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Laila, the `accidental' actress

S.R. Ashok Kumar

"I have not changed my name for cinema. Laila in Arabic means light in darkness"



Laila.

CHENNAI:

The `chubby cheeks dimple chin girl' from Mumbai has carved a niche for herself in South Indian cinema. After 40 films in south Indian languages, including the latest "Ullam Ketkumae More" in Tamil, as also in Hindi, Laila has just completed her recent engagement with "Kanda Naal Muthal," produced by Prakash Raj and directed by Priya V. She talks about her experience in the film industry.

Modelling was my hobby. My entry into the tinsel world was accidental. Popular comedian Mehmood saw me and requested me to act in his film. Initially I refused. But after a couple of weeks I accepted it. I have done only two films in Hindi and the latest "Insann", was released in January last.

I have not changed my name for cinema. Laila in Arabic means light in darkness.

I am a bubbly girl and I wish to spread happiness. I also like people smiling around me. I will not scold anyone but if someone hurts my family or me professionally or emotionally I get angry. But it happens very rarely.

When I was shooting for "Pithamagan," Vikram told me that he would give me a chocolate if I could stop smiling for a minute. But I lost the bet and I had to buy him a chocolate. I can't stop smiling as I always love to smile.

I have acted in 40 films in all the South Indian languages and in Hindi. I have done more than 15 films in Tamil. My favourite film is "Ullam Kettkumae More". I enjoyed doing the character very much. I enjoyed every moment of the shooting.

I love Sivaji's acting. I am a fan of Revathi. She is acting as my mother in "Kanda Naal Mudal". In Hindi, my favourite is Madubala and in Hollywood it is Nicole Kidman.

People asked me why I have not acted in more Hindi films. I do not know about the past. But now I love South Indian cinema more. It has nice and powerful scripts and I get chance to act in some good characters.

I also prefer South Indian people for morals, principle and professionalism. I don't find such aspects in Hindi films.

Nowadays, I do not watch Hindi films at all. They only seem to show scantily-dressed women running up and down. I watch a movie only after ascertaining the story and content with friends. Recently, I watched "Black" and "Parineeta" by Pradeep Sarkar.

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