Pooja Umashankar, who has played roles as diverse as a blind beggar and a biryani shopworker in her career, doesn't mind looking ugly on screen for the sake of a character. But she says not many actresses are comfortable facing the camera without makeup. "Actresses don't like to look ugly on screen...they get very conscious without make-up," Pooja told IANS
"I have always challenged myself with offbeat roles that didn't
require me to look good, therefore, never had a problem looking
ugly. Most actresses rely heavily on make-up because they feel
audiences won't accept them without it," Pooja added.
Pooja also enjoys doing glamorous roles. "I enjoy playing strong
character roles, but I enjoy doing glamorous roles even more. In
the beginning of my career, I got plenty of opportunities to doll
up, but that time I was naive. I wish I get such opportunities now
because now I can do it much better," she added.
She is making a comeback to the industry after four years with
forthcoming Tamil thriller Vidiyum Munn, but she
doesn't feel that her absence has impacted her career.
"Cinema has a big heart and there's enough place for everybody
in it. I'm not worried because I have found my feet in this
industry and I'm happy about it," she said.
"Since I'm back, I need to realise what kind of roles suit me
now. I have tried my tricks and survived the first few years of my
career with roles that didn't mean much. The offbeat roles gave me
more satisfaction than any other roles," added Pooja, who was busy
working in the Sri Lankan film industry while she was away from
Soon after her role as a beggar, call it destiny, Pooja landed
the role of a princess in a Sinhalese film titled Kusa
I Wanted To Be Known For My Roles
"It always bothered me that people saw just the beautiful side
of my personality. I wanted to be known for my roles, not for my
beauty. Hence, I decided not to pick any film that comes my way and
wait for something exciting. Meanwhile, I did a couple of Sinhalese
films and they were Blockbusters," she said.
I Didn't Want To Get Typecast
"I wanted to do a film I could be proud of because I was
particular that I didn't want to get typecast. Moreover, my parents
wanted me to take a break. To keep them happy, I obliged to their
request," she added.
I'm Glad I Waited For Vidiyum Munn
The 32-year-old is glad she waited for director Balaji K Kumar's
Vidiyum Munn. "This is the kind of film I can show to my
kids. I'm glad I waited for it and I'm extremely happy with the end
product. The sheer heaviness of the script inspired me to do it," said Pooja.
I Regret Not Doing Paradesi
"I regretted not doing Bala sir's Paradesi. I thought I
would never get a chance to do such films again until Vidiyum
Munn happened. Some films excite you when you listen to the
story, but get messed up in the execution process. But this film
was even more engaging to watch than it was while it was narrated
to me," she said.
I Badly Want To Do Exciting Films
Pooja is here to stay and wants to go beyond ordinary
films. "I badly want to do exciting films... I want to do
films that bring out the extraordinary in me," she said.