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Doing Malayalam proud

Sheela who bagged the National Award for the best actress in a supporting role for "Akkale"



Actress Sheela.

Sheela is on cloud nine. The veteran actress, after a string of hits, has capped her dream comeback by bagging this year's National Award for the Best Actress in a supporting role.

The excitement and happiness is clearly evident in her voice. "I never expected to win a national award at this stage of my career, with so many youngsters around. During the making of Akkale, we all knew it was a good one. I expected an award for Geethu Mohandas and Shyamaparasad, the director. But an award for my performance never crossed my mind," she says. "Shyamaprasad approached me with role of Margaret much before I decided to don grease paint again. At that time I was not prepared. Once Sathyan Anthikad's `Manasinakkre' became a hit, Shyamaprasad once again approached me. This time I readily agreed," Sheela recounts how she got the role.

"Akkale was a film I enjoyed doing and there was a lot of fun with Prithviraj and Geethu around. Prithvi reminds me greatly of Sukumaran - the gestures, the way he moves. It was likely a family. The kids used to pull my leg about Margaret's costume," she recalls. Was she disappointed for not having won an award earlier?

"In my earlier stint, there were a few roles for which I thought I would definitely win a national award. The roles in `Etho Oru Swapnam,' directed by Sreekumaran Thampi, `Kallichellama,' `Jalatharangam' and `Athithi' nearly brought national accolades for me. I was then disappointed at having not won the award. But then it is never too late, is it?" she asks.

Dwelling upon her latest films, Sheela says she enjoyed doing `Thaskaraveeran.' "It was a sort of a reunion. It was years since I acted opposite Madhu and Mammootty. And the Tamil film `Chandramukhi' was altogether a different experience. It was 30 years ago that I did my last Tamil film.

"But I am going to be very choosy from now on. I am being offered a couple of roles. But they are not to my liking. I just finished shooting `Veeranna,' a Tamil film with a new brood of actors," Sheela says. Any dream roles? "Yes, I would like to play a very vampish role," Sheela signs off.

K. SASIKUMAR

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