Scream Queen of Box Office - Vedhika Kumar

With her killer looks, stunning personality and suave style, Vedhika conquers the Horror genre in both Kollywood and Bollywood. Read on as she discusses going her own way in the road often less travelled to finding ultimate bliss.


What was your feeling when you saw yourself on-screen for the first time?

It was obviously very exciting to see myself on the screen for the first time because I have always dreamt of being an actress. I have always known growing up what I truly wanted to do in life. So to translate on to screen I think it was an exciting phase and I felt really lucky to be on the silver screen.


You debuted in the Tamil film industry, how was your experience?

I made my South debut in the Tamil Film Industry and was extremely glad to do so. I got to work with very talented people in the Tamil Film Industry & I also learnt how to speak in Tamil which is one of my most favorite languages now.


Describe your role in the movie Muni.

Lawrence master’s team got in touch with me regarding Muni’s film casting. I went to Chennai, met Lawrence master and found the script very interesting. I think it’s a great blend of comedy, family drama & horror which is a signature trending genre of the Muni franchise.

About my role in Muni, I played Priya, Raghava’s wife who is fearlessly much braver than him. And Raghava is easily scared of the paranormal. The chemistry between Raghava and Priya was much loved and received very well by the audience. The rest as we all know is history, Muni-Kanchana series has gone on to become one of the biggest franchise is the South Indian Film Industry.


What kind of roles you aspire to play on the big screen?

I’ve always hoped to play roles which have great scope for performance and luckily with films like Paradesi, Kaviya Thalaivan; films of other languages like James & Alice with Prithvi Raj and Sringaravelan with Dhilip sir and Shivalinga which was actually made in Kannada opposite Sivaraj Kumar sir, have given me the opportunity to go beyond the clichéd characters dancing around the trees. I always enjoy performance oriented roles and in most of my films, there is a good scope for dance so I love exploring that aspect as well. So yeah I am looking forward to doing more performance oriented films in future as well.


Please share some interesting experiences of working with Young Super Star STR.

It was fun working with Simbu and the song Kutty Pisase went on to become a very popular number amongst everyone and yeah it came out very well too since he is great dancer. I had to give my best as well to keep up with his energy and finesse. He is very frank, honest and a multitalented artist and it was a great experience sharing the screen with him. Many fans and well-wishers want to see me do a film with him again and hopefully if things work out, I would love to work with him in near future.


A memory that you can recall from the film Kaviya Thalaivan?

I was watching my introduction song in Kaviya Thalavian and the audience broke in to a loud cheer and applause while watching the song as one would in live performances. All thanks to my Director Vasanthabalan Sir who knew my passion and love for dance and asked Rahman Sir to compose classical beats tailor made for me. I felt very flattered when I performed the Thiruppugazh with Bharathanatiyam beats. Raghuram Master, our choreographer brought out the best in me and choreographed such a special piece. I think this is one of the most memorable things about the movie and also turned out to be a very memorable film with a national award winning team in my career as well.


What did the movie Paradesi teach you?

I would like to say it was the turning point in my career. Before Paradesi, I was associated highly with commercial roles, although they did have scope for performance on most of them, but after Paradesi, I started getting a lot of performance oriented roles like Kaviya Thalaivan. I also got many film offers in Malayalam and Kanada which just brought a different version of me on the screen. It was fabulous working with Bala Sir. He is one of the best Directors in our industry. I have learnt so much from him, an experience which I shall always cherish and remember the lessons that I learnt from him. It was a very special film.


Of all the characters you have played, which one is close to your heart and why?

Out of the roles that I’ve played definitely Angamma in Paradesi is my most special role. I learnt a lot as mentioned before from Bala Sir. Also playing Vadivambal in Kaviya Thalaivan and working with another national award winning director like Vasanthabalan Sir has been a blessing. Shivalinga and Kantha were my most challenging roles in my career. The role of a possessed girl was physically and mentally very demanding. I have pushed the envelope with these challenging roles into my hindi films too. My Bollywood debut role playing Ritu/Isha in ‘The Body’ is also extremely special to me.


A genre that you love?

I absolutely love romance. Love stories are beautiful. Also, I love to watch thrillers since they can be very exciting and leave you on the edge of your seat. Currently I am watching Money Heist on Netflix and I just can’t get enough of it. I also love horror comedies. But I get scared after watching them but can’t seem to stop myself from watching them either. So yeah these three genres are my favorite.


One role of yours that you wouldn’t mind portraying again?

I don’t think I would like to play a role that I have already done. I think it would be challenging to try something new so yeah I want do something which I haven’t done before. I think you need to make progress from where you’ve already begun. If I had to still choose, a film that I would love to constantly be a part of is Kanchana. I had too much fun doing that film. It all started with Muni and came led me in to this new Franchise. So yeah may be Kanchana. I’m so glad that the films did 130 crores all over the world and received huge accolades.


