Telugu actress Isha Agarwal has completed the second schedule of her debut Malayalam outing, Bhaiya Bhaiya, directed by Johny Antony. She is paired opposite actor Kunchacko Boban in the fun riot revolving around migrant labourers in Bengal. The younger sister of Kollywood actress Kajal Aggarwal, Isha shares her experience working in the Malayalam film industry, about her sister, who happens to be her biggest critic and more. Excerpts from the conversation.
On the set It has been good so far. All the co-stars made me feel comfortable. From day one, I felt at home. I have finished the second schedule of the film in Kolkata. The first schedule was shot at Kottayam. My co-stars, Kunchacko Boban and Biju Menon, have given me strict instructions to watch three of their films, so that’s my homework.
Role in Bhaiya Bhaiya It is a fun character; I play Angel, an educated and headstrong girl who is the daughter of an ex- minister. That’s all I can reveal about my role now. I have been getting offers for long, but due to date problems and other commitments I couldn’t take up any project in Malayalam. This time everything fell in place. I have always felt bad that I couldn’t do a Malayalam film. The content is good here and you can’t fool the audience too.
Preparations for M-Town debut The industry is not different from other film industries; it is only the language that is different. For Bhaiya Bhaiya, I got the track of my lines dubbed so that I could get familiar with my lines. I have watched very few Malayalam films. I have heard Malayalam is the toughest language, and it is not easy to learn if you’re not a Malayali.
Kerala calling This is the first time I am coming down to Kerala. I was very excited as I always wanted to travel to Kerala with my friends. It’s so beautiful; I would love to visit the place for a holiday. So far, I have only travelled to Kottayam, where I went for a boat ride with my mother. I am looking forward to explore Kerala with my husband. Kerala food is very spicy for my palate. I am fond of coconut and banana. On the set, I had puttu and loved it.
Entry into films Initially, I was not so keen on getting into films. I used to travel with my sister to the sets and I soon got noticed. But my first Telugu film happened after the director saw my pics in a magazine.
Lessons from Kajal Aggarwal We try our best not to discuss films, but end up talking about it. Ultimately, the selection of films is entirely our own choice. Even our parents are liberal and they don’t interfere. When in doubt I do ask Kajal’s opinion. In fact, we are each other’s biggest critics. I look out for all negative points in her films, but that is not easy as she is a brilliant actor. I am happy when Kajal tells me that I could have done better.
Comparisons with Kajal Comparisons have never affected me so far. It is very normal for people to compare. I am neutral to all of them.
Life after marriage In Malayalam industry, people don’t write off actors after marriage. Life hasn’t changed for me after marriage. My husband and his family are very supportive; they want me to follow my dreams.
Future plans I want to pursue MBA; I know I can do it anytime unlike films, so that will definitely happen. Presently, I am learning to sing. I am hearing a few scripts too, but nothing has been finalised so far.