Leona Lishoy walks her path with her stringent philosophy. She is known to select characters not by the importance the role gives to her but for the importance given to the character in the movie. Her role as a mother in Ann Mariya Kalippilanu, rape victim in Queen or a troubled actress in Mayanadhi are proof of this.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before choosing this field?
I was doing my under graduation at Christ University, Bangalore. I got a few movie offers while studying,but I took up one soon after Graduation. So I was not really into any job before.
How did you land up doing what you do now?
I came into the industry unexpectedly.I started getting offers as my dad is a pretty known Malayalam actor. Initially, it was really hard for me to understand the whole concept of acting/behaving as another person.It was new to me as I had never been into any sort of acting platform,be it theatre or cinema. It was after my first movie Kalikaalam I started modelling for some of the TV commercials ,so that I could be familiar with facing camera.
What keeps you motivated?
I have never dreamt of being an actor. I have got this great opportunity to portray different characters and live as them (even if it’s for a short time period). It’s motivating when people recognise your work and appreciate you for the work you do. I have always given priority to the importance of each character I do than the length of the role or monetary benefits. Each movie has been a learning experience,performing with some amazing actors have also motivated me to work better.
How do you plan to stay ahead of your competitors?
Competitors have never affected me. May be because I don’t even think about them. The so called “competitors” are all friends at work. I admire actors who do amazing work. I work in my own way. Similarly,I believe each one of them have their own unique way of working. It feels great to be a part of this industry at this time where Malayalam cinema is creating some incredible movies which we all can be proud of.
If not the current profession, what would you have been?
I have no clue. Cinema just happened to me. I got into cinema,fearing a lot of matters. I took time to start enjoying what I’m doing. But now I’m happier than ever to be able to perform in front of cameras,to be able to live as each character,to work with some incredible directors, technicians and actors. It gives me joy.
Was your family supportive of what you are doing? What impact have they had on your life?
My family has been very supportive from the beginning. Even when I was doubtful about my career, it’s my parents who believed in me and gave confidence to go ahead and do whatever I did. If I have grown as an actor, I believe my family has also grown up in a way that they have started seeing movies seriously, because now they know the hard work behind each movie.
What are your plans for the next 2 years?
No plans. I take life as it comes. I hope life surprises me with something interesting in the movie world. Doing some intense and different characters ,with some amazing people would make happy. Let’s see.
What does a typical day at work consist of for you?
My mom (she can be my personal manager,hair stylist, cheerleader and criticiser all at the same time) , trying to live a character, amazing people who talks and thinks only about art. And of course less sleep.
Any regrets till now? If yes, will you like to share it with our readers?
No regrets. All mistakes and foolish decisions I had taken have been a learning experience.
If you were given a choice of meeting any person you want from your field, who will be that person? What will you ask that person?
Mohanlal or Nandita Das. What’s their dream?
Any message that you want to send to your readers?
Life is too short not to do what you want to do. Go ahead. Just do it.
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