It’s been 30 years since Shamlee created a stir in the south industry as a child artiste. The actress had some of her best films releasing in 1990 – Mani Ratnam’s Anjali, Bharathan’s Malootty,Bhargava’s Mathe Haditu Kogile and Rama Narayanan’s Durga, among others. She even went on to win the National Award and state awards for the best child artiste for her films that year.
Ask Shamlee what was her motivation to do so many films at such a young age, and she says, “I was too young when I started acting. So I really can’t say what it was. My sister (Shalini) got into films and she was doing a lot of good roles. That’s how Mani Ratnam sir saw me and Anjali happened. The movie became a huge hit and I got more offers. My dad would travel with me and took care of everything. So, I was fine.”
Recalling the time she spent shooting for Anjali, she says, “I remember, everybody had a lot of fun on the shoot. I was too young, and there really was no one my age then. My brother (Richard Rishi) was also part of the film; he played one of the flatmates. They were all the same age group – he, Tarun, Krishna and all – and they spent time together and had a lot of fun. But it was not the same for me. I was really young and I used to get tired. I barely knew what was going on.”