Since her remarkable acting debut in Lal Jose’s ‘Neelathamara’, Archana Kavi has been reinventing herself as a writer, producer, director, and actor in web series. Even as she became selective about roles on the big screen, Archana Kavi's versatility never ceased to amaze viewers.
Now, the talented artist has forayed into the miniscreen with Mazhavil Manorama’s new TV series, ‘Rani Raja'. Archana's Aami is a strong and independent college lecturer in 'Rani Raja'.
Television serial is uncharted territory for you. How do you see this transformation?
I think it is important not to judge any medium and try out things that excite you. I decided to do 'Rani Raja', because of the concept. You know, you have to keep yourself open to new avenues all the time. I learned this during my tryst in Mumbai. A lot of big stars, including Priyanka Chopra, have been doing this. I think it is important to believe your gut in these instances.
Were people surprised by your decision?
Yeah, some people were, but I still have good friends in the film industry, like Rima Kallingal and Aju Varghese, who support me unconditionally.
We have been away from Mollywood, was it a conscious decision?
To be very honest, I didn't choose to stay away from the cinema. I think the year 2009 was the worst year for any new actor. A huge transition was happening in Mollywood as new and young generation directors were trying out new methods of filmmaking. I think people like me got caught in the middle of it all, which was tough.
Do you regret that decision?
Not at all. However, I think I was borderline naive when I joined the industry several years ago. I was not aware of the impact that I was making then. Also, I had some inhibitions then and had joined with the mindset that people would take advantage of me or want to sleep with me if I allowed myself to be open. So, I would not interact much. It was Abish Mathew (Archana’s ex-husband) who taught me that interaction and networking are key to success and that not everyone thinks about sleeping around. I realised late that people don’t have the time or energy for such things because everyone is so involved in the creative process.
You wrote your scripts for shows like ‘Meenaviyal’. What do you enjoy doing the most, acting or scriptwriting?
Over the years, I have found a genuine love for storytelling. I think what I truly love is creating my own content. It gives me immense satisfaction. I love humour and working on comedy scripts because generally, I’m a very goofy person. It helps too that Malayalis have a real sense of humour. I’m still writing scripts and will continue to work on web series and feature films.
The target audience of serials is different. How do you see it?
In serials, it all depends on the build-up. A lot of importance is given to reaction, which is a major factor in TV serials. Also, unlike movies and even web series, as a miniscreen actor, you won't have much clarity about the way the whole story would progress, since the scripts may undergo changes based on the audience's reaction, etc. You may be told about the scene when you reach the sets. Also, I have felt that one needs to be more empathetic while playing a character in the miniscreen. So, of course, it is a lot more challenging, but that’s the beauty of everything.