Daily News Plus
Compiled by Ruwini Jayawardana
Monika blooms with Rosa Kele
Dhammika and Sanjaya bring another Indian actress to the Sri Lankan
Maruthiraj had been a success story for South Indian cinema from her
first step into the field. The charming young lady had faced a camera
for the first time when she was three years at the sets of the acclaimed
Tamil director, Bakhyraj's movie Avasara Police 100.
From then on her path was clear and her destiny was decided. She
acted in a number of Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu and Kannada film, churning
hit after hit. She also displayed her exceptional acting skills in an
English movie "The Prayer in the Angel".
After acting in nearly 35 movies she took a break to concentrate on
her studies. She was invited to portray a role in a movie again in Alagi
(beautiful girl) when she was in grade nine. She clinched the State
Government Award for her performance in Sundarajan's En Aasai Machan (My
sweet boyfriend) in 1996.
Many offers poured in from directors keen to engage the talented lass
in their creations and she never ceased to fail them. She had already
starred opposite many big names in the industry and was awarded the
Filmfare award for best child actress twice for her contribution to En
Aasai Machan and Suhasini and Mani Ratnam's film, Indra.
To star in a Sri Lankan movie when she hardly knew a word of the
language had been a turning point in her career but a very pleasant
experience as she reveals to the Daily News.
How did the chance to contribute to a Sri Lankan movie come your way?
team came to Chennai searching for an Indian actress to take part in
their latest production. They saw my picture and came to my home. After
seeing me and having a chat the whole team decided that I was ideal for
Why did you decide to accept the offer?
Firstly because I liked the role that I was offered and secondly
because this is a heroine oriented film. Normally in Tamil movies the
actresses are mostly brought in for glamour and the story is mainly
focused on the hero and his exploits. Nimsara is very appealing and
emotional. I felt that this story is very different from those I have
taken part in over the years.
How different was the experience acting in a Sinhala movie?
It was very enjoyable and unforgettable as it is not easy to work
using an unknown language. If you are thorough with the language then it
is very easy to bring out the expressions that go along with the words.
The director, Sanjaya Nirmal, helped me to prepare for the role in
advance. I had the script in hand one month before shooting was
The whole working environment was well planned. Our cameraman,
Jayanath Gunawardena, knew what was expected of him and the director had
taken everything into his heart. He had the capacity to bring out the
best of our talent and within this set up I was able to relax and play
my part naturally.
I was very happy to get the chance to work with Roshan Ranawana as he
is a very lovable and friendly person. He did not possess the snobbish
attitude of some film stars.
Were your dialogues dubbed?
The director was very specific about making it clear that we won't do
any prompting. I would have to do the dialogues as well as act. They
wrote the script in English and I by-hearted it. If I know any Sinhala,
I know only the dialogues of Rosa Kele. (laughs)
Pictures by Saman Sri Wedage
What is your most cherished moment during the shooting of the film?
It was the first time that I worked with around 40 children onset.
Whenever we got off the sets we spent time together. They are a very
talented group and we had lots of fun. I never felt that I came to do a
job. It was more of a trip for me.
Would you like to take up more parts in Sinhala movies?
Yes, of course. I am waiting for a good script to come my way.
Tell us about your family.
My father is Erode Maruthiraj and my mother's name is Gracy. I am the
only child in the family.
What are your up coming projects?
There are two films on the way. Ah Aah Eh Eeh by Sabapathi and Naga
What is your message to your fans?
They have seen me in Tamil movies so far but I would request them to
watch the Sinhala movie.
I hope it would become a big hit since it was a very different script
from my originals.
My stay in Sri Lanka has been very pleasant and feel very close to
the country as it is very close to Kerala in temperature, food and many
other aspects. I am looking forward to coming back to this beautiful
country in the future.
Rosa Kele,a movie produced by Dhammika Siriwardena, will be screening
at Savoy and EAP circuit cinemas islandwide from May 30.