"I was living the life of Miya, so I didn't need to rehearse for that role"
Baby Mahasweta is a young actress from South India. Earlier this year, she produced and acted in "To whom should I tell?", a short drama about Miya, a little girl who can't seem to find someone who will listen to her problems.
In July 2019, Mahaswerta won Best Child Actress at LAFA, for her role as Miya. We invited her to join us for an interview.
Congratulations on winning Best Child Actress for your very impressive performance. Please tell us about yourself, what made you excited about acting?
I’m currently in 4th grade at the MGV Academy, which is an international school in Tirupur District, Tamilnadu State, India. My first language is Malayalam. I was born and brought up here in Tirupur, Garment city of India. I am watching a lot of movies, short films, etc, so I’m very interested in acting. I wish to be recognized for this talent.
Who is your favorite actress? And do you have a favorite actor?
In Tamil, South India, Keerthi Suresh, Hindi Priyanka Chopra. My favorite actor in Tamil: Surya, Because he is helping a lot of children through charity work, and also education.
What was the most challenging experience for you in the entertainment world so far?
I’m very much interested in both acting and producing, but as a small child, producing a film can be very difficult. But I definitely plan to get another chance.
What do you like to do when you are not working, acting or producing? Are you interested in other performing arts as well, like singing, or dancing, etc?
I enjoy singing and dancing, I can do that now- I’m going for proper training.
What did you like the most about Miya, your character? Do you share any similarities with her in real life?
Yes, some similarities are there, but my dad and mom are a little bit different, more caring for me. Especially my dad.
Your acting was wonderful. It looks like you were very prepared! How did you prepare for shooting To Whom Should I Tell? Did you practice or rehearsed at all? What is your favorite line of dialogue in the movie?
I actually didn’t prepare anything before the shooting of “To Whom Should I Tell”. I simply encountered similar situations in my friends’ circle, so I was sort-of living like Miya, in that character. My favorite dialogue line from the movie is “To Whom Should I Tell?”, which is also the film’s title.
To make the film, you have used your own savings, and pocket money from the last three years! You are very devoted to your passion! Have you ever produced a film before? What was the biggest lesson you learned as a producer of this movie?
This is my first movie. I learned that producing a film is difficult, but it’s important to give a good message to children and parents.
What were some of the challenges you encountered when making the short?
There were several challenges. First of all, I’m facing a camera for the first time, so I was very excited. In addition, we couldn’t share our full views of society - sadly, sometimes the main theme of a story will be lost because of that, but you have to make compromises.
Who are the people that helped you along the way?
My dad helped me a lot. He’s been very supportive.
How did you recruit the director Sujith Dass, director of photography Murali Ranan and the editor Athul Janardhanan?
My dad’s friend is Mr. Sujith Das, and he made several short films and got a lot of international recognition. We are very grateful to have this crew, including Murali and Athul.
What do you want to do when you grow up? What kind of movies would you want to work on? What is your dream role?
Everybody recognizes me now, and several film directors are approaching my father with acting offers. If the story is good, I will definitely act. My main goal is to produce films and act in them, and I’d like the story to be related to children. Nowadays, even if you’re talented, you will not get the proper recognition. I will definitely fight for children's’ rights. For sure!
Do you have any tips for other young actors and actresses?
Self-confidence is the key to success. Also, dedication to the work, we have to be 100% loyal to our work.
Is there anything you wish to add, or anyone you wish to thank?
I wish to thank the whole team of LAFA, your encouragement is remarkable. I will always remember you. Thanks a lot and thanks to my parents, friends, and everyone.