Kaala actress Easwari Rao on working with Rajinikanth: I feared I might end up playing his mother

Haricharan Pudipeddi

Jun 05, 2018 12:13:21 IST

Forty four-year-old Easwari Rao, who started her career as a heroine nearly two decades ago, is best known for her character roles through which she earned a name for herself over the last few years. In 2017, she was seen playing a mother to actors such as Nani and Varun Tej in films such as Nenu Local and Mister respectively. As she awaits the release of Rajinikanth-starrer Kaala, in which she is paired with superstar Rajinikanth, she opens up in this chat with Firstpost about how she landed the opportunity out of the blue, working with Rajinikanth and why she feared she might end up playing mother to the 67-year-old star.

Easwari Rao. Twitter

Easwari Rao. Twitter

Like many, even Easwari was surprised when she was signed for Kaala. “When I got a call from director Ranjith’s office, I wasn’t quite surprised to be honest. They told me they wanted me for a role but didn’t tell me about the character. For weeks, I kept asking about the character but I wasn’t told. I feared I might be asked to play Rajinikanth’s mother,” she laughs. But when she was finally called and informed that she would play Rajinikanth’s wife, she could not believe her ears. “I was in a state of shock. More than me, my children were really happy for me as they are die-hard fans of Rajini sir.”

Recalling her first interaction with Rajinikanth on the sets of the film, she said that the superstar greeted her in Telugu. “He knew I’m Telugu so when I met him for the first time, he stood up and spoke to me in Telugu. I was quite touched by his gesture,” said Easwari, who said she plays a very strong character in the film slated to hit the screens worldwide on 7 June in Tamil, Hindi and Telugu. “Unlike most wife roles, I don’t just come for a few scenes and then disappear. It’s a substantial role but I can’t divulge too much as I’ve been strictly instructed not to talk about my character.” Going by the visuals of the trailer, it looks like Rajinikanth and Easwari hit it off quite well as a pair. “The whole credit goes to Ranjith. He ensured that all the characters appear real and that there’s nothing artificial about their performances.”

Easwari, who was drawn to the project because of her deglamorised role, is all praise for Ranjith and his vision. “I was stunned by his clarity of vision. He knows exactly what he wants. I’ve worked with many directors over the years but I haven’t seen this kind of clarity.” Talking about playing a deglamorised character, she said it was something she thoroughly enjoyed essaying. “When I was signed, the first instruction I received was that I should forget going to the beauty parlour for the next few months. I’m quite dusky and Ranjith wanted me to get even darker. I used to stand in the sun for a while daily to get tanned. I was attracted to the project because it was a deglamorised role.”

Talking more about the project, Easwari said that Kaala talks about the problems faced by ordinary people. “The film presents most characters as ordinary people and their fight for their rights. There’s something quite powerful about playing them on screen. The film’s powerful theme was one of the reasons why I was fascinated by the project.”

Kaala also stars Nana Patekar, Huma Qureshi, Anjali Patil and Samuthirakani in important roles. Easwari admits Kaala is one of those rare opportunities where she got to work with stars from multiple industries. “I don’t know if I’ll ever get to work in Bollywood. I’m glad Kaala gave me the opportunity to work with popular Bollywood actors.”

(Also read — Rajinikanth on working with son-in-law Dhanush: I had my doubts about him pulling off a film like Kaala)

Updated Date: Jun 05, 2018 12:13:21 IST