Yasmin Ponnappa joins a long list of Kodava beauties, when it comes to leading ladies who have kicked up a storm in the silver screen. She is a model who debuted in a de-glamourized role in the Tamil movie ‘Aaranya Kaandam’.
Bangalore has contributed its fair share of models to the modelling circuit. From Lara Dutta and Deepika Padukone to Mugdha Godse, Bangalore beauties have raised the bar on style and presence. The latest star on the scene is the Kodava belle, Yasmin Ponnappa.
Some Basics on the Star
Yasmin’s sense of style and superb structure landed her a contract with Elite Model Management agency. She has appeared in commercials for Nivea Deodorant and Tropicana juice. The ad that she did for Opulex diamond bracelets, under the direction of Vishesh Verma, became very famous, so much so that a Parisian advertisement was thought to be plagiarized from the Indian original.
Yasmin chose to make an unconventional debut in the 2011 Tamil release ‘Aaranya Kaandam’. The film was criticised by the censor board in India due to its explicit language and content, which was laced with graphic violence. The film was screened at the South Asian film Festival in New York in early 2011 and won the Grand jury Award. The movie depicts a day in the life of its six protagonists, one of whom is Subbu, played by Yasmin.
Her Shift to Mumbai and Aftermath
When questioned about her choice of debut film; Yasmin said that she had moved from Bangalore to Mumbai to seek better opportunities there.
As luck would have it, a director from the Tamil movie industry, T Kumaraja, chose Yasmin for Subbu’s role based on a few print media advertisements done by Yasmin. She said that the story line of ‘Aaranya Kaandam’ was the deciding factor behind her accepting the severely deglamorised role.
Her lack of prior acting experience was not a problem as the director held an intensive ten day workshop to coach her on the requirements of the role. The actress managed to star with a veteran like Jackie Shroff right in her first movie, and her performance in the movie was critically acclaimed, although not commercially accepted. The shooting of this film extended over three years, but the rave reviews justified the long wait.
Yasmin was one of the four girls shortlisted for Latika’s role in Danny Boyle’s ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. She did a reading session with Danny Boyle, but lost out on the role that ultimately went to Freida Pinto.
The actress is one of the brightest stars in the industry currently, although she’s maintained that her future plans would depend on the performance of her debut.