Brains and Beauty
Suchitra Pillai would love to do a movie with Mohanlal or Mammooty. She has stepped into Hollywood too.
She is some woman, Suchitra Pillai. Brains and beauty rarely cohabit. But this Malayali actor who has an engineering degree, apparently has both aplenty. She has stepped into Hollywood with `Marigold' now. TV, Bollywood, the stage and even a French music video that's No 1 on the charts out there - that's what Suchitra Pillai, whose parents are from Thiruvananthapuram, has achieved.
The soon-to-be married Suchitra is in the city for the Navy Wives Welfare Association charity ball tonight, called Night on the Nile, at SNC Officers' Mess lawns. The lady who loves the colours black and red, would love to act opposite Mohanlal or Mammooty, she reveals.
PREMA MANMADHAN finds out what's new in the Bollywood star's life.
Can you speak or write Malayalam?
I can speak Malayalam but can't read or write it. Since childhood we have always had domestic help at home from Kerala, so that's how I know how to speak it.
You acted in Page 3. What do you feel about the celebrity life led by such
Page 3 folks and the effect it has on them?
I was part of that film since I do fall under that category of people in Mumbai but that kind of life is all part and parcel of the job as far as I am concerned. As long as you don't let it get to your head and have a grip on things, it doesn't adversely affect anyone. Everyone has a choice, whether it is attending a party or being part of the Page 3 circuit and each one makes a choice and accepts what it entails.
You are not the usual movie actor. You are interested in the stage,
radio, TV and video. What else now?
At the moment I am still part of three theatre productions, am currently shooting for a Hollywood film called `Marigold', starring Salman Khan, am a radio jockey and also trying to work on my own album. No TV at the moment but no regrets. I Just did a French music video for an artist called Zazie that is now No. 1 on the charts there in France.
What is happening to all that expertise in engineering? Can you use that knowledge anywhere in your chosen professional fields?
(Laughs heartily) I have never had the chance to use my engineering degree but I always say that if I am on a film set and the lights blow up, at least I know what to do with the fuse box!
What gives you maximum satisfaction, from the creative perspective, film, TV, the stage or radio?
Theatre without a doubt, because you have your audience reaction right there in front of you and don't have to wait for critics etc. but sadly, it doesn't pay well enough to earn a living from it. Next would be film because you really get to analyse a role and be that character for the duration of the film.
What do you do to keep that figure intact? Any dieting tips?
This figure is such, thanks to my genes. I have never dieted in my life, thank God and I don't intend to. Of late I have started working out with a personal trainer who kills me at the workouts but otherwise I am just hyperactive so I'm upto something all the time. That helps keep the weight in check.
How conventional and traditional are you?
I am traditional in all my family values. I respect my family's opinion about everything but I have had a very cosmopolitan upbringing so I'm not too conservative in my views etc. Basic traditional values have always been maintained at home but nothing has ever been forced onto my sister and me.
Does religion play a big role in your life? Do you believe in astrology?
Religion is a strength in my life. Lord Ganesh is my favourite and so too Lord Shiva. I must admit I don"t go to temples etc regularly but I also maintain that if God is in your heart all the time you don't have to keep knocking on temple doors. He's always around us and that makes me strong. Yes, I totally believe in astrology and tarot and `naadi shastra' and all things connected with planets and my future. My mum is very religious and also very much into astrology, so that's how I have the interest and my father too, he knows palmistry.
The Navy Wives Welfare Association charity ball, Night on the Nile, at SNC Officers' Mess lawns for which Suchitra Pillai and other celebrities like Usha Uthup, Mehnaz, Angela and DJ Vivek are in town, is aimed at collecting funds for their charitable activities. Wizent Entertainment and event management group are the celebrity managers for the event.
Wedding in Kerala
SUCHITRA PILLAI is getting married soon, in Kerala, most probably in Kochi, she says.
"He is from Denmark and his name is Lars. He is an environmental engineer whom I met in Mumbai. Since I wanted him to see our tradition I will be having a Malayali ceremony," she says.
And she has a high regard for Malayalam films. "I am definitely familiar with Malayalam films which I think are much more creative than Bollywood and yes, I would love to act in them if given the chance. Who wouldn't want to work with Mammooty or Mohanlal?
She loves the sari for formal wear. "I love to wear chiffon saris but for parties etc anything modern that catches my fancy. On a normal day I would be wearing jeans and a top. Suchitra loves Thai food and the Kerala fried fish her maid makes.
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