Mandodari instantly reminds us of the character in Ramayana. Being Ravana’s queen, there is not even a hint of humor in her character. Malayalis, however, are more familiar with a Mandodari from Marimayam, a show that gives the audiences a visual encounter with the day-to-day problems an average household faces in the best possible satirical manner. Sneha Sreekumar, who appears as Mandodari, has become a household name. This popularity has helped this dancer gain various offers from the Malayalam film industry as well.
Sneha is super excited to work with megastar Mohanlal in his upcoming movie Velipadinte Pustakam. She is even more delighted to work under Lal Jose, who is directing the movie.
“We have been hearing about Lal Jose teaming up with Mohanlal for the first time in his career and like every movie fan I was also anxious to know more about the project. However, receiving a call for Velipadinte Pustakam was completely unexpected. I was surprised and at the same time very thrilled to work with both the veterans when I got a call for the movie,” says Sneha, who appears as a professor in the movie and will be handling comedy, a genre she is well-known for.
But Sneha is of the opinion that doing any kind of role, be it serious or humorous, definitely requires a lot of skill because there is a thin line between doing justice to the genre and making it look messy. “People might think it is very easy to make people laugh. But trust me, it is one of the toughest jobs to do, because chances of overdoing a sequence tends to happen very easily,” adds Sneha. Sneha, who has a theatre background, however, was very tense initially at the thought of coming in front of the camera. It was her friend and director Sidhartha Shiva who persuaded her to give it a try and thus Marimayam happened. As the show is a social satire, the realistic approach to the episodes and on-the-spot improvisations helped her get into the shoes of an actor in a better way rather that just learning the dialogues and rendering it before the camera. However, every movie she does, irrespective of the role gives, her a bit of tension.
“I was pretty ok when Mohanlal Sir joined the crew, because I had already worked with him in a drama called Chayamukhi, where I play Mandodhari. I had combination scenes with him,” she says. Sharing her experience of working in Velipadinte Pustakam, Sneha says it is sometimes easy to work with veterans as they are experienced and therefore know how to respect each and every actor’s space and freedom.
“Lal Jose is a brilliant director to work with as he gives the actor the entire freedom he/she requires and improvises the performance in a way he wants to without forcing the actor. Even Mohanlal, despite being such a great actor, has all the patience to work on as many shots till the other person perfects it,” she concludes.