No one better than Kangana Ranaut to play madam Jayalalithaa: Thalaivi director

(Smiles) In Bollywood, whoever finances a film decides when it will be released. Thalaivi, which will be released in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu, traces the life of madam Jayalalithaa, between 1965 and 1991. Without his contribution, Thalaivi would not have been what it is today. During the interview with Simi Garewal, Jayalalithaa had said she doesn’t want her life to be made into a film. Why did you zero in on June 26 as the release date? She is a proven star. A good biopic requires a perfect blend between the subject and the actor portraying them, as well as a director with a good sense of drama and script. Also, I believe every film is destined and attracts what it requires subconsciously. To be honest, I didn’t want to watch it completely. Kangana in and as #Thalaivi … without any prosthetics or any special effets Kangana looks like Jaya Amma, shocking, determination can make anything happen #Thalaivi
— Rangoli Chandel (@Rangoli_A) February 24, 2020
Has Thalaivi come out the same way that you envisioned? We have captured the significant ones. Thank you! For instance, an incident that happened may have different perspectives, and I should know of everything. The film holds many more surprises. I started to write around July 2018 and got my first draft ready by February 2019. It’s amazing how Arvind Swami nailed the look of MGR in the teaser, which was unveiled last month. They still adore her for the person she was. She stood up stronger after every time she was defeated. 📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Of course, not everything can be shown in two-and-a-half hours. As a team, we are aware that screen adaptations of the lives of the famous tread a fine line—what and what not to show. We talked so much. Films like Iruvar are a huge inspiration for me to direct Thalaivi. Our biopic intends to celebrate madam Jayalalithaa. From Gautham Menon’s interviews, I understand the web series was a fictional take on madam Jayalalithaa’s life. Right from the costumes to the hair-do Arvind Swami was sporting, everything was handpicked. (Photo: Rangoli Chandel/Twitter)
Director Vijay considers Thalaivi, the official biopic on former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Jayalalithaa, as the most important film in his career. Likewise, Thalaivi has something for everybody. We have recreated this in Thalaivi, besides two MGR-Jayalalithaa songs. At the same time, we aim to give a good cinematic experience to the audience. Perhaps, if you ask my producers, you will get an answer. They are a win-win situation for artistes as they provide a golden opportunity to showcase their acting skills. She put on 10 kilos for Thalaivi, and someone of her stature need not have done this. She is a director’s delight, and I have never seen a dedicated actor like her. Many are doubtful if Kangana Ranaut can pull off Jayalalithaa’s character convincingly. The film is written by KV Vijayendra Prasad sir, who penned Baahubali and Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi. Give her anything, she aces it—emotional scenes or Bharatanatyam steps. Is that what you think? It is too soon to pass judgement. Thanks to Vijayendra Prasad sir, who was instrumental in bringing Kangana Ranaut on board. Kangana equally had an idea of how her character should be. Third, I made sure my product should not sound like a documentary. I enjoyed working with him. It is humongous. Producers believe in the content, and so do I as a filmmaker. They are familiar with madam Jayalalithaa and her life. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
For all the latest Entertainment News, download Indian Express App. She endured so much pain as a woman. For those who have known our former Chief Minister, Thalaivi will be a nostalgic moment. The idea was to recreate “Naan Ungal Veettu Pillai” song from Pudhiya Boomi (1968). I beg to differ. I am eternally grateful to J Deepak, nephew of madam Jayalalithaa, who has given us the ‘green signal’. But biopics tend to glorify the well-known personality on whom it is based. © IE Online Media Services Pvt Ltd



Kangana Ranaut Till now, I would have made 30-35 drafts. The whole process took more than a year. For example, in 1980, when MGR became the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, there was a huge meeting on Mount Road, and one lakh people had gathered for the same. (Pauses) This is a tough question, indeed. (Smiles)

Did you watch Gautham Menon’s web series Queen? I caught three episodes, barring another featuring Indrajith Sukumaran. First, I decided the style of narrative I wanted to incorporate. (Laughs) But I quite liked Anikha Surendran’s performance. I am happy it got an overwhelming response. Every day, before shooting, I visit the temple. A legend like her needs no glorification. I don’t know what to say. There were trolls on social media. Kangana is not someone who can be described by one adjective. (Laughs) I request the audience to come with an open mind and see madam Jayalalithaa in Kangana. She was an inspiration. But the date has nothing to do with madam Jayalalithaa’s life whatsoever. That is what I wanted, too. How did you choose the portions of Jayalalithaa’s life you wanted to recreate? Avunga lady Aamir Khan! She was a warrior woman, and her story deserves to be told. Tell us about the research work that you put in for Thalaivi. Biopics are tricky to handle because you know you have a big audience to satisfy. Madam Jayalalithaa is what she was. Also Read | Queen review: A fascinating watch
All biopics promise to tell “the truth” about respective subjects. In Thalaivi, we are telling the real story of a person. (Pauses) No one is better than Kangana Ranaut to play madam Jayalalithaa, trust me. From Arignar Anna, Kalaignar Karunanidhi to Sobhan Babu, our biopic has it all. Written by S Subhakeerthana
| Chennai |

Updated: February 24, 2020 10:09:55 am

Jayalalithaa bioipic Thalaivi, starring Kangana Ranaut in the lead role, will hit screens on June 26. I believe the intention is the ultimate key. “It is not pressurising, but I consider this as a huge responsibility,” Vijay smiles, quickly adding, “What we attempt, that too, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Generally, I am not overconfident, but for some reason, I believe Thalaivi will work because people can connect with what is happening on the screen. And for the new generation, a revelation. So far, it has been a fantastic and positive journey. Absolutely. Half the battle was won when Kangana stepped into madam Jayalalithaa’s shoes. Tell us about your approach towards Thalaivi. I loved the Baahubali franchise because it had everything a film should have. For six months, I spent time at his Hyderabad residence discussing madam Jayalalithaa. Enga adhoda influence vandhrumo-nu bayam! And, we have given our 100 per cent. She didn’t want to mimic madam Jayalalithaa. We were particular that we retain the look and feel of the MGR-starrer (in black and white). Thalaivi provides insights into madam Jayalalithaa’s eventful life – both as an actor and a politician. Further, she led her life with so much dignity. We are striving to make our film as authentic as possible.”
Excerpts from a conversation:
Biopics are not always objective. Moreover, to make viewing more interesting, we have not tweaked the facts. Don’t you think it is easier putting together a good biopic about a controversial figure who is no more? Second, I made sure the information I collected was factually correct.