Interview: Godha's Wamiqa Gabbi on debuting in Malayalam film industry, working with Tovino Thomas and more

One of the main reasons to catch this wrestling drama will be the Malayalam debut of its female lead, popular Punjabi actress Wamiqa Gabbi

One of the most awaited Malayalam films of the year, Godha is finally slated to release on May 19. Jointly produced by CV Sarathi, Mukesh R Mehta and AV Anoop under their banners E4 Entertainment and AVA Productions, the film is a sports drama with wrestling in the backdrop. Godha, which marks the second directorial outing of Basil Joseph of Kunjiramayanam fame features Tovino Thomas in the male lead. The film boasts of an ensemble star cast including Renji Panicker, Aju Varghese, Maala Parvathi, Hareesh Perumanna, Mammukoya and Sreejith Ravi. The music of the film has been composed by Shaan Rahman.

However, one of the main reasons to catch this wrestling drama will be the Malayalam debut of its female lead, popular Punjabi actress Wamiqa Gabbi, who made waves in South film industry with the 2015 Telugu film Bhale Manchi Roju and with Tamil film Maalai Naerathu Mayakkam in 2016. Wamiqa will be seen portraying the role of a Punjabi wrestler Adithi Singh. Godha tells the story of an independent, free-spirited Punjabi girl who accidentally lands up in Kerala and achieves her ambitions. Wamiqa had already ventured in Bollywood with Sixteen. Apart from her work in cinema, she is popular for her Instagram dubsmash videos.

While Godha is just three days away from its theatrical release, Wamiqa had an exclusive talk with InUth.


Welcome to the Malayalam film industry Wamiqa. Tell us how you bagged the lead role of Adithi Singh in Godha?
Thank you. The makers had decided to cast me after watching my work in my Tamil film Maalai Naerathu Mayakkam. One fine day, I got a call from director Basil Joseph and he told me that he is interested in casting me as Adithi Singh. He had a meeting with Godha producer CV Sarathi Sir, who suggested my name for the role. The moment I heard the script I said, “Let’s do it.” Also, I was looking to work in Malayalam film industry.

Tell us about your role, Adithi Singh?
Adithi Singh is kind of real me. There are a lot of similarities between Adithi Singh and the real me. I’m a Punjabi girl and Adithi Singh is also a Punjabi girl. Adithi beats up troublemakers and I used to scare the life out of guys who tried to act funny with me when I was in college. I’m happy that the role of Adithi Singh is offered to me.

Being a Punjabi girl, do you think it was not much of a challenge for you to slip into the character?
No! In fact, apart from the Punjabi girl label, rest everything was challenging for me. I had to train wrestling for one month. During the film shoot, I got many bruises on my hands, thighs and legs from all the punches, pushes and the abrasions from the sand. However, it was totally worth it as I had the opportunity to learn the real wrestling for Godha.

Wamiqa Gabbi, Godha

Wamiqa Gabbi in Godha

Godha producer, CV Sarathi recently stated that the film was announced in July 2015, but he need to wait until April 2016 to get the perfect heroine to essay the main lead cast of Adithi Singh. He also added that post-Godha release, you will be the talking point of entire South India. How do you see this comment?
I’m really grateful to Sarathi sir for his comments. He was always very sweet and motivational with me. From day one, he has been very supportive to me. I was treated with so much care from him throughout the entire film shoot.

How was your experience working in Malayalam film industry?
Malayalam film industry is known for quality and content based films. Malayalam film industry produces content driven films and in Kerala. There’s a large base of audience that appreciate such films. It’s amazing that how everyone here is passionate about the cinema. I’m glad that Godha is one among those films. Thanks to Godha, I have made two good friends in Kerala, Basil and Tovino. I can always approach them if I need any help in Kerala. Basil taught me few Malayalam words as well.

Basil Joseph recently told InUth that the stunts performed by Wamiqa in Godha will definitely inspire many girls to learn the self-defense techniques and live their life with confidence. Are you feeling the same?
Even if one girl is inspired with my stunts in Godha, it means a lot to me. Audience appreciation matters the most for any actor. Godha is one film I will always be proud to be a part of. I’m thankful to both Basil and Sarathi sir for this film.

Wamiqa Gabbi, Godha

Wamiqa Gabbi in Godha

How was your training for Godha? Tell us about it.
I had one-month training in Punjab. After that, I went to Kerala to work on my wrestling skills with popular Kerala wrestler Minnal George Sir. I used to practice wrestling on the film sets and terraces of the hotels, etc. Like I said earlier, I got many bruises on my hands and legs during the filming of Godha. But everything turned out good since I was treated with a lot of support and care from everyone, especially during the entire action sequences. Besides the wrestling training, I used to go to gym regularly to work on my shoulders, legs and arms to look more like a Punjabi wrestler.

Apart from Malayalam, you have acted in Tamil and Telugu films. Which South Indian language has been toughest for you?
Going by my character in the film, Adithi Singh was from Punjab, and therefore, I didn’t need to learn Malayalam for Godha. But I think as an actor, we should not be worried about the language. I believe cinema has no language. Understanding the script is important, not the language. I’m a Punjabi girl and Godha is my third South Indian film.

Wamiqa Gabbi Maalai, Naerathu Mayakkam

Wamiqa Gabbi in Maalai Naerathu Mayakkam

Godha was earlier scheduled to release on May 12. But now, the film is releasing on May 19th. Were you disappointed with the sudden change in release date?
Not at all! In fact, it was a wise move from the makers to postpone the film by one week. I heard Baahubali 2 is doing exceptionally well in Kerala as well. And like Basil said, films like Baahubali 2 should get the reach it deserves and everyone should watch it, too. So pushing the release date of Godha to May 19th was a better move as the film will now have a wider release in Kerala.

A post shared by Wamiqa Gabbi (@wamiqagabbi) on

You are also known for making terrific Dubsmash videos as well. Do you think it helps to figure out the funny bones in you?
A big YES!

Will you do more Malayalam films?
If I get challenging roles like Adithi Singh in Godha, I’ll be more than happy to work in Malayalam films. I want to be a part of good films where I can showcase my talent and acting skills.

Wamiqa Gabbi, Godha

Wamiqa Gabbi with Godha team

Tell us about your upcoming films, will you?
I have just completed my Punjabi film Nikka Zaildar. And I have signed my second Tamil film with Maaya director Ashwin Saravanan’s Iravaakaalam opposite S.J.Suryah.