or Hindi or Malayalam film industry, we are Indian film industry and actors are in for exciting times ahead,” says the actor, quoting examples of actors like Alia Bhat from the Hindi industry doing films in the South with Nayanthara, Atlee and Anirudh making it big with Shah Rukh Khan’s Jawan in Hindi. “Good content and author-backed roles are getting noticed. People are recognised through Instagram reels that helps them land roles in movies and television. Social media brings visibility. The industry is in the most accessible phase right now. If there’s a spark in you, there’s no stopping you.”

Vidyullekha made her debut in Neethaane En Ponvasantham (2012) and went on to do films like Vasuvum Saravananum Onna Padichavanga, Jilla, Veeram and Pa Paandi. She believes that in an industry where even heroines get stereotyped, it is quite a challenge being a character artiste and comedian. “I have currently filmed two new movies in Telugu, signed up for two more films with an all-new cast, and my yet-to-be-titled OTT series in Telugu will release shortly in Hotstar. I play a nurse in the limited series along with Varalakshmi Sarathkumar and Sathyaraj, ” says Vidyullekha adding that she is off to the US to start shooting for her upcoming Tamil movie, again with Varalakshmi Sarathkumar. “It’s a legal drama and the entire film is shot in the US.”

Besides this, she is also set to host TV shows in Telugu and Tamil soon and may give a shot at stand-up comedy. “Though not a ticketed performance, I have done informal shows at friends get-togethers. I want to build content, something that is relatable to girls of today. I recently gave a TedEx talk on body positivity, my career and the impact the industry has had on my life,” says the actor who is happy to explore variety. “Some of them are not necessarily focused only on comedy. I also get to perform shades of grey, serious characters with a hint of comedy and bubbly nature. I get to play a cop, doctor, nurse to name a few. I am no longer just a heroine’s friend, I am a person of my own.”

The actor is happy to state that her physical transformation and weight loss journey from 86 kilograms to 66 kilograms which she started during the lockdown is now a way of life. “I am a body positivity advocate, and being obese has no ‘good’ side effects. Embracing your body and working towards being healthier with an active lifestyle and a good diet is important. I wish I had woken up to this early on and not waited till I was 28,” she says adding that though she loves her pizzas, croissants, and burgers, moderation is the key.

Looking back at her career, she picks Jenny of Neethaney Enthan Ponvasantham, as a pivotal role that is remembered even today. “I owe it to Gautham Menon for casting me in Tamil and Telugu. I also dubbed in Telugu. I had a solid role in Vasuvum…, a fun part in Theeya Velai Seyyanum Kumaru. Tholi Prema (in Telugu) with Nani and Nivedha Thomas was memorable but it was Sarrainodu with Allu Arjun that put me in the hearts of Telugu audience. My character in Dhanush’s Pa Paandi set in the rural millieu is another important role.”

She was in Coimbatore to take part in the second edition of Transforming India Conclave organised by SSVM Institutions.

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