Meena on returning as Rani George in ‘Drishyam 2’

Actor Meena, who reprises her role in the sequel to the 2013 blockbuster Malayalam film, Drishyam, says she didn’t have to hit the rewind button while filming

For Meena, returning to the sets of Drishyam 2 was a homecoming. Reprising Rani George, a role she says is close to her heart, was not difficult. “It was easy to go back because the character and the movie are both special to me,” the actor says. Meena had also reprised this role in the Telugu remake, Drushyam.

Excited as she is about the sequel’s release on Amazon Prime Video today, she confesses to having had reservations, initially. “Like the last time, Anthony [Perumbavoor], who is the film’s producer, had to convince me to do the role,” Meena laughs.

On the first occasion, she was hesitant about leaving her young daughter behind for the shoot; this time, it was COVID-19.

Drishyam 2 was the first film to start shooting once restrictions were lifted. Though I was excited about the sequel and the shooting, I was worried. I was concerned if it was safe [to go shoot] despite all the precautions,” she adds.

Meena 

However, Anthony Perumbavoor put her concerns to rest.

“Even the smallest detail was taken care of from the first day to the end of the schedule. Everything, and everybody, irrespective of what they were doing on set was taken care of per COVID-19 protocols,” she says.

On reprising her character, Meena says the process, though “effortless”, did require work since Rani George no longer has the “bubbliness” of the original. “[Rani] knows what has happened: the murder and the cover-up. So she is a toned down version of herself and she is under stress because of it,” she says, adding, “I wanted to repeat the dialogue [from Drishyam]‘Naadodumbol naduve odanam’ here too, but couldn’t.”

While Drishyam was about a crime executed in self defence, which Rani’s family then covers up, the sequel shows how the past returns to haunt them.

With Jeethu Joseph 

Although the cast had not spoken to or met each other in the seven-odd years separating the two films, Meena says she did not feel like that there ever was a gap; the same applies for her co-star Mohanlal as well with whom she has worked the most number of films in Malayalam.

Meena’s last project with Mohanlal was the 2017 film Munthirivallikal Thallirkumbol.

“It has always been easy to act with him. I have known him for ages, since the ‘90s. We don’t meet, but it was good catching up,” she says.

Although she has not done as many films in Malayalam as she has in Tamil or Telugu,she holds the former close to her heart.

“Being a part of Malayalam films changed the way I performed. It taught me a natural style of acting, besides constantly giving me good characters.”

Meena notes that she is happy with a change she is noticing in the regional film industries, where older female actors are offered stronger roles.

“All change is good,” says the actor who will be next seen in Tamil in the Rajinikanth-starrer Annaatthe.

However, she has become picky. “Some films you just cannot refuse. It could be because of friendships, but I generally look at the character and how it is portrayed. It should be different not only for me but also for my audience.”

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