Manju Santheesh is a name which is often reckoned with the famous Malayalam movie Ohm Shanti Oshaana in 2014. Manju however, has been in the acting medium for more than two decades.She has acted in Malayalam serials like Deshadanapakshi, Bhagyalakshmi, and Amala. She also has her Doordarshan debut with the serial Tapasya. That is just some of the few things we know about the actor.
Manju, who is a trained Classical dancer, owes her acting career debut to dance. She believes that it was her dance which enabled her to appear on the mini screen in Malayalam. Manju, who used to work for several television serials at the beginning of her career, was given a chance to act in movies. Although she admits to not having shined in meaty lead roles, she did get her screen space she asked for. She recalls in an interview saying that her first work was Sargavasantham in 1995 which was directed by Anil Das, which she would always remember. During her acting in the serials, she was also seen in movies like Sallapam in 1996. Guard appears to be the last movie she acted in before she entered into marriage life with husband Satheesh Kavilkotta, who happens to be a Production Executive.
After marriage, Manju is said to have had no plans of coming back on screen and it appeared so as she took almost a decade-long break; though she was offered acting stints during that stage, she refused as they were not appealing enough to her. If we look at her television roles like that in Manjurukum Kalam, we see her playing a shady negative role , who is known for her evil mind. Even in her older serial Balamani the actor played a role with some negative strokes to it. She admits enjoying such roles better than the lead roles of positivism in the serials. She wishes to portray her skills of acting and perform a character which has many layers to it.
After her big break which was almost ten years, Manju resumed acting upon the request of
Adoor Gopalakrishnan for his project
Naalu Pennungal. She recollected the moment when she received a personal call from Gopalakrishnan, and it was an offer she couldn’t say no to. We also can see her in several Malayalam movies like Naalu Pennugal, Nayanam, Crazy Gopalan among others. Her acting career took a new turn, and she acted in more mature roles. She got into serials but made sure to not stress herself out. She later appeared on Mazhavil Manorama Channel and did negative roles.The actress wants to take one project at a time and wants to give time to her family as she feels it is important.
In the year 2014, it was this movie Ohm Shanti Oshaana, which brought her into the limelight. She played the mother to the female lead which was played by Malayalam actress Nazriya Nazeem. Playing the mother to Pooja Mathews (Nazriya) she became very popular and got critical acclaim that an actor seeks for. As the story goes, Manju got this role through her husband’s friend and she will always be grateful for it. She says she enjoyed working with big directors, and the experience is the one to cherish for a lifetime. She says she is open to such meaningful roles and will always be on the lookout. Her latest projects include
Salt Mango Tree and Style. She is still seen on the small screen in Malayalam television serials.