With her faltering steps and windblown hair, she walked into our hearts and brought tears to our eyes when she enacted the role of a mentally-ill toddler in Mani Ratnam’s blockbuster Anjali.
She later drew attention with her subtle performance in Rajiv Menon’s Kandukondain Kandukondain, in which she played Tabu’s and Aishwarya Rai’s younger sister. Well, the little baby Shamilee is back — this time, as a heroine. She is all set to take the cinema industry by storm once again. Her elder sister Shalini had her share of fame and glory and it’s time for Shamilee to have her piece of cake as well. Her first Telugu flick Oy! opposite Siddharth has hit the screens and Shamilee’s performance as usual is being talked about.
“I play a conservative girl Sandhya who loves to live life on her own terms. It was an interesting character and it was great working with my co-star Siddharth. He was very supportive and explained every scene on the sets. I think he is aspiring to be a director,” she starts off on a light note.
For an actress, who has been facing the arc lights right from her childhood, second innings as a heroine would have been a cakewalk. But Shamilee begs to differ. “It’s almost a decade since I faced the camera. Although I have been a part of tinsel town for a long time, I felt as if I was starting all over again. As a child artiste, I never worried about my looks. But now, I am concerned about that aspect every time I face the camera,” she says.
But why did Shamilee choose to make her debut as a heroine in Tollywood when she has an amazing fan base in Tamil Nadu? “It was not a deliberate choice to start with Tollywood. I got many offers during my college days but then, I wanted to concentrate on my studies. I found the script of Oy! quite appealing and finally agreed,” she explains.
Coming from a filmy background, it was only natural that she ventured into movies. “I was obviously expected to carry forward the legacy. But since I never had plans to act, I really was not under pressure to perform. I am not concerned about the surging competition in the industry. I don’t want to be a part of the rat race.”
If there is one thing that irks this young actress, it’s the comparisons with her elder sister Shalini. “I agree that it is natural to compare us, especially since we are in the same field. Expectations also increase. But let me tell you that I have my own identity too,” she rues.
Is the actress, known for her girl-next-door looks, willing to take the glam route? “Even though I appeared as a Plain Jane in Oy!, I love wearing western outfits. I am comfortable in my jeans and tees and am confident that I can carry them off well. I want to be myself on-screen as well.”
Quiz Shamilee if she would ever accept an offer to act opposite her brother-in-law Ajith and she instantly shoots back, “No way! That would be an absurd thing to do. Moreover, Ajith will just hate this idea. I consider him my elder brother and am like a baby to him. So, I won’t act opposite Ajith.”
And what about rumours that she will be acting opposite Illayathalapathy Vijay in one of his forthcoming projects? “That’s not true. I’m not doing a film with Vijay as of now,” she says and adds that she will be back in Tollywood after a short break.