We at kochivibe had the pleasure of catching up with Dhanya Mary Varghese for a cup of coffee and conversation. Below is the interview transcript.
1. Tell us how did it all started, you’re modeling and acting?
I was a student of St Teresa college and was in the cultural team, mainly into dancing. My favorite form of dancing is classical- bharatnatyam, kuchupudi etc. I got a great platform to launch my career(modeling and movies) from St. Teresa ‘s college
2. Which was your first modeling assignment?
Chavara and Chungath Prince Jewelers.
3. Tell us more about your modeling days?
It’s been 4 years since I have come in to modeling/fashion industry. There is no age bar in the modeling field. I prefer to be known as a model rather than an actress. There is a lot of scope in Mumbai. I have done couple of ads with Mumbai and Delhi based agencies – Asian paints, East Tea campaign by Rajeev Menon, and with Kerala agencies – my ads were kalyan and manorama.
4. How did the transition for modeling to movies happen?
I got into movies through ads, You invoke the interests of directors and casting agents when you start appearing on the cover of magazines. ‘Thirudi’ was my first movie and then ‘Veeramum Eeramum’ (Tamil movies). ‘Nanma’ was my first Malayalam movie and then I acted in ‘Thalappavu’.
I was in my degree when I was shooting for Tamil movies and had a break of a year after every movie. I wouldn’t have got a chance in movies if I was not a model. I can say that I paved my way into acting through modeling. Director Shaji Sir gave me a chance to act in his latest movie after watching my East Tea Commercial.
5. Where you nervous or excited when you faced the camera for the first time? Did you always have a passion towards acting in movies?
Yes, I was very nervous about the first take, infact everybody will be nervous. You are new in the industry. When you meet the directors I was not sure what to talk to him. But now, I feel that I’m slowly becoming part of this industry.
I was always more interested in dancing. I was planning to have career in dancing. My mother was interested in sending me for dance classes.
6. How do you pick roles? Since you are new in the industry do you really have the freedom to pick and choose scripts or do u just have to do anything that comes your way?
When you are new to the industry we never get a chance to read the script. We can request the director to read a couple of lines from the script. I pick a role mostly by listening to the brief of my character given by the director.
7. ‘Thalappavu’ was less glamour’s role. How did it affect your modeling career?
‘Thalappavu’ was a completely deglamorised role ,A few directors had told me that I don’t have face for Malayalam cinema, but after watching’ Thalappavu’ directors have got back and appreciated for the work I have done in the movie.
8. Your biggest obstacle till date?
The audience accepting the characters in portray in the movies I have done.
9. Your dream role?
I have just started my career in the industry, so currently don’t have any. But would like to be able to act like Shobana or Sridevi.
10. Do you think that we have equitable actress in Tamil or Malayalam. Actresses who can caryy a movie by themselves.
We have lots of actress who have the talent, but the movies have always had male centric scripts and the talent a lot of times goes unnoticed. We also don’t get enough opportunities to prove our skill levels.
11. What’s your professional goal?
I would like to be remembered by the next generation for the characters in portray. For eg: Shobhana, though she is not active in movies anymore we still fondly remember some of her characters especially the one in ‘Manichitratazu’ where she portrayed ‘Nagavalli ‘.
12. How was your college life?
I have completely enjoyed my college life, especially being a part of the cultural team. I used to bunk classes using excuses like dance practice. Studying was always difficult to me, the college was very strict about attending class, and permissions to leave the hostel etc. But college also gave me loads of opportunities, as I mentioned earlier my modeling career kicked off from St Teresa’s college.
13. Did you enjoy School or college more?
School was different, I used to be in a co-ed school and used to have a lot of friends then, I don’t think I have studied at all. Then college was a shock, it was more like a jail. The seniors were not very forgiving, I have wished many times if only I could go back and study in a co-ed college, I think I would have enjoyed campus life better. But I’m not complaining, St. Theresa’s gave me a platform to get into modeling and thus cinema.
14. Recount for us some instances from your college life, embarrassing as well as fun instances.
Two instances that come to mind are, when I got caught bunking classes and after winning the overall trophy for the cultural competition.
The first one was when I bunked classes citing the excuse of dance practice, i went to the auditorium to watch a show, I was sitting by the window and the teacher concerned saw me sitting there and questioned me about it in class, I very conveniently and confidently told her about dance practice, only to get a shouting for lying. We have also jumped out of the hostel to eat food, since the hostel food can get a little drab at times, Our regular excuse then was to get photocopies.
15. How long do you plan to stay in movies? And what after movies?
I want to continue doing cinema for at least the next 10 years. After that I think I will be part of the industry in some capacity or method, I can’t place my finger on anything yet.
16. Would you like to have an arranged marriage or marry someone you love?
I would definitely want to marry someone I desire.
17. So have you found someone already?
18. Nice, So is he from the film line?
Yes, but he not someone you would guess. People keep asking me who do you like among the youngsters, Its none of those people.. so your guesses are probably wrong.
19. How far do you see marriage?
Don’t know yet, I will cross that bridge when it I get to it.
20. Your thoughts on approving homosexuality in India?
90% of people wouldn’t appreciate it in Kerala, Having grown up in a certain culture with its own values I think it will be difficult for people like us to accept it.
21. Your thoughts about Kochi.
Cochin is slowly becoming a chota Mumbai. But there is heaps more to grow, I think Kerala on the whole needs to have more economic growth, that way we will not have brain drain but brain gain. Now a lot of talented people have migrated to other cities because of fewer opportunities here.
22. What are your thoughts on body enhancing cosmetic surgery? Would you do it?
Lots of Bollywood actresses have gone under the knife. In the past we used to prefer the natural beauty, as times change so does our mindset. I haven’t thought about doing cosmetic enhancement, but if people want a face which will which will sell then I guess surgery will work.
23. A brief on Kerala café movie.
It’s a multi cast movie, more like a Dus Kahaniya than Twenty 20, I’m paired with Suresh Gopi and I play a character called Herenmai. This has a great ensemble of actors including legends like Mammooty, Suresh Gopi and Dileep. I think this will a different type film, that has never been attempted in Malayalam cinema.
Quick Fire :
- Favorite Actor: Amitabh Bachan, Shah Rukh Khan
- Favorite Actress: Srivedi, Maduri, Shobhana
- Favorite Color: white
- Favorite Food : Icecream
- Dream Vacation place: Switzerland
- Your sun sign: Virgo
- Best day of your life: My first movie shoot.
- Thoughts on politics: I hate politics
- Will you ever join politics : Never say never.
- Visualize a great evening for us: To spend an evening with loved one.
- Your take on fashion, what are your preferences : I love to drape a saree, but we can’t wear that everyday. Casuals with kurtis etc…
- Favorite brand: would be Pepe Jean.