Another movie, another model. Now Shweta Menon too has fallen prey to the lure of Bollywood.
Mind you, she’s no cast-off from the ramp; she only just failed to make Ms India. No harm in losing out to Sush and Ash, wot Went down fighting, she did. Thereafter, she’s bagged enough modelling assignments — including a series for Kama Sutra condoms that would make Kalpana Iyer blush — and refused a role offered by Vinod Khanna for his Himalaya Putra. Now she’s decided that acting is her cup of tea, after all.
“I wasn’t interested in slogging in Hindi films at that time” she says off-handedly. “One year ago I did a guest appearance in Inder Kumar’s Ishq, and he and Aamir Khan and Baba Azmi were so supportive and they kept on telling me that I should take my career more seriously and join Hindi films, it is because of their influence that I took the step of joining the industry. And then I made a big mistake…”
She says when she entered the industry she did not understand how it functioned. But she refused to consult anyone, firm believer in individuality that she is.
“If anything happens in my life, good or bad, then only I am to blame. That’s the way I would like it to be. I want to be responsible for my life,” she laughs, explain why she chooses to blunder on blindly.
“I’m not cynical or bitter. I’m just fighting against the odds. And why should I say anything good about them when they have nothing good to say to me. I’m a very practical person. And I’m a very calculating person.”
“I want to become like Amitabh Bachchan. Maybe one day I will even carry him on my shoulders,” says the lady whose current record hasn’t got past flashing a leg and a calf. Does she intend to become something like Vijaya Shanti, dubbed the female Amitabh Bachchan down south
Shweta Menon, unconventional as she is, had an unconventional childhood, living in Punjab, Hyderabad, besides Bangalore and her native Calicut, following her dad, who was in the air force. Which, perhaps, is why lacks the accent, the defining element, that would help place her in any part of India. “You see, I’m an Indian.” The last line catches her fancy and she starts crooning irrelevantly, I’m an Indian, the number by Noble Savages.
“You know everything in my life is upside down. Sab kuch ulta pulta hai.”
“I was just a kid having fun. I had servants all around me to do anything I wanted. I would sit on my throne and say I want this and I want that. Today I’m a slave, being thrown on the ground seven times in row.” She is referring to the scene she just shot, where she had to fall to the ground seven times before the director smiled, satisfied.
“I am basically from Kerala, though they call me the girl from Bangalore since I was Miss Bangalore for a while. I was in Kerala when I was browsing through Femina in a beauty parlour. My friend encouraged me to sign up for the pageant.”
Even Aishwariya’s presence did not faze her. She was there only for the kicks. “A lot of girls dropped out because Aishwariya was participating, but then Aishwariya is Aishwariya, she say placidly, if mystifyingly . I had only 12 days to prepare myself for the event. I was not bothered whether I won or not,” she says. “It was a high in itself to be a part of the contest.” In all events, Sushmita won, Aishwarya didn’t, and the third place was left to Menon.
“I walked from Calicut to the third position in Miss India,” she says proudly.
Shweta seems to have a natural ablity to seduce the camera, a trick she picked up from her modelling days.
“I’m very comfortable in front of the camera. As a model I had different phyiscal statistics as an actress I have put on weight. My body language is not dependent on my curves. I can put on as much weight as possible but I still will be graceful.” Vanity has this way of getting to actresses.
“If shedding clothes gave me name and fame, then no thank you, I don’t want it. But it depends on the character I’m playing. If I’m in the swimming pool then I will have to wear a swimming costume. Though if I’m not comfortable with it I won’t.”
“Today I have learnt a lot. The whole industry is full of hypocrisy they say something, they do something… I will learn that lesson fast.” She tries to laugh to hide something, then settles for a hardening of her features.
So she plans on becoming a hypocrite too.
“Yes, absolutely. I mean, why should I reveal my self to any Tom, Dick and Harry I will behave with them the way they behave with me.”
The appointed hour comes to an end. She shakes your hand and, with a impish glint in her eye, adds, “Well it was nice meeting you.” Filmi style.
