September 2, 2019 11:12:10 am
Abhirami Venkatachalam was in the Bigg Boss Tamil 3 house when Nerkonda Paarvai hit the screens. “I had no clue about its reception but I knew I was part of a very big film,” she says. It has been weeks since her exit from the show and Abhirami is much calmer and composed as we started this conversation. “Throughout my stay, I was true to myself and that was most important,” she smiles.
Abhirami’s intention was never to win the title. “It’s all about the journey, as they say,” she notes philosophically. “I went inside just to gain people’s love. Even before I caught Nerkonda Paarvai, people referred to me as ‘Famita’, my character’s name. I was touched by their words and positivity. Truth be told, I wanted to leave the Bigg Boss house when Reshma was eliminated. I was requesting Kamal sir to send me home. Somewhere, I felt I was losing the focus of the game. The self-introspection started right there. I didn’t cry when I left,” she adds.
Abhirami Venkatachalam vividly remembers what happened the day she got evicted. “People sent their kids to hug me and I was overwhelmed. I came home, checked my brother’s phone and put it aside. The next morning, everything changed for the better. My social media pages were flooded with congratulatory messages. Even today, I talk to admins of these fan pages and try to come ‘live’ whenever I can. It’s all surreal. Despite having 60 cameras around, I never shied away from expressing myself,” she says.
How does she sum up her relationship with fellow contestant Mugen Rao? “Whatever said and done, we are good friends and will be. I am there for him. I want to know what he genuinely feels. But, let the decision be his. People thought I was forcing him into something he wasn’t interested in, which is wrong,” clarifies Abhirami.
Best of Express Premium
The model-Bharatanatyam artiste has no regrets whatsoever. “I came home at the right time to celebrate the success of Nerkonda Paarvai. The film will travel with me until my breath,” she says.
Abhirami Venkatachalam considers herself lucky to have bagged Nerkonda Paarvai. She adds, “I gave my auditions, but never thought I would clear them. I am used to rejections. Nerkonda Paarvai happened when I was struggling for a breakthrough. I think it was destined. I had auditioned for biggies including Kaatru Veliyidai and Vikram Vedha, but nothing materialised. For instance, I auditioned for the lead role in Dhruva Natchathiram (opposite Vikram), but came to know Ritu Varma was on board only after reading newspapers.”
As we talk, Abhirami discusses her Nerkonda Paarvai co-stars. “Shraddha Srinath and Andrea Tariang are quite close to me. We instantly connected. Shraddha has done a film in Bollywood, yet has no airs. She’s pure-hearted and a dedicated artiste. Andrea and I bonded really well as we spent more time on the sets,” Abhirami shares.
Mention Ajith and Abhirami Venkatachalam’s face lights up. “Once the posters were released, Ajith sir called me and said, ‘Don’t fly too much, okay’,” Abhirami bursts into laughter. “But he understood my emotions when I opened up. He told a similar story as to how things changed for him overnight and people started recognising him in a bigger way. He always believes in God, hard work and himself.”
What’s next? “I am flooded with calls, but I would like to take this slowly. I am more keen on starring in lead roles,” she says. After working with Ajith in Nerkonda Paarvai, now, Abhirami wishes to share screen space with the likes of Rajinikanth, Vijay and Kamal Haasan. “I am focused on commercials and dance assignments, too. I started there, so I better give equal preference to them,” she grins.
Does Abhirami Venkatachalam have a dream role? “After watching Mahanati aka Nadigaiyar Thilagam, I have become a fan of biopics. I would love to pull off Sridevi ma’am,” she signs off.
🗞 Subscribe Now: Get Express Premium to access our in-depth reporting, explainers and opinions 🗞️
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.