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Waiting in the wings

After a string of Kannada films, bubbly `Kutti' Radhika is all set to make a mark in Tamil and Telugu


SHE CAPTURED hearts sans make-up in "Iyarkai." In real life, there are visible traces of a cosmetic makeover. The difference ends there. `Kutti' Radhika looks and behaves very much like Nancy, her role in the critically-acclaimed movie.

More than two years in tinsel town have not brought about any change in `Kutti' Radhika (as she is known in Kollywood.)

Radhika, who has 15 films to her credit in Tamil and Kannada, says films always fascinated her. So it was little surprise when she chose to don the greasepaint at a young age. The bubbly actress says, "Even before I could complete my schooling, I started receiving movie offers. As I was interested, I decided to take the plunge."

She got her first offer in Tamil two years after her debut in Kannada. However, that gave her the much-needed change she was looking for.

"People started recognising me only after I acted in Iyarkai," she says. Ask about her experience, and she says with a twinkle in her eyes: "I liked the character I played. It offered a lot of scope for acting."

At a personal level, though, she is not happy with Nancy, the protagonist.

"I don't like a girl being dismissive about a person who is trying to express his love. But people liked it," she points out.

She also did not like the way Nancy looked. "I looked very dull and dark in the movie, and that is not the kind of role actresses look for these days when they want to make their debut." But, she concedes that her looks suited the role. "If the character demands such an image, then you should be prepared to do it," she avers.

Shooting for the visually-rich movie was exciting, she says. "Some sequences were shot on a set in the Andamans. The scene in which Shaam jumps into the sea to retrieve my ring was frightening."

In Kannada, she has played a number of roles — from a college girl to a bold village belle. She hopes to essay similar roles in Tamil as well.

"An artiste should fit into any role. An actress should not be typecast. When "Iyarkai" was released, people told me that other characters wouldn't suit me. But that has not been the case," she says.

The switchover to Kollywood, and now to Tollywood has ensured that Radhika keeps track of the developments in the industry. "Initially, there was a lot of confusion. I have now managed to adjust," says the gregarious actress, who speaks a smattering of Tamil.

The Bangalore-based actress says she wants to concentrate on Tamil and Telugu movies. In tune with that, "Meesai Madhavan" and "Sollattuma" are her forthcoming movies in Tamil.

M. ALLIRAJAN

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