Fearless, honest, yet sweet… Oviya is winning hearts on Bigg Boss. Has she always been like this? While the audience continues to ponder, we have the answer! “Yes, she has always been like this,” Sarkunam, who directed her Tamil debut Kalavaani, tells Silverscreen.
The actress’ original name is Helen, and Sarkunam rechristened her Oviya. He says, “She didn’t like the name, and told me that to my face. Like on the show, she’s always been forthright.”
So, how did he decide upon Oviya? “In Vairamuthu’s novel, Sigarangalai Nokki, the heroine was called Oviya. I liked that name, and was determined to name my first film’s heroine that. But, she did not like it, and came up with the name Thaniya. She said that if she had to change her name, it had to be Thaniya. I stood my ground. She later said she would change her name in her second movie. But, after the film, co-starring Vimal, was released in 2010 and declared a hit, she retained the name Oviya. She’s a fun, nice person to work with.”
Some housemates claim that Oviya has been putting on a ‘nice person’ act. Sarkunam denies that. “No, she’s not acting. What you see on Bigg Boss is the real Oviya. Even while shooting, If I scolded her for something, she would brush it off, and smile and talk to me again. She never takes anything personally. She is a little forgetful, but cares for people. If any one in the team was unwell or moody, she would get very concerned.”
He adds, “Many ask me this question…my family, neighbours, friends, industry people. ‘Was Oviya as fearless, honest and sweet during Kalavaani?’ Yes, she was just the same. Seeing the kind of popularity she has earned on the show, I feel proud to have introduced her to the Tamil film industry.”