Beyond the colour of her skin
She’s all of 22, but the poise and confidence with which she asserts herself suggests a performer far experienced beyond her years. Shobana Karthikeyan started off as a child artiste in films, and all through her teenage years, wanted nothing more but to grow up already and start her career as an actress!
“The day I graduated from school, I wanted to start acting full-fledged. But good things, like all else, take time, and I went through the usual rigmarole of modeling, fashion shoots, and so on. However, I always steered clear of PRs or coordinators, wanting to make it on my own without compromise. I was disappointed when my first film didn’t see the light of day — but then Magalir Mattum came my way, and I knew this would a fantastic entry into the industry for me,” says the Chennai native, who plays actress Bhanupriya’s younger version in the flashback portions.
“I also appear briefly as Bhanupriya’s daughter as well in the present-day scenes. She also felt I looked just like her! It was such a delight working with all of the other senior actresses, as well as Jyothika, who was very down-to-earth and encouraging. My character in the 1970s scenes resonates a lot with who I am as a person in real life — independent and loving to break the rules!” Shobana exclaims.
Not averse to multi-heroine projects in the future, she adds that it’s a pity that Tamil aspirants have to work doubly hard nowadays to make it in Kollywood — “There’s so much discrimination based on skin colour! Casting calls don’t work out half the time as we are rejected of not being as fair-skinned as our Kerala or north Indian counterparts. One can only hope this changes eventually.”
Wanting to work in full-on commercial films in the future, Shobana who calls actress Simran’s ‘boldness to experiment with her looks as well as roles’ her inspiration, concludes saying, “I’m open to any role, traditional or bold — as long as it’s not vulgar. Short films and web series are also an avenue I want to explore. And my dream co-star? Vijay Sethupathi!”