Gautami, who has acted in more than 120 movies in five languages and made a comeback with Papanasam alongside Kamal Haasan, says that she is not dependent on others for taking a call on projects. “I take my own decisions — be it choosing scripts, acting, or anything else for that matter. I take responsibility for them and stand up,” she responded when queried if she seeks Kamal’s concurrence before doing anything, at the promo of her upcoming trilingual flick Namadhu in Tamil, Manamantha in Telugu and Vismayam in Malayalam. She speaks to DC, about her daughter Subbalakshmi, future plans, and how she can’t leave her first love — cinema, Kamal, and co-star Mohanlal.
“When I was approached for Papanasam to share the screen with Kamal, I asked the filmmakers if they are casting me for the reason that I would fit the role, or just because the pairing will be good commercially. The director said that as an artiste I would be apt for the character. Only then did I sign on the dotted line,” reveals Gautami. She says the best and worst critic is herself — “I magnify the wrong things I do alarmingly, and try to analyse why I did that. All said and done, I listen to the critic in me.”
The effervescent lady says that she has given equal freedom to her daughter Subbalakshmi. “My daughter who is in 12th grade takes her own decisions, but I guide her when required. As of now, her interest is in filmmaking.” She is also my biggest support, Gautami asserts. “She always tells me ‘go back and do whatever you like, what you enjoy and what you are passionate about.”
Talking about Namadhu, she says, “When noted director Chandra Sekar Yeleti approached me for the role of Gayathri in Namadhu, he just narrated the outline of my character and that he wanted me to do the film. I loved the way he narrated and wanted to work with him, but I asked, ‘Why me?’ He said that while writing the script for the last two years, he could fit only me in that role. And imagine, he had not even seen my comeback vehicle.”
Namadhu, against an urban backdrop, is the story of four different people who converge at one point. “Each person can relate to these characters, so this movie has universal appeal.”
On working with Mohanlal with whom she teams up for the third time, she quips, “We have worked together only in two films — His Highness Abdullah and Iruvar. But the impact these two films created was so huge that people think we have done many films together. This film will also create a similar magic.”
Will you continue to act, we ask, “Yes, why not? I came to the industry when I was 17. I felt no time has passed, although I was away from the scene for a while. I live with cinema and can’t leave it.”
We quizzed her about Kamal, and she answered, “He is recovering fast. Being a busy man always, he feels he is tied up in a place.” The pretty lady also has plans of producing movie in the near future.