CHENNAI: In 1997, Saranya Mohan made her Tamil debut as a child artiste with Kadhaluku Mariyadhai. Almost 13 years later, the pretty actress is back in action with Vijay’s Velayudham, in which she plays his sister. “On the first day of shooting, I told Vijay sir that I was the one who had acted in Kadhaluku Mariyadhai. He said he remembered me from the film and wished me good luck. That made me happy,” says Saranya, who is known for her sister act in films like Oru Naal Oru Kanavu, Mahesh, Saranya Matrum Palar, Yaradi Nee Mohini, Jeyamkondan and Eeram.

Though she was promoted as a heroine in a couple of movies (Panjamirtham and A Aa E Ee), it was Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu (VKK) that gave her a big break. “After VKK, I was a bit hesitant to take up sister roles again. But director Raja insisted that I do the role, saying that the brother-sister relationship was a highlight of Velayudham. In the film, the siblings share a strong bond, as they don’t have parents. Hansika plays our cousin and Genelia plays a journalist,” informs Saranya, who will once again be seen as a heroine is Suseenthiran’s Azhagarsamiyin Kuthirai.

AK was shot at Mallayapuram in Theni. Saranya says, “We used to walk some three to five kilometers to reach the shooting spot. I play a homely girl and my look is straight off the 1980s. With long blouses and dull makeup, the movie was a different experience.” The actress is all set to start a new project in Malayalam titled Ponnu Kondoru Aluroopam in a week’s time.

Having done Tamil and Malayalam films, she feels that the budget differentiates various film industries in a big way. “The Malayalam film industry is budget-wise, as compared to the Tamil and Telugu industries. Though the acting is essentially the same, it’s the language that is highly varied,” says Saranya.

Though she’s not yet a celebrity in Kerala, Saranya enjoys a strong fan base in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. “Once I went for a college cultural event in Tamil Nadu and was literally surrounded by people. In Telugu, I did four films last year,” informs the actress and adds that she wants to do performance-oriented roles. “I like actresses Revathy and Shobana. Just like how their films are admired by people even today, I want my films to be remembered by the future generation.”

It comes as a surprise when Saranya says she didn’t particularly like acting until Yaradi Nee Mohini happened. “Director Fazil is a close family friend. He made me act in Kadhaluku Mariyadhai and again in Oru Naal Oru Kanavu. I knew nothing about films, but with Yaradi Nee Mohini I fell in love with acting and became serious about it.”

Well, for someone who chanced upon an acting career, this girl sure has come a long way.

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