Saturday, July 25, 2009

Interview with Behind Woods

Lekha Washington has been interviewed by Behind Woods, here are the excerpts of the interview:

Q: You’re a trained actress?
A: I studied film at NID. I always wanted to act, and my first gig was as a VJ. And now Jayam Kondaan – please go see it!

Q: Your native place?
A: Chennai. Born and brought up here. I’m actually part Maharastrian, part Italian, part Burmese – a mixed blood! But I’ll always consider myself a Chennai girl.

Q: Were you a model?
A: Not for long. Couple of ads. I began with VJ-ing, really.

Q: How did you come to acting?
A: I have always loved to pretend to be another person. And I’ve always wanted to act. My parents said – don’t go to the cinema field, its bad – but my desire never died, and here I am.

Q: Why did you choose Tamil cinema?
A: Chennai is a safe place. It’s home. Besides, we aren’t rich to go off to Mumbai, and become a star or whatever. Chennai was home and an easy place to start.

Q: How did Jayam Kondaan come about?
A: The movie’s director, Kannan sir, liked my VJ-ing, and asked me to come act. He said I would really like the character he wanted me to play.

Q: What is your character like?
A: Not like a regular Tamil girl. If you see the movie you’ll notice. Everyone first said why are you doing a sister’s role rather than heroine – it’s a complex character – not many opportunities come your way – if you get one you grab it.

Q: You’ve done a terrific job.
A: Thanks! All credit to Kannan sir, who envisioned this character of a stubborn, selfish girl. He trained me, encouraged me. The maximum training went into learning to be a left handed person. I’m right handed, and for the character I had to learn to write in the left hand and use the left hand. Tough.

Q: On what the industry and friends have said about your performance.
A: A lot of people had good things to say. I won’t name them here. My friends were nicely surprised that I could act well.

Q: Your very first movie is by Mani Ratnam’s assistant.
A: Mani sir has groomed Kannan really well. Kannan is a fabulous director – easy to work with, yet firm, and he’s written such a good character.

Q: Do you like reading?
A: I read a lot. Milan Kundera, graphic novels, Neil Gaiman is my favorite.

Q: Your role model?
A: Don’t have one person. I respect different people for different reasons.

Q: Movies you liked?
A: I liked The Namesake, Mumbai Meri Jaan, and Maddy’s Evanao Oruvan, My preference is not for mainstream films.

Q: Acting with Rajini?
A: Who wouldn’t want to.

Q: What do people say about you?
A: I’m myself –honest. They can say what they want to. I remain myself.

Q: How did you get an exotic name like Washington?
A: There’s no mystery to that. My father’s name is Washington – I have never even been to the U.S!

Q: Would you do glam roles?
A: It all depends on the character. I’d dance, but I prefer something challenging.

Q: Have you met Nayan, Trisha, Asin….?
A: I know some of them. No, no, should not say who. What I want to say is that every woman acting in Tamil cinema is very strong, clear headed – and all of them have my respect.

Q: Who else would you like to act with?
A: Everyone!

Q: Other projects?
A: Let’s see. A lot of talk is on at the moment. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Q: Whatever happened to that Simbu film?
A: The Simbu film is not complete – you have to ask Simbu why. And my character there is not a step down – don’t know why many people think so. It’s just a different character.

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