Parvathy on Qarib Qarib Singlle, working with Irrfan Khan, and why she doesn't identify with 'stardom'

Abhishek Srivastava

Nov,07 2017 14:29:20 IST

More than stardom, it’s the cerebral aura of Parvathy that gives the Mollywood actress her distinctive persona. Despite the slew of awards — from IIFA to Filmfare to the Kerala State Film Awards — at heart, she remains a bookworm and stardom is something that she is just not comfortable with. Featuring in only 18 films over a span of 11 years say a lot about her fastidiousness in picking films. Broach the topic of her Bollywood debut film Qarib Qarib Singlle and she is quick to point out that a 'debut' happens only once in a lifetime. “A debut can happen only once to an artist and mine was 11 years ago when I did my first Malayalam film," she says. "I don’t really believe in the concept of 'import' and 'export' and 'breaking into films'.”

Parvathy and Irrfan Khan in Qarib Qarib Single

Parvathy and Irrfan Khan in Qarib Qarib Single

Once a popular VJ with a Malayalam music channel, Parvathy vividly remembers the moment when she interacted with her co-star of QQS for the first time. The memory is fresh only because it was an embarrassing one. “It was at an award event in Dubai when he gave me the Best Actress award. I was wearing those big nose rings for the event that I had sported in the movie Charlie as a tribute to the character. It was also the most humid night in the world. While giving my acceptance speech my nose ring fell off and Irrfan like a gentleman picked it up and quietly gave it back to me.” According to Parvathy it was an ice-breaking moment for her even before the shooting of QQS began. She is familiar with most of Irrfan’s work and says, “I really enjoyed watching The Namesake. His performance in that film was phenomenal. Then, in Piku I did not expect him to be so refreshing. I have still to watch Hindi Medium and I feel very bad about it.”

Parvathy strictly believes in doing one film at a time and thus every film happens to be a big deal for her. “The only feeling that comes to me before the release, strangely, is the nervousness of not being nervous about the film! I have always been arrogantly confident about the work that I have done," she says.

Full credit should also be given to the actor for the ease with which she stars in Kannada and Tamil flicks apart from Malayalam, her mother tongue. As for her impeccable Hindi diction, she reveals that it comes from the 17 years she spent at a Kendriya Vidyalya. In fact, the actress is certainly a bit of a polyglot as apart from Malayalam, she holds equal command over Tamil, Kannada, Hindi, English and a bit of French.

Parvathy has been extremely vocal about casting couch cases and harassment incidents in the South film industry. With names like Harvey Weinstein, James Toback, Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman and Brett Ratner falling like ninepins, she believes the time is ripe to change the current scenario. “In our society it’s not even normal to talk about having gone through something like that. As a child or a teenager, whenever someone is groped or pinched or molested, the usual reaction of a family or closest friends is 'hota hai'. In Hollywood there is an army that has now risen and is saying 'enough is enough'. In our society, if I were to speak, I will be the only one speaking while the rest will go behind and say that nothing has happened to me [sic].”

Parvathy says peers from the fraternity have admitted to her that they were used by those in power. However, she doesn't believe naming and shaming is a solution. “I don’t believe in jumping the gun and naming people. Everyone will have a field day and the point will be lost. We are living in a country where marital rape is still not illegal," she points out.

Parvathy, who is yet to sign her next Hindi film, says she doesn't consider herself a star. “I cannot conform to the idea of stardom. Stardom does not provide anything to me. Being an actor provides me an opportunity to understand people and behave like them and thus be less judgmental,” she says.

Quiz her about the star worship scene in the film industry down South and her aversion is writ large on her face. “Stars do get mobbed and the fan level is of a different ball game out there but this does not interest me at all. With all due respect, I must say that it does not provide me any food for thought. It’s extremely boring to me. I do my own jhadhu-pocha and grocery shopping and I am very happy. I reserve the right to live like a normal human being, everything else is no body’s business.” The determination to be different from the crowd is evident in her eyes and her words are completely in sync.

Updated Date: Nov 07, 2017 14:29 PM