Kangana Ranaut, not Vidya Balan, was first choice to play Jayalalithaa in Thalaivi, says film's producer
Thalaivi, a biopic on legendary politician J Jayalalithaa, will go on floors in October and Kangana Ranaut is set to play the former chief minister of Tamil Nadu.
It has been months since filmmaker AL Vijay announced he was helming Thalaivi, the biopic on late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK's former General Secretary Jayalalithaa. With the pre-production underway, it was further confirmed that actress Kangana Ranaut will play Jayalalithaa in the film. Despite Kangana bagging the role, conflicting rumors of her replacing Vidya Balan have surfaced on the Internet.
However, producer Saailesh, who earlier collaborated with Kangana in films such as Tanu Weds Manu, Simran and Judgementall Hai Kya, has stepped up to clear the misunderstanding and said, "As producer, I never approached her (Vidya Balan) and I can say this on the record. I know the news emerged that she was doing the film, but when our writer KV Vijayendra Prasad narrated the story to me, I felt Kangana was the right casting for the role. So as producer and Vijayendra as a writer did not approach anyone else. If anyone else before us had approached any other actress, I am not aware of that."
"With the new team of producer, director and writer, it has been mutually decided that Kangana will play Jayalalithaa," quotes Indo Asian News Service.
Earlier this year, after achieving immense success with her directorial debut Manikarnika, Kangana announced a film based on her own life. However, in an interview to Firstpost, the Queen actress clarified that she will willingly but her project on back burner to play the Tamil Nadu leader. She said, "I am honored to be doing this film. I feel that we do not have a direct relationship with Tamil and Telugu speaking audience, so I would definitely want to have a strong bond all across India. It's my endeavor to connect with that audience with such an empowered role. She [Jayalalithaa] was a big legend there. Her story is very similar to mine, so I put my biopic on the back-burner."
The biopic is a Tamil-Hindi bilingual project and will likely star Sai Pallavi and Samuthirakani in prominent roles.
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