What’s the other side of Vedhika we don't know about?

I have OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). Most people don’t know that I carry my own bed sheets when I travel into hotels and my own towel. I use a lot of tissues sometimes and well it’s also essential considering the present pandemic, to wash your hands for 30 seconds. I would also clean my mobile phones regularly because that is what you are continuously touching.


How important is it to be fashionable and being perceived as glamorous in sense of fashion?

I do love experimenting with looks and I try not to let the fashion world stress me out too much. I love dressing up. Being a part of the film industry, I have experimented a lot recently with my looks, especially my red carpet looks, so I just go with what I want to wear, my own sense of fashion rather than following any trend. It’s amazing when you have a great team to work with you. I think it’s very important for an actor to be versatile and be able to bring out new elements.


Do you believe in ghosts? What was the experience like playing the role in Kanchana 3?

Coincidently it’s also the question number 13 and it is about ghosts. Well I do, I mean I am not sure, but I mean my imagination kind of runs wild when I live alone. If I get too paranoid I might go to bed with the lights on. Kanchana was lot of fun; we did a lot of night shoots. There was so much comedy in the film as well, so it kind of balanced the jump scares. Lawrence master is an amazing Director; we were like a big family on the set. We never got bored even while working long hours, it felt more like vacation. Audience loved watching Kanchana series. It was a family entertainer that brought people together.


How do you handle controversy?

Well luckily I haven’t been part of any controversy I suppose, touch wood, because I do always keep to myself. I do my work, learn my lines and deliver my best shot. I don’t even know how to handle controversy because I haven’t dealt with it yet. This is part and parcel of an actor’s life so even if it happens I’ll cross the bridge when I get to it.


Whom do you consider as your perfect co-star?

I think everyone who have worked with has been very courteous, respectful and super talented. I have nothing to compliant about as I had great co-stars. I really take pride in having worked with very talented actors like Dhilip Sir, Sivaraj Kumar Sir, Lawrence Master,Prithviraj, Upendra Sir and Balakrishna Sir , such a legendary actor , yet so humble & hardworking .I think I have been lucky and grateful to work with another legendary icon Rishi Kapoor sir in my first Bollywood film. Emraan Hashmi is such an amazingly talented actor. It’s tough to choose one when all have been so fabulous.


Who have you been most inspired by?

I think the person I have been most inspired by has been my mom because she is my role model and I really look up to her. She is a perfect example of a very strong woman with great core values and morals. She brings the family together and that’s a very beautiful thing. She is great at her work. She is an interior designer. She is an awesome inspiration.


How did you get into this career?

Well, I always wanted to be an actress from my childhood days. I loved to watch Bollywood Films. I grew up watching performances of Madhuri Dixit Ma’am and Sridevi Ma’am, would then try to tape those steps and take part in dance competitions and dramatics in school. Luckily the industry has been very kind to me. The South film industry has showered me with a lot of opportunities and quality films. I’m really thankful to the audience here who accepted me whole heartedly, appreciated and encouraged me so much.


How would you define yourself?

I think I would define myself as someone who loves her work and is very passionate and determined about it. It is something which gets me going. I try to be courteous, compassionate towards people and try not to consciously do anything wrong, though none of us are perfect but I try not to judge others. I am non-judgmental most of the times whenever anybody makes mistakes since I haven’t experienced their situation and life. I love interacting with people who are similar, non-judgemental, love their family and are focused about their work. These are some of the things I live by and believe in.


Is there a message you'd like give to the scores of young Indian women who look up to you?

Well, I think from what I have experienced in my career, what I would like to tell people, is to utilize your time and opportunities well. It is very important to know your skills in order to continuously better them at whatever you do. If it’s acting, then you need to continuously train yourself learn new forms of dance, do voice training and participate in new workshops. I think it’s very important to keep working on yourself to give your best. You cannot go back in time. Work hard, enjoy what you do, choose something you are absolutely crazy about and love.


If you have to leave films one day and choose another profession, what would it be and why?

I would prefer to stick to this profession; there are tons of new platforms and opportunities for an artist to express oneself. So I think it’s a great time for actors and if I work, I would be focused on acting. It is something I truly enjoy so I see myself acting for a long time.


Name your favorite actor and director.

Foremost would be, Meryl Streep, I totally look up to her like everybody else. Amitabh Bacchan Sir. Rajinikanth Sir, I got to meet him in Mumbai when he was shooting. Also post Kanchana, Lawrence master and I met him and he left a huge impact on me. His personality, the way he makes u feel so special is incredible. He is a humble person. Not only on screen, even in in just one meeting he leaves big impression on everyone. Another actor fav luna Rody Capris fabulous actor. I totally adore . Directors – Martin Scorsese, Sanjay Leela Bhansali Sir, Mani Ratnam Sir, Bala Sir, K.S. Ravi Kumar Sir, Lawrence Sir and Neeraj Pandey. Lot of them you can’t pick just one.


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