It would not be wrong to call Genelia D'Souza a Southern Star. The Mumbai-based actor's substantial fan following lies south of the Vindhyas where she has a string of hits to her credit, especially in Telugu and Tamil.
Genelia D'Souza couldn't have asked for a better debut in Malayalam cinema. She played a warrior princess in celebrated cinematographer Santosh Sivan's Urumi.
Elaborating on her role in the film, she says, "Sivan never allowed me to smile in the entire film and that for me was one of the biggest challenges, as I am constantly smiling. On screen, you have always seen me bubbly. Here, Ayesha talks with her eyes."
Urumi has been getting positive reviews from all the quarters and the lead actress Genelia is being praised by one and all. Genelia, who was known for bubbly and naughty roles all these days, has come up with a challenging character of her career.
She learnt few ancient martial art forms to do justice to her role. About the stunts, "They were exhausting. When you see others perform Kalari, you think you will pick it up fast but it's an art, a difficult one. On the first day, my whole body ached. I couldn't move the next day; it was very painful, but I practised. We used to shoot from 7 am to 6 pm, and every evening from 7 pm to 10.30 pm, I practised Kalari. I learnt to use the stick, learnt sword fighting, learnt positioning the body, etc. I never fought against girls in the film; it was always guys. So, I needed to have controlled aggression," says Genelia.
The bubbly starlet has received much applause for her act in the critically acclaimed South movie 'Urumi'. The film, according to trade reports, is doing so well, that more prints of it are being made and it will be dubbed in more languages to reach a wider audience.
Bollywood actor Riteish Deshmukh, who is said to be dating Genelia D'Souza, congratulated her on the reviews of her first Malayalam film Urumi. The actor, who recently saw the film, just can't stop raving about her look and performance.
A source said, "Genelia's film Urumi has become a super-hit in the South. Ritesh is highly impressed.
He is proud to hear all the praises being sung over her performance and is really looking forward to watch the film. Both Ritesh and Shahid have tweeted praises of Genelia."
What does Genelia now feel about the experience? "I feel extremely lucky. Urumi is the best thing to have happened to me," she says so gladly.