Films Done By Shweta Menon
- 1991 Anaswaram Catherine Malayalam
- 1992 Welcome to Kodaikanal Kavitha Malayalam
- 1993 Nakshthrakoodaram Nirmala S. Menon Malayalam
- 1993 Koushalam Sashikala Malayalam
- 1995 DeshaDrohulu Anu Telugu
- 1997 Prithvi Lucky Hindi
- 1997 Ishq Dancer Hindi Special appearance
- 1998 Bandhan Vaishali Hindi
- 2000 Shikari Tania Jacobs Hindi
- 2001 Asoka Nandaneshwari Hindi
- 2001 Anandam Dancer in song Telugu Special appearance
- 2001 Kakkakuyil Dancer Malayalam Special appearance
- 2001 Dubai Dancer Malayalam Item Dance
- 2002 Kaaboo Dancer/Singer Hindi Special appearance
- 2002 Haan Maine Bhi Pyaar Kiya Hindi
- 2002 Vadh Hindi Cameo appearance
- 2002 Annarth Khatun Hindi Cameo appearance
- 2002 Ab Ke Baras Chembakam Hindi
- 2003 Koi Hai… Hindi
- 2003 Tu Bal Bramhachari Main Hoon Kanya Kunwari Rani Hindi
- 2004 The Killer – Ek Qatil Hindi
- 2004 Omkara Kannada Cameo appearance
- 2004 Run Hindi
- 2005 Mera Yudh Hindi
- 2006 Corporate Archana Hindi
- 2007 Raakilipattu Jayasree Malayalam
- 2008 Summer 2007 Hindi Special appearance
- 2009 Kisse Pyaar Karoon Chameli / Julie Hindi
- 2010 Chase Kareena Chopra Hindi Cameo appearance
- 2010 Pokkiri Raja Dancer Malayalam Special appearance
- 2010 Penpattanam Suhara Malayalam
- 2010 Sadgamaya Jyothi Malayalam
- 2010 T. D. Dasan Std. VI B Chandrika Malayalam
- 2010 Valiyangadi Lakshmi Malayalam
- 2010 Kadaksham Revathy Malayalam
- 2011 Kayam Thamara Malayalam
- 2012 Rajanna Dorasanni Telugu
- 2012 Unnam Sereena Malayalam
- 2013 Parudeesa Thresia Malayalam
- 2013 Aakasmikam Anitha Malayalam
- 2013 Mumbai Police Doctor Malayalam
- 2013 Kalimannu Meera Malayalam
- 2013 Careebeyans Catherine Malayalam
- 2014 100 Degree Celsius Nila Malayalam Also playback singer
- 2015 Thunai Mudhalvar Thangamani Tamil
- 2016 Appavum Veenjum Dr.Nayana Malayalam
- 2016 Rudrasimhasanam Umayamma Malayalam
- 2016 Akeldamayile Pennu Agnes Malayalam
- 2016 Maayamalika Manikyam Malayalam
- 2016 Haram Herself Malayalam
- 2016 Dhanayathra Vijila Malayalam
- 2016 Kaavalal Malayalam Short film
- 2017 Inayathalam Helen Tamil
- 2017 Naval Enna Jewel Chachu Malayalam
- 2018 Kammara Sambhavam Malayil Maheshwari Malayalam
- 2019 Fancy Dress Priya Malayalam
Television Done By Shweta Menon
- 2001 Razzmatazz Co-host Hindi with Arshad Warsi
- 2007 Star Wars Host Malayalam Won, Asian Television Award for Best Anchor
- 2008-2009 Dancing Queen Contestant Hindi
- 2009 Honeymoon Travels Host Malayalam Replacing Lalu Alex
- 2010 Deal Or No Deal Participant Malayalam
- 2011-2012 Veruthe Alla Bharya Host Malayalam
- 2012 Veruthe Alla Bharya Season 2 Host Malayalam Replaced by Rimi Tomy
- 2015 Veruthe Alla Bharya Season 3 Host Malayalam
- 2015 Comedy Stars Season 2 Judge Malayalam
- 2015 Star Challenge Participant Malayalam
- 2016 Comedy Stars Season 2 Judge Malayalam
- 2016-2017 Katturumbu Judge Malayalam
- 2017 Manasaveera Promo anchor Malayalam Promotion of the show
- 2017 Komedy Circus Judge/guest Malayalam
- 2017 Tharodayam new face hunt Judge Malayalam
- 2017 Laughing Villa Season 2 Judge Malayalam
- 2017 Asianet Comedy Awards Promo anchor Malayalam
- 2018 Super Jodi Judge Malayalam Replaced by Annie
- 2018 Bigg Boss (Malayalam season 1) Contestant Malayalam Evicted on day 35
- 2019 Kusruthi Kudumbam Host Malayalam
- 2020-present Suryajodi No.1 Judge Malayalam Replacing Ineya
- 2020-present Comedy Stars Season 2