Monday, August 19, 2019 | ePaper

Never thought I would win a National Award so early in my career: Keerthy Suresh

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It's been six years since Keerthy Suresh debuted as a heroine through the Malayalam film Geethanjali. For the actress, there has been no looking back since then, rising through the ranks and now winning the National Award for the Best Actress for her role as the late actress Savitri in her Telugu-Tamil biopic Mahanati.
Since the announcement of the news on Friday, she says the phone has not stopped ringing and visitors have been dropping in non-stop at her house in Thiruvananthapuram. Keerthy herself sounds overwhelmed, when she says, "I can't put into words what this recognition means to me. It's something that I have always aimed for, but never thought would happen so early in my career."
The National Award win also comes as a huge reward for the effort she put for portraying Savitri. "It was challenging playing her because she was a legendary actress in Tamil and Telugu, and she is known for her spontaneity and sense of humour. So, I had to get a lot of things right to differentiate her acting and her personality, and it was not an easy task. I had to do a lot of homework; watching a lot of her video clips," she explains.
Keerthy is all praise for the film's director Nag Ashwin, for having "more faith in me than I had in myself". "In fact, I said no to the project in the beginning, because I thought I didn't want to do something and spoil Savitri ma'am's reputation. I didn't have these positive thoughts on how good the film can become, but rather I thought it was too early in my career to do such a heavy-duty role. But Nagi gave me all the support to perform the best I could," she says.
Ask her if the recognition will have an impact on her future roles and Keerthy explains, "I am sure it will. In fact, I have been thinking about how I choose my projects since the release of Mahanati. I am just hoping that I have made the right choices and that the people will support me."
On the reaction of her parents Suresh Kumar and Menaka right after the announcement, Keerthy says, "They were on cloud nine. They were so happy; my dad hugged me and danced. It was a very emotional moment. But we didn't get much time to talk about the win and share the moment as people started flocking in. I am happy that I could make them proud today."

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