“I Am Eager To Stage My Comeback In Hindi Films After Bahubali :The Beginning”- Rohini
She has lent her voice to actresses like Jyothika (Vettaiyadu Vilaiyadu), Aishwarya Rai (Iruvar and Raavanan), Manisha Koirala (Bombay) and Amala (Shiva). She has also dubbed for Girija Shettar in Mani Rathnam’s only Telugu movie till date Geethanjali. Rohini is a talented combo of an actress, lyricist, screenwriter, voice actor and director.
Rohini has mainly acted in Tamil and Malayalam films along with few movies in Telugu and Kannada films. Having started her acting career at five, she has to her credit as many as 130 South Indian films but can you beat it, she is still looking as beautiful and petite as she did when she had breezed in on the scene with the Aamir Khan- Farha starrer Jawaani Zindabad way back almost 30 years ago.
Rohini has acted in a lot of movies from 1975 till now. She has received National Award for Special Mention and Andhra Pradesh State Award for Best Female Actor; for the year 1996 through the Telugu movie “Sthree”. Rohini has also been acknowledged for her acting skill, and awarded the Kalaimamani Award too.
Besides her performance in TV series, she is also known for anchoring in Raj’s TV show, Rohini’s Box Office in which she reviewed the latest releases. In 2013, she directed a feature movie Appavin Meesai. She is also involved in different social awareness program and charities. Besides, being an activist for AIDS awareness, she has directed short films for M.G.R. Medical University and Tamil Nadu Aids Control in hopes of raising awareness among people.
After Bahubali: The Beginning, Rohini (original maiden name Rohini Molleti) who was married for a brief period to the handsome actor Raghuvaran , (who unfortunately died at a young age after leaving her with a son called Rishi for her) not only has not been seen in any film in Bollywood because she was busy working in various films in Tamil and Telugu. In this exclusive interview with me in Goa where her latest Malayalam film Kolambi figured in the Indian Panorama section this year as a part of the International Film Festival of India, Rohini opens up and talks about her desire to stage a comeback in Hindi films.
What exactly is Kolambi all about? I asked Rohini when I managed to get her to sit across me for this exclusive interview. “Kolambi means Loud Speaker. The film is all about an old couple played by me and actor who own an old LP Record shop where they used to deal with loudspeakers before they were banned by the government way back in 2005 but now are forced to play a song if someone places an order for coffee and eke out their living.”
Rohini continues. “What happens when a young girl played by Nithya Menen walks into their lonely lives and the couple realize the need for another soul to share their lives forms the crux of the emotional subject. Besides this central plot, the film also sets out to deal with several other bigger issues too, including a scene when the young playback singer Vijay Jesudas, the son of playback singer Jesudas comes to their house to ask the couple if they could sell an old microphone with which Jesudas had sung his first ever recording, but they refuse to accept money offered though they are dire straits because they tell him that they cannot sell emotion for the sake of money.”
Rohini plays Sundarambal, the wife of the owner of the shop selling loud speakers, played by actor Renji Panicker. “My character goes through the shock of her life living with him for the last 40 years and comes to know things about him which she never knew earlier. I feel that the USP of this film is that though in many other films, the directors had made me do loud acting and play to the gallery, in Kolambi, T.K. Rajeev Kumar, the director let me be my natural self and handled the film very well bringing to the fore the emotional appeal to the hilt. Rarely an actor gets to play a role with this kind of freedom when the director trusts the actor implicitly.”
Rohini continues with gusto, “Performing is my forte. I did not do any preparations for the character of Sundarambal. There is a little bit of the real life Rohini in the character and hence it was very easy for me to portray the role and absolutely no need at all for me to get into the skin of my character. Though I am excited that a film of mine is figuring in the prestigious Indian Panorama section of the IFFI this year, it is not a first time for me as already a few films of mine have made it to the Panorama including Sthree way back in 1996, for which I had received the national award too. Kolambi has also been sent to two other film festivals.”
What next after Bahubali: The Beginning as well as Kolambi? I ask her. “After Bahubali The Beginning and Kolambi, I was also a part of the Tamil hit Bighil with Vijay as the leading man, besides Market Raja MBBS in Tamil . Right now, I have as many as five films in Telugu which have been lined up including the films directed by Trivikram and Srinivasa Mohan and am toying with the idea of acting in a few Tamil films too”, quips Rohini.
Rohini is eager to renew her old ties with Bollywood. Asking me to look out for roles which I feel will suit her, Rohini tells me that it was fun to work with actors like Aamir Khan whose sister she had played in Pranlal Mehta’s film Jawaani Zindabad way back in 1990. “Frankly speaking, I expected more offers to come my way after I did Jawaani Zindabad first and Bahubali :The Beginning in Bollywood but since I am Chennai based, it did not help me at all as people thought that I may be very busy working in South Indian films in various languages and hence not be able to take up offers to work in Hindi films though I know Hindi very well, besides Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam”, signs off Rohini.
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