When Dubai resident Viji Ratheesh was nursing her dreams to be an actor a couple of years back, she did not imagine that her debut would happen as the mother of Mollywood heart-throb Dulquer Salmaan.
The former quality assurance manager with a shipping firm is now thrilled about her character Lissy in ‘Oru Yamandan Premakadha’ that released in the UAE on April 25.
“As luck would have it, they chose me to do the role of his mother while being pregnant and also when he is a young man,” Ratheesh told tabloid!
She said she wouldn’t have entered the world of fashion and films without the immense support of her husband Ratheesh M, business development manager of NMC Dubai, who was a catalyst in igniting her passion after she quit her job to take care of their children.
When one of her relatives back home in Kerala forwarded her photographs to screenwriter-actor Vishnu Unnikrishnan, who co-wrote the script with Bibin George, the movie’s director BC Naufal called Ratheesh in for an audition last June.
“They were a bit sceptical in the beginning as the first part of the role demanded the look of a young woman in her 20s and the second part was that of a woman in her 50s. They made me wear a sari and enact an actual scene from the movie,” she said.
In two days, Ratheesh got the happy news of her selection. “It so happened that they began the shoot with the scene where I am suggesting a name for Dulquer [which is kept as a surprise until the climax] days after the delivery. I was a bit nervous because they shot my face first… I prayed for bringing luck to the movie.”
It was only after a couple of days of filming that Salmaan reached the set in Kochi. “The very first scene we shot together was one of the most crucial scenes where the mother’s advice gives a new twist to his journey in search of his dream girl. I had to deliver a lengthy dialogue while stroking Dulquer’s hair as his head lay on my lap,” she said.
Ratheesh said she spoke to Salmaan to break the ice before they went for the shot. “I told him I am just a beginner and asked him to bear with me if I made any mistakes.”
Salmaan’s reply surprised her. Ratheesh quoted him as saying: “I have seen how you have acted these days. You have done a great job. Don’t worry. You can do it.”
“I can never forget it. That really boosted my confidence. Then I felt very nice and comfortable. You can see that chemistry in our other scenes as well.”
Ratheesh considers herself lucky to have got the chance to act as the wife of versatile Renji Panicker as well. “I never imagined I would be working with big names like Salmaan and Renji sir in my debut movie.”
The winner of Mrs Global, God’s Own Country, Pageant 2017, said she had to wear three to four extra cotton skirts under the sari to make her look plump albeit the make-up artist doing his best to give her a makeover as a mom in her fifties.
Though she had won the Super Mom dance title at the Global Village and was also chosen as the May Queen at a contest held by the India Social Centre in Abu Dhabi earlier, the mother of two (Adithya and Samreen) is not keen to be typecast in mother roles.
“I wish to do roles that have a soul. I don’t mind about the number of characters I get, but the impact they have on the audience.”
Her next movie is Uriyadi by AJ Varghese, whose directorial debut was Adi Kapyare Koottamani. Ratheesh’s role is of a Muslim woman paired with Sreejith Ravi who is donning the role of a gunman.
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‘Oru Yamandan Premakadha’ is out now in the UAE.