Full Name - Kalieaswari Srinivasan
Hometown - Chennai
Birthday - 17 November
Idols - I don't believe in idols! I just wish to be myself.
Passions - Life! What else?!
Favourite Colour - Black, white, red, blue, green, yellow and every other colour.
Your thoughts on the Colombo International Film Festival 2015?
Emotional and more than happy to be in Sri Lanka, given that the story is about Sri Lankans, so is my character! Am so touched by the warmth and the love of the people here and at the festival that I am back again today for the public screening of Dheepan.
How did you become a part of Dheepan?
It was through an audition that happened in Chennai, with the casting director Philippe Elcoubi. This apparently is my first audition for a film!
Tell us about your character. How was it to play it?
‘Yalini’ is complex, simple, rich in emotions and an intense woman! We created her together. The writers Thomas, Noé, director Jacques. It was difficult, and I guess I cruised through the journey of creating and being Yalini with conviction, only because of Jacques and Shoba.
What did you personally learn from the character “Yalini”?
That a woman could indeed be complex! And the serious effect that war and violence could have on relationships and human behaviour long after it is over.
Cannes, how has the experience been?
Very overwhelming and beautiful, given the kind of festival and carnival it is! I thorough enjoyed it, like a child!
Describe the moment when Dheepan was announced for Palme d’Or. Did you expect such feedback?
Happy and content, that a Palme d’Or for our film means, it is an award and recognition for everyone involved in the film in any way! I felt our team truly deserved it, as it is impossible to explain the sincerity and the dedication put in by every person working in the film-right from the logistics personnel to the caterer to of course the writers and the director.
How did you pick up the Jaffna accent to Tamil that you speak in the film?
I learnt the accent with help of Jemy and Shanti Akka from the refugee camp in Puzhal, before the audition and later, Shobha Shakti helped me throughout the shoot.
You are very busy with theater in Chennai. What took you to stage, and what's more interesting - the stage or movies?
That again is inexplicable!I found my “raison d’etre” -purpose of being, through theatre. It's tricky to say what's more interesting as just when I think theatre is more interesting, this movie totally surprised me and again when I thought the movie was more interesting , the play that am working on right now, has totally changed and challenged all my notions of being and of an actor!
Have you worked on films before Dheepan? And would you continue, and would you get in to cinema in Tamil Nadu?
This is my first feature film. I am an actor and would act irrespective of what the medium is, if it interests me!
Has life changed for you post the Cannes honor? And how?
You are interviewing me only because of Cannes honour! So yes, life has changed that way, more people know of me as a theatre actor that I am, because of a major film award! That is the irony of the times we are in.
Tell me about the other two who shared the main roles with you on screen? How was it working with them?
Shobha Shakti, as you know is a writer. It is beautifully fluid working with him as he is very much a giving and a receiving human, which makes him a great co-actor! Claudine Vinasithamby is in my eyes a natural genius when it comes to acting. It is her first film as well and I am sure she is a gift to acting, if she chooses to be an actor when she grows up.
What do you feel about Tamils in Sri Lanka, and about the 30 year war in Sri Lanka?
I have to live here in Sri Lanka, to know what I genuinely feel about the war. Knowledge of the war and empathy for war victims cannot help someone feel what the war has actually done to the people here or anywhere in the world. I do not wish to sensationalise such an intense and sensitive aspect.
Any new projects?
I am working on a play titled "Land of Ashes and Diamonds” which is about the World War II and the Sri Lankan war. And a Tamil film titled “Aasai Mugam” with Shobha Shakti in the direction of Arun Karthick.
What did your family say about your performance?
Only my husband has seen the movie. Others in my family are yet to see the movie.
Who has been your biggest support?
Right now, it is Charles Vinoth, my husband!