Sumukhi Suresh: Should have simply asked him out
A decade after her dramatic history of stalking a man is recreated for screen in Pushpavalli, Sumukhi Suresh calls her act stupid
While society offers sufficient fodder, comics also study their own lives to derive inspiration to entertain. But, few would assume that a woman would be willing to put her history of stalking a man on a pedestal. Comedian Sumukhi Suresh, however, is not one to follow norms. Amazon Prime's Pushpavalli, which sees Suresh in the lead, is inspired, in parts, from her life. Having previously revealed on an AIB podcast that she had stalked a man, even waited in bushes to catch a glimpse of him, Suresh says creative heads at the video-streaming platform saw potential in her story.
Although real-life events are dramatised for reel, the comic says the two-week-old outing is in fact a "milder" depiction of her journey. "The show is a muted depiction [of my life]. However, we've showcased some of my funniest and most cringe-worthy moments," she says. Pushpavalli sees the smitten protagonist move from her hometown, Bhopal, to Bengaluru, to chase the man of her dreams. The charming Nikhil Rao (Manish Anand), has little knowledge about his admirer. Without revealing details, Suresh says she had also made the move a decade ago. "It was illogical. I could have simply asked him out for coffee. I took stupid decisions, like many 21-year-olds do. But, at 24, I realised it was silly. That is when I shifted my focus towards my career."
Like Suresh was before she turned comic, Pushpavalli is also a food inspector. It is probably due to this resemblance to her character that she took a keen interest in writing the script, along with comedians Naveen Richard, Rahul Hota, and Sumaira Shaikh. "I was also involved in the casting process. The series has dialogues in Tamil and Kannada, so, I wanted suitable actors."
While Suresh and director Debbie Rao were particular about finding the right face for the role of Nikhil, Anand, we're told, wasn't their first preference. "He wore torn jeans for the first audition. I immediately said no. But, he nabbed the required tone. The next time, he turned up in formals, and looked perfect for the part." Fans of the comedian have been celebrating the outing. But Suresh's parents are yet to catch an episode. "They were more concerned about how the show portrayed me than worried about how much of it is true."