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Model mother

VIJAY GEORGE

Model-turned-actor Richa Pallod makes her debut in Malayalam with ‘Daddy Cool.’



Mommy cool: Richa Pallod stars with Mammooty in ‘Daddy Cool.’

It was her stint as a model that helped Richa Pallod make her entry on to the big screen. And though she hails from Mumbai, it was in Tamil and Telugu films that she found success. She regards films such as ‘Alli Arjuna’ and ‘Shajahan’ in Tamil, ‘Nuvve Kavali’ in Telugu and ‘Neal n Nikki’ and ‘Kuch Tum Kaho Kuch Hum Kahein’ in Hindi as the highlights in her career. Recently she completed shooting for ‘Daddy Cool,’ her maiden film in Malayalam. In the film directed by Aashiq Abu, she dons the role of Annie, wife of Antony Simon, Mammootty’s character in the film. Richa says that she loves being an actor and in a chat with Friday Review she talks about her life as a model and an actor. Excerpts…

How was it working in ‘Daddy Cool’?

Fantastic. More than the length of my role, I am happy about the quality of work that I have done. More importantly I felt right at home even though I was working in Malayalam for the first time. By the time the shoot was over, the director told me that, on the set, I was naughtier than even the dog and the kid, who also have important parts in the film (laughs).

What attracted you to this role?

I wanted to work with Mammootty and it was a city-based character, which I think suits me more. It is not that I will do such characters only, but every wife can relate to my character. Annie is quite worried about her husband who prefers playing with their eight-year-old son to working as a cop. I had to wear cotton saris and though I am not really used to it, I managed it quite well.

How different is acting in films to commercials?

In films it is more natural, while in ad films you have just 30 seconds to convey the whole idea. It is the kind of situation where you have two seconds to give three expressions. I have done more than 200 advertisements and it has been a great learning experience.

I was still in college and was into modelling when offers for movies came my way from the South, after they saw my ads. The offers were from reputed names such as Bharathi Raja, Ramoji Rao and so on, even before I planned my career. Films such as ‘Alli Arjuna,’ ‘Nuvve Kavali’ and ‘Shajahan’ were really challenging ones and brought recognition as well.

But you did not make it to the top league in Tamil or Telugu after the initial successes?

I do not know who is to be blamed for that. Bad luck? Myself? My approach? Things just did not happen after a while. I would have loved to continue but then perhaps I did not aggressively pursue my career. I am pretty laid-back in that sense. I am keen to do more films, but it all depends on the kind of offers that come my way. Right now, besides ‘Daddy Cool,’ I am acting in a Telugu film and a Tamil film is also in the pipeline.

What do you feel are your kind of characters, then?

I would love to do roles like the one Konkona Sen Sharma did in ‘Page 3’ or Kareena Kapoor’s character in ‘Jab We Met,’ which has lots of excitement and energy. I know that such roles do not happen every day and perhaps that is the sad part of it as well, but I love my career as an actor. (Smiles) I would love acting even at 60, like Meryl Streep, and I wish our industry makes movies for actors of that age.

What are your plans for Bollywood?

I have a long way to go in Bollywood. ‘Neal n Nikki’ was great as I was a part of a YashRaj production. I am looking forward to meaningful, character-oriented roles. Also, I do not think there is much to differentiate between Bollywood and South Indian cinema, as we have almost the same technicians working with us. Like, there was great attention devoted to make-up, costumes and technical aspects in ‘Daddy Cool,’ which makes me feel that it is often more organised and professional here, than in Bollywood.

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