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Double impact


THAT WAS the first time the Indian Television Academy, Mumbai, began to consider serials from the South for its awards and Chetan was adjudged the best for his role in "En Peyar Ranganayaki." It happened two years ago but it did not gain the media attention it deserved. "The function was a gala event with a galaxy of Mumbai stars present at the venue," Chetan recollects.

Chetan's portrayal in the happening mega "Metti Oli," and "Aadugiraan Kannan" and "Rudra Veenai" continues to prove his mettle. His role in the first has several shades to it, he is a soft person in the second and plays an offbeat character in the last. "But I liked him most in "Kaveri," where he played an underworld don," says wife Devadarshini. A TV star with immense potential and a pleasing demeanour, Devadarshini is slowly gaining a foothold in films, with character roles.

When Chetan says that no worthwhile offers came from cinema and he's happy with his lot on the small screen, he sounds genuine. "I don't believe in gimmickry and odd get-ups. I prefer the realistic roles that come my way in television," he adds.


Chetan is quite choosy and prefers not to take on too much work. Wary of over-exposure and wanting to spend more time with the family that now has a new entrant — four-month-old daughter Niyati — are the reasons. Not many know that Chetan is a singer too. He had a music troupe when he was in Bangalore and has sung the title track for the serial, "Rukku Rukku Rukkumani," and also for a Kannada film. So how much time does he devote to honing the skill these days? "Not much," he confesses, as Devadarshini says, "His mother and I keep telling him that his music talent should not go waste and that he should get back to it again."

Devadarshini has just begun work after a temporary break because of the baby. The actress who came out with a splendid comedy role opposite Vivek in the film, "Parthiban Kanavu" has not been seen in light-hearted roles after that. It was more serious stuff that you witnessed in "Unakku 20 ... " and in "Kadhal Kirukkan." "I am doing a light role again with Ramesh Kanna in `Uyir Ezhuthu' and that's about it."

Basically, Devadarshini does not want to be typecast as a comedienne. "Only after marriage have I started doing movies. My role in a film would involve only about four or five days work in a month. The rest of the time I intend concentrating on television. And when I am doing mostly serious roles for TV, too much of comedy in cinema could affect the impact that my small screen roles make. All said and done television is my mainstay ... "

"More than in "Parthiban Kanavu" I liked her comedy in the television serial, "Ramani Vs. Ramani," says Chetan. And as each talks about the other's talent and commitment you realise that you are talking to a strong mutual admiration society that loves to list the plusses of each other.

MALATHI RANGARAJAN

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