After completing a course in fashion designing, Dushara bagged her debut film, Bodhai Yeri Budhi Maari. Calling the opportunity a great learning experience, the youngster says, “Only because of my debut venture do people know that I can act. In fact, I got my second film, Anbulla Ghilli, because of that film. My short film, Kannamma, gave me a lot of recognition, too. Everything is an opportunity when it comes to the film industry.”
So, how did she bag Sarpatta Parambarai? “Ranjith sir happened to see my pictures on social media. I first got a call from his office, and he spoke to me and asked me about my work. I felt the fact that I could speak Tamil fluently impressed him. They gave me a scene from the film and asked me to come for an audition,” she says, “Ranjith sir simply asked me to shout at the top of my voice. Without batting an eyelid, I screamed. He said I was on board. But yes, I also enacted an emotional scene and they were duly impressed.”
The actress, who plays Mariamma in the film, says there is a lot of depth to her character. “Female characters in Ranjith sir’s films have solid roles. My character predominantly appears in the second half of the film. She has an overpowering tone. There is a lot of scope for performance and I consider this as my debut film,” says Dushara. She adds that it was a beautiful experience working on the film. “Ranjith sir didn’t treat me as a newcomer. The only challenging part was the dubbing. My Tamil slang is completely different, so it was really hard to pick up the north Chennai slang.”
Getting on board Vasantabalan’s film, too, was an interesting journey, she says. “While I was shooting for Ranjith sir’s film, Vasantabalan sir had come to see Shankar sir, who was shooting for Indian 2 at a spot nearby. He saw me and asked me to come to the office. I had a look test with Arjun Das and got the part,” she says.
While she remains tight-lipped about her role, Dushara says the film will be in true Vasantabalan style. She says, “It’s a slice-of-life film set in today’s times. I play Subbulakshmi, a character that’s completely opposite to Mariamma. Both my directors make their actors come up with their best and are appreciative if we do a scene very well.”
With two big films in hand, Dushara hopes to do more versatile roles. “ I want to follow the same path as Parvathy Thiruvothu, Nayanthara, Nithya Menen and Aishwarya Rajesh and do performance-oriented roles. It doesn’t matter if it’s a fun commercial outing or a hard-hitting story; I just want to play solid characters on screen. The song-and-dance routine won’t work for me,” says Dushara.
But does she find the industry welcoming of newcomers? “Of course,” she says and adds, “It is a challenging road, but good talent is always welcomed. There is no nepotism in Kollywood; if you’re talented, you are picked. Though it took me six years, I didn’t give up. I was confident about what I wanted and I got it.”
The actress also notes that the industry is now looking at roping in more Tamil girls. “When it was announced that I was part of Vasantabalan sir’s film, someone commented that Tamil girls are getting opportunities now. It was interesting to see that. After all, I, too, hail from a village near Dindigul. No matter where you are from, if you are talented, passionate and hardworking, you will find an opportunity here,” signs off Dushara.