Arunetta santhoshayille? With this dialogue from Diamond Necklace, Kerala took notice of the talented and versatile actor Anusree. Noted for her stern and witty acts, Anusree came into the movie industry through an acting reality show judged by Lal Jose. He was so much impressed with her effortless acting, confidence and quick answers that he gave her the role of Kalamandalam Rajasree in the movie. Six years have passed and she’s gone on to do more than 20 movies with many memorable roles.
Versatility is Anusree’s strong suit. Her new movie Autorsha directed by Sujith Vaassudev, wherein she plays the character of an auto driver, is an example of her adaptability. Others like Kalpana and Aparna Balamurali have already played such roles but Anusree states this character is different from theirs. “I play the character of Anitha in the movie. She is the only female auto driver in her locality. Usually, everyone sees me as a naive, village girl. Anitha presented me a chance to enact a serious, rough character,” she says. True to the role, this character has been demanding.
“Driving an autorickshaw around itself was a fresh experience. The character demanded the mannerisms of auto drivers and also made me think so much to execute it properly. Shooting in the initial days was a bit difficult as I had to drive, render the dialogues and look around. The auto sequences were shot with specially designed equipment that had a 360-degree rotating camera fixed on it. This camera used to move around the auto and I needed to act and render my dialogues according to its movement. Shooting on crowded roads seemed difficult in the beginning but gradually, I got into the groove. Now I have become an expert driver and can drive through any road,” she quips.
Autorsha is Sujith’s second movie after James and Alice. Anusree was very comfortable working with him and the team. She says the shooting didn’t attract much attention and in many places, people weren’t aware a film was being shot. The movie has just 3-4 familiar faces including hers; all others were selected through audition. Majority of the auto drivers are portrayed by newcomers. “I have known Sujith chettan as a cinematographer. So there was an excitement about how he will be as a director. He has good knowledge in both departments. On most of the sets, we see the director and the cinematographer discuss the angles and other factors of the shot before the take. Here, it was extremely easy as he donned both the roles. The shooting went by quite smoothly. Altogether, the movie was quite a fresh experience for me,” she says.
She will be joining the sets of Biju Menon’s Aanakallan next. This will be the first time she is teaming up with Biju Menon. The movie is expected to be a fun riot. She will also be a part of the big-budget Madhuraraja, starring Mammootty and directed by Vysakh. This will mark her first association with Mammootty. She had already acted with senior actors like Mohanlal and Jayaram. “I’m lucky I had the chance to act with these great actors. Still, there are many I wish to work with and I hope it happens.” Though Anusree does just 2-3 movies a year, she doesn't fail to make a mark with her performance. She’s also open to all sorts of roles and is appreciated for her open and honest stands on the subjects she gets involved in. Says Anusree, “I won’t say I’m choosy. I’m not an actor who analyses the story of a movie deeply. For me, always the team and character matter. I think of how my character will be received by the audience. My character should leave a lasting impression in the minds of the audience, even if it’s a single scene. I won’t take up all the characters coming my way just to increase the number of movies I do.”
If there’s a dream role she’d like, it would be the character of an athlete. As someone who was involved in sports, she would love to portray the struggles athletes go through, right from the training phase. She is also open to other language movies, if and only if a good character and team come her way. People pulled her into controversies during last year’s Sree Krishna Jayanthi, as she was part of a rally. But it never affected her. “It’s coming up next month. People may brand me again, who knows?” she quips.