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If not for Mani Ratnam, I wouldn’t be in films: Thulasi

Mani Ratnam’s leading girl in ‘Kadal’, 15-year-old Thulasi Nair — who’s cast opposite actor Karthik’s son, Gautham — finally opens up to TOI with a strict ‘no’ to photographs. The Class X student talks about losing weight, acting and more.

How did you bag this Mani Ratnam flick?
My mom and Suhasini aunty are great friends. Over a casual conversation, the talk about me acting in Kadal started. Initially, when I was first auditioned for the role, I was not selected. Mani sir felt that I was too young for the role. After a few months, the opportunity came by once again and it was confirmed that I would be in Kadal.

Were you nervous about working with Mani Ratnam?
He is just ! He will not pack up unless he gets what he wants out of the shot. Gautham and I always look forward to him for his thumbs up sign, which he shows when he is really happy with the scene.

You are just a school kid. How did you prepare for your role?
I lost up to 12 kg to fit into my role. I used to be a chubby girl. I had to prepare a lot to get into shape for my role. Mani sir asked me and Gautham to undertake a 20-day acting workshop, which was conducted by his crew. They taught us how to react in front of the camera. The major lesson that I learnt from the workshop was not to act but to just react casually. Those 20 days groomed me a lot.

Was it fun working with Gautham Karthik?
Gautham is a cool guy with whom I was able to strike a chord. We became buddies during the shoot. He eased my tension on the sets. He is a great guy to work with.

You have a senior at home. So, what is Karthika saying?
Karthika and I are inseparable. We hang out a lot in Mumbai. She supports and helps me in all possible ways. ‘Stay cool on the sets’ is her message to me. My mom always says that I should meet the director’s expectations.

Karthik and Radha weaved magic onscreen with their debut flick Alaigal Oivathillai. How about you and Gautham? My mom and Karthik uncle’s chemistry was beautiful in their debut. We are trying to recreate the same magic. Karthik’s son and Radha’s daughter, a dream combination, right?

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