Don’t have to look beautiful to make impact: Malvi Malhotra on ‘Abhyuham’ character

07:15 PM Jul 17, 2023 | PTI |

Bengaluru: The Malayalam film industry focuses on the performance of an actor and not their looks, says Malvi Malhotra, who will next be seen in “Abhyuham”.


Slated for July 21 release, “Abhyuham” is a Malayalam thriller which also stars Ajmal Amir, Rahul Madhav and Akhil Sreenivasan.

“This was the first film in which I realised that I don’t have to look beautiful to make an impact. If you ask me, looking beautiful is easy but playing a certain character is not so. I want to explore these kinds of roles in future, too.

“I feel lucky. I used to watch a lot of Malayalam films and find them very realistic. People here do not care how the actors are looking, they only see the content and the performance of an actor. I like that attitude,” Malvi told PTI in an interview.

The 25-year-old actor, who was last seen in the 2022 short film “Tamas”, said she became part of the film quite serendipitously. The makers of the film had come across an audition tape that was meant for a Tamil film and had approached her, she added.


Born in Himachal Pradesh to an entrepreneur father and school principal mother, Malvi said she was always drawn towards acting.

“In my college days, I did a lot of theatre. After graduation, I worked briefly in a company, but I resigned from that job and started to focus on acting,” she said.

Although Malvi knew she wanted to be an actor, she honoured her parents’ wishes by completing her education.

“(They told me) ‘Do whatever you want, but study first. Education is very important’. I went to college because my parents wanted it. But I think, in a way, that is good too. I am 25 right now. This is a good age also. Bottom line is, I do not have any regrets,” she said.

Malvi started with television and within months, her character Pooja in “Udaan” managed to get people’s attention and subsequently a role in the 2018 Hindi film “Hotel Milan”, co-starring Kunaal Roy Kapur, Karishma Sharma, Zeishan Quadri and Jaideep Ahlawat. But it was in the southern films that she got substantial roles.

Although a newcomer, Malvi said she has paid attention to the kind of films she wanted to be a part of right from the outset.

“I only do roles that excite me as an actor. I’m playing a blind girl in the Tamil film that I’m shooting right now. I just follow my instincts. For me, any platform or language is fine as long as the script is fine,” she added.

The actor is currently in Coimbatore shooting for the Tamil remake of the 2014 Malayalam hit “Ring Master”, taking on the role played by Keerthy Suresh.

“Before I started this film, I watched a lot of films where actresses are playing blind. I also tried to understand what being blind feels like by walking around my house blindfolded the whole day.

“I brushed my teeth blindfolded, too. I keep practising it so that being blind comes to me naturally. Practice really helps a lot because it gets you more confident when you perform,” she said.

With more films in the south, Malvi is aware that until she masters the language, she is at a disadvantage.

“For instance, I cannot improvise my dialogues unless I know the language. I will be bound to the script.”
The actor said she plans to learn at least one southern language.

“I will learn Tamil and once I learn it, it will be easier for me to portray the character. Right now, I am sitting with the writer before every scene and discussing details of the character that I am playing. This helps me for the time being,” she added.

Learning comes with the job, said Malvi.

“I pick up things, good things, from all the actors. I like how actresses like Madhubala or Meena Kumari acted with their faces. Some actresses have amazing dance moves. I feel like every person has something or the other that you can learn from,” she said.

It has been an amazing journey so far for Malvi, but the actor said she wants to do more.

“The character that I really want to do in future is the kind of character, Priyanka Chopra played in ‘Quantico’ or Rani Mukerji played in ‘Mardaani’. I hope to do these kinds of women-centric roles in future,” she said.

After “Abhyuham”, her Telugu film “Tiragabhadara Saami” is tentatively slated for a September release. Also in the pipeline are “Chasmish” (Hindi web series) and a Hindi film, “Zorawar di Jacqueline”.


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