Pooja Kumar made an impact in Kollywood with Viswaroopam, and then, went on to do more than two films with Kamal Hassan. The actress, who claims to be ‘choosy’ when it comes to scripts, is now part of a film titled Meenkuzhambbum Manpaanayum which has Kalidas Jayaram and veteran actor Prabhu playing the lead. She says that she is happy to be associated with Sivaji Ganesan’s family through this film now.
“I want to utilise the amount of exposure I have all these years and take Tamil cinema forward,” begins Pooja, who is also quite excited about her role in Meenkuzhambbum Manpaanayum. She reveals, “I am playing a role of a female don — a mafia person of sorts. I was kicked about this role as it is something unique. I haven’t come across a character of a female don in an urban backdrop in Tamil cinema so far. Major portions of the film will be shot in Malaysia.”
Pooja has, in fact, attended acting workshop for this role and even took acting references from Hollywood. “I watched lot of Al Pacino’s and Robert De Niro’s performances to learn how to give subtle transitions to the character. I watched Kamal’s Nayagan, too, for reference. My character also has a comical twist to it,” she says, adding, “The film is a feel-good romantic comedy. Our team is flying to Malaysia to shoot the second schedule in a few days.”
Apart from her Malaysia schedule, the actress says that she has lot more to do in 2016. “Though I visit Chennai often, I don’t have a place to stay here. The plan is to buy a house here this year. I am also signing two more films after Pongal, one of which is a Tamil-Hindi bilingual.” So has she picked up any Tamil yet? “Naan Tamil kathukuttu irukean,” she laughs. “I have a teacher to train me.”
Pooja is also awaiting the release of Viswaroopam 2 this year. “My character is stronger in this film. I have performed stunts without a body double. As I am a trained scuba diver, I did some underwater stunt sequences, too,” she says. Meanwhile, she has also wrapped up the shoot of another woman-centric film, with director Vasanth.
Her last film Uttama Villain garnered mixed reviews from the audience. Ask her if she is affected by criticism and she says, “Audiences and critics have the right to either like a film, or not. I acted in Uttama Villain because I loved the character and the script. These days, everyone is reviewing films on social media. It’s not a bad thing, as everyone is entitled their own view. However, they also need to understand the art of filmmaking.”
Pooja is happy about the way Tamil cinema is making an impact on the global scale. “From Kamal Hassan sir, Rahman to director Manikandan, many filmmakers strive hard to take Tamil cinema to a global audience. I wish to be part of their movement. Films like Kaaka Muttai and Thani Oruvan have really impressed me. These days, filmmakers are coming up with many woman-centric films. This is really the best best time for women in Tamil cinema.”
Ask her about her current relationship status, and she smiles and says, “I will talk about my personal life when the time is right. Now, I am busy with films.”