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My First Break


I do not take up all the roles that come my way, be it in films or television. I go for the ones that I find challenging and interesting



Renuka

How it happened

I hail from Srirangam. I lost my father at a young age. As the eldest child in the family, I had to take care of my mother and two brothers. I came to Chennai in 1985 in search of work. I joined Komal Swaminathan’s troupe, and travelled around the country extensively. I also did a number of advertisements. My first big break in Tamil films happened in 1989 with the lead role in T. Rajendar’s Samsara Sangeetham. Earlier, I got a good role in theMalayalam film Sargam directed by Hariharan. Since, I have acted in over 75 Malayalam films. Valsalyam with Mamooty was a super hit. Following this, actor Geetha introduced me to K. Balachander, who introduced me to the small screen. I’ve played crucial roles in his serials Kaialavu Manasu, Kadhal Pagadai, Premi and Jannal.

How it felt

Success has taught me a lot, and now I am choosy about the roles I play. Today, I take up just one project at a time, to give it my all. I do not take up all the roles that come my way, be it in films or television. I go for the ones that I find challenging and interesting.

How life changed

After joining the industry, I married K. Kumaran, chairman and managing director of Aloha India, which conducts advanced abacus and mental arithmetic programmes. My popularity as an actor has greatly helped me enhance the growth of Aloha. Today, it has 1,200 centres in India. I am excited about playing the lead role in K. Balachander’s play Pournami. He’s returning to theatre after 40 years! I am happy to have received awards such as Nandi Award in Andhra Pradesh, Ugadi Puruskar Award, and Onida Pinnacle Award for the serial Kadhal Pagadai.

S.R. ASHOK KUMAR

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