When the end credits rolled on the screen for Aalorukkam, people waited to read the new names. Among the first few names was Seetha Bala, who played Dr Seetha in the movie. Today, however, she is Sameera. There is no big controversy here, it's just a simple name change says the actor from Kochi who has been in the field for 10 years. This is, however, her first feature film. “My real name is Sandhya,” Sameera says. “The production controller Pradeep said we could look at another name when I came into movies. We were considering a few when Abhilash ettan, the director, said it could be Seetha, the same name as my character's.”
“And to suit numerology, we chose my grandfather's name - Balakrishnan - and made the surname Bala.” But she couldn't connect with the name. She didn't feel comfortable. So she came up with Sameera but by then the movie had released and credits had rolled on the screen. “Some thought it was for religious reasons. But I don't see any point in all that. I like the name Meera, and the Sa comes from Sandhya, my real name.” That’s the less important part of Sameera’s story. The more important part is her performance and how good she had been as Dr Seetha, easily turning into a serious character, quite unlike her real-life self. “The director would tell me not to bring my character into her. I would talk a lot and laugh a lot. My character is the opposite. There were scenes that needed many retakes for I wouldn’t stop laughing and Abhilash ettan had to be stern,” she says.
But you won't guess any of that looking at the screen and watching the strict no-nonsense doc at work. She speaks kindly to the old man who comes in search of a missing son, played by Indrans, and freely orders her friends around to help the old man. It's surprising how convincingly Sameera does this, considering this is her first feature film — she has done a few short films before, and ads too. When the audition call for Aalorukkam came, Sameera had gone with great hopes but her car met with an accident. She thought it was not meant for her and felt very sad, when the whole day was instead spent at a police station. But they called her and said she could come and try out another day. They wanted a video where she wore a sari and spoke a few lines of the character. That worked. Sameera has another great love — costume designing. “I used to work in the airport after finishing an aviation course and later at an aviation academy. But I couldn’t sit behind a table and work all day. It had to be something creative. Costume designing is a passion, so is acting.”