Mamta Mohandas interview: Maharaja actor feels new crop of actors can survive only due to ‘hardcore PR' - Hindustan Times

Mamta Mohandas interview: Maharaja actor feels new crop of actors can survive only due to ‘hardcore PR'

Jun 17, 2024 07:22 PM IST

In an exclusive interview, Mamta Mohandas talks about working with Vijay Sethupathi in Maharaja, and taking periodical breaks from acting.

Malayalam actor Mamta Mohandas, who was seen in Vijay Sethupathi’s latest hit film Maharaja, is thrilled that she got to act with the Tamil star. While she says that the dominant factor for signing on a film is the script, in the case of director Nithilan Swaminathan’s Maharaja, it was also Vijay Sethupathi. (Also Read – Maharaja box office collection day 3: Vijay Sethupathi and Anurag Kashyap film mints nearly 22 crore so far)

Mamta Mohandas interview: Maharaja actors feels 'hardcore PR' is the only way to secure careers of the new crop of actors
Mamta Mohandas interview: Maharaja actors feels 'hardcore PR' is the only way to secure careers of the new crop of actors

On Vijay Sethupathi

In an exclusive chat with Hindustan Times, Mamta said about the Jawan actor, “I love the manner in which he chooses his roles and the way he maintains his career, not just as a hero, but as a fine artist. He is an actor who is also known for his very unique choices of characters in movies. And such actors have a very long shelf life. We have very few actors like that in Indian cinema who are willing to bend any way… to actually resonate with the character and to deliver something that they believe in, more than just doing the stereotypical hero roles. I have a lot of respect for individuals who are willing to take that kind of risk in their careers. And Vijay Sethupathi is definitely one such artist that I have immense respect for. I'd love to do another film with him."

Vijay Sethupathi in a still from Maharaja
Vijay Sethupathi in a still from Maharaja

On taking breaks from movies

The Live actress has taken periodical breaks from films since 2010 when she was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, but she has bounced back stronger every time. Ask Mamta about missing out on good opportunities and she says, “Yes, I have had to let go of certain opportunities, which would have been amazing for that time, but my real life was more important than my reel life. It's not like I'm gone for several years and I'm coming back, which is most people's story. Most women usually take that hiatus to focus on their personal lives or maybe have a baby or two and then kind of make that comeback. Back in the time, that's how it used to be. But my intervals right from the beginning of my career has been like – I’m here for two years, then gone for a year, and then I come back. This has helped me see the evolution of cinema and how characters for women have evolved over a period of time. I think I'm still very much relevant and able to get offers for lead roles and very good films. Not many women have had a steady career like mine. This is my 19th year! Despite the disappointments that I've had in having to say no to certain films, I've also had the industry welcoming me with arms wide open. And that definitely is a blessing.”

On women actors enjoying autonomy

Does Mamta think that the film industry has evolved to a point where leading female actors can dictate which directors they want to work with? Mamta candidly replies, “I think if one takes ownership of their seniority and if they have the bang for the buck. You need to have a certain perception about yourself as well. I think that confidence will definitely make you look for the right script that can be taken to the right producer and therefore find the right director and so on. It can be done if a woman puts her mind to it in today's day and age, is what I believe. I think it is possible for women to set the narrative because there is some room for that. I do see it happening and it is changing.”

Mamta Mohandas was last seen in Maharaja
Mamta Mohandas was last seen in Maharaja

On the new crop of actors

While there are many leading ladies and heroes in the south film industry who have worked for years and built a vast body, and mostly commendable work, the Jana Gana Mana actor feels that today’s crop of young actors might not be so successful. “In the last five years, the talent that has come in, they are definitely replaceable. I really doubt if we're going to be able to build legends and stars hereafter. It has changed now. They can possibly make it big if they have the talent, the right PR, marketing and so on. Back then, our work spoke for itself. Today, hardcore PR is the only thing that's going to make you visible and relevant and maybe give you a career for the next five years,” signs off Mamta.

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