Varalakshmi Sarathkumar Image Credit: Supplied

Tamil thriller ‘Danny’ is actress Varalakshmi Sarathkumar’s 25th film.

Over the last eight years, while exploring different characters, she has shown her keenness to step out of conventional heroine roles and examine ones tinged with grey shades.

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This is the third time she is playing a police officer, after ‘Nibunan-Vismaya’ and ‘Sathya’.

Sarathkumar is Kundhavai, a station inspector investigating a series of murders. Assisting her is Inspector Danny, a sniffer dog.

An animal lover, Varalakshmi took no time to bond with Danny. The stumbling blocks came while learning lines to be delivered in Thanjavur slang.

The eldest daughter of veteran Tamil actor Sarathkumar has come a long way from her debut film ‘Poda Podi,’ which showed her dancing prowess. With her role as Sooravalli in noted director Bala’s ‘Thaarai Thappattai’, Sarathkumar grew as a performer.

Varalakshmi Sarathkumar and Danny 2-1596013629675

“My acting improved tremendously. Under Bala sir I learnt to understand characters,” said Sarathkumar, who has also worked in Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada cinema.

“I now like to push myself as an actor instead of doing the same characters.”

While a couple of her films are awaiting release — ‘Kanni Raasi’ and ‘Kaatteri’ in Tamil and ‘Ranam’ in Kannada — social work has kept Varalakshmi engaged during the lockdown.

Her NGO, Save Shakti Foundation, has been instrumental in helping migrant workers and women suffering domestic abuse.

Varalakshmi Sarathkumar as a police inspector in Danny-1596013634394

“I have never been busier. My mother handles the NGO and is my biggest strength,” she said.

On the anvil is ‘Chasing’ and ‘Raja Parvai’ in Tamil.

“I play a blind police officer who is investigating a case in ‘Raja Paarvai’. In ‘Chasing’, I have seven action sequences and car chases,” she added.

Upcoming Tamil film ‘Pamban’ is close to her heart. She shares the screen with her father. And, in Telugu there is ‘Krack’ with Ravi Teja and a web series in the making too.