Wamiqa ready to head to Bol­ly­wood

Maalai Nerathu Mayakkam girl Wamiqa Gabbi on be­ing part of the re­cently-re­leased Malay­alam film 9 and pre­par­ing for Hindi cin­ema

The Hindu - - METRO PLUS - Shilpa Nair Anand


Wamiqa Gabbi is cheer­ful and chatty when we meet. It’s been a while since the re­lease of Basil Joseph’s

where we saw her as fe­male wrestler Aditi Singh. With Jenuse Mo­hammed’s Malay­alam film hit­ting the­atres re­cently, au­di­ence will see her again on the big screen. Wamiqa is happy and ex­cited to be back.

Wamiqa ex­plains the al­most twoyear gap be­tween and thus: “I am a Pun­jabi girl who played a Pun­jabi girl (in and maybe peo­ple thought I wouldn’t be able to man­age Malay­alam well. Also a lot of peo­ple thought I was a wrestler, so maybe...”

But here she is. “I have fi­nally spo­ken Malay­alam, and peo­ple will get to see me as a Malay­ali.” She didn’t dub for the film though Jenuse wanted her to. “I told him to get some­body who knows the lan­guage for clar­ity’s sake. Af­ter all, the per­for­mance is mine.”

When she was ap­proached for the film, she asked Jenuse, like she did with Basil, if he was sure she would de­liver. Since Prithvi­raj was in the lead, she was cu­ri­ous that she was con­sid­ered. In­ci­den­tally, her friends were equally ex­cited about her act­ing with Prithivi­raj. “When I told them that I was act­ing with the ac­tor, they all wanted to meet him!,” she says with a laugh.

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And Wamiqa is glad to have landed the role. “It is a good feel­ing that I am getting good work, good char­ac­ters even though I am a Pun­jabi.”

Fear­less char­ac­ters

Her take as Aditi Singh is still fresh, and she is pos­i­tive that her Eva in will be sim­i­lar. The ac­tor presents her anal­y­sis of her char­ac­ters — Aditi and Eva — thus: “both are fear­less, not afraid of do­ing what they want. But Aditi is sim­i­lar to me and Eva is dif­fer­ent. But is sci-fi, so the char­ac­ter would be dif­fer­ent.”

Call­ing her­self a “kid” in the com­pany of “se­niors” such as Prithvi­raj and Prakash Raj, she says, “The kid had to act like an adult; I hope I met the ex­pec­ta­tions. I told Jenuse ‘take me as a stu­dent and if I am not do­ing some­thing right, then tell me.’”

Happy about how the film has turned out, Wamiqa says: “Some­times

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when you lis­ten to a nar­ra­tion, you see a film in your mind. It starts play­ing in your mind. But Jenuse has made it much bet­ter than any of it.”

Although she is busy is with Tel­ugu, Pun­jabi and even a Tamil film, Wamiqa says she wants to work in Malay­alam films. “I hope to do a good love story, a feel-good film in Malay­alam. I want to be part of some­thing like

Come June, and Wamiqa is all set to give Bol­ly­wood a shot and she feels she is ready for it. “I have got enough ex­pe­ri­ence, though I have a lot to learn and will keep learn­ing, to do Hindi films. To­day, it is dif­fer­ent. You don’t have to do a big re­gional film to get no­ticed. Ac­tors with­out the so-called ex­pe­ri­ence come into films through auditions. This is the time when tal­ented new­com­ers can get work in Hindi films.”

How­ever, Wamiqa doesn’t see re­gional cin­ema as a step­ping stone to Hindi films. “If Hindi films hap­pen, then that’s fine. Af­ter all, cin­ema is cin­ema and we watch French, Korean and Chi­nese films with sub­ti­tles. How can you con­sider Hindi more im­por­tant than Tamil, Tel­ugu or Malay­alam? In any case, how can you com­pare Malay­alam and Hindi, when Malay­alam films got the awards at the Na­tional Awards last year. There is a rea­son why they say art has no lan­guage. If it is a good film, you’ll watch it!”


Wamiqa Gabbi was the lead­ing lady in the 2016 Tamil film Maalai Nerathu Mayakkam

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