Kangana Ranaut reveals Jayalalithaa biopic Thalaivi will be made in two parts: First will focus on her life before politics
Kangana Ranaut says it is nerve-racking for her to play Jayalalithaa since despite the similarities, the former Tamil Nadu chief minister enjoyed a command over a lot of things.
Interacting with the media in Coimbatore for the ‘Cauvery Calling’ event, actress Kangana Ranaut opens up on her soon-to-be commenced film Thalaivi, the biopic of the late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and yesteryear Lady Superstar Jayalalithaa.
“I’m not following any shortcuts to play Jayalalithaa in Thalaivi. Currently, I’m learning Tamil, and we are also working hard to get the look right. In the first part, we are trying to capture the life of Jayalalithaa between 16 to 40," says Kangana. She adds the first part will mostly be about the early life of Jayalalithaa, how she rose to stardom in the Tamil film industry, her relationships with MG Ramachandran and Karunanidhi, and how she became the chief minister of Tamil Nadu for the first time. “Based on the reception of the first part, we will work on the second part, which would mostly talk about her political career," says the Queen actress.
When asked to explain her feeling to play an iconic leader like Jayalalithaa, Kangana says, “It’s nerve-racking. Of course, she is bold but her command over so many things is quite different from mine. She is an excellent Bharatanatyam dancer, had her education in a convent school, and spoke the Queen’s English."
Kangana recently visited the US to finalise her four different looks in Thalaivi. The actress even took prosthetic makeup tests under the supervision of famous makeup artist Jason Collins of Captain Marvel-fame.
The Tanu Weds Manu actress also praises director Vijay. “Vijay sir is the kindest person I ever met. My producer Vishnu and his wife are sensitive and nice people. Maybe this bunch is like that but in Bollywood, they (people) are a bit thick-skinned," said Kangana. "When director Vijay narrated me the script of Thalaivi, I asked him why filmmakers from the South are not approaching me. But then, Vijay reminded me that he once approached me to play the lead in one of his biggest hits," she laughs.
To be produced by Vibri Media, one of the producers of Ranveer Singh-starrer 83, GV Prakash Kumar is composing the music of Thalaivi, and Nirav Shah of 2.0-fame will handle the camera. Sources say the principal shoot of Thalaivi will commence in November, and the first schedule is likely to happen in Mysore.
Billed as a multi-lingual film in Tamil, Telugu, and Hindi, the makers initially titled the Hindi version as Jaya but Kangana told them to retain the title Thalaivi for all the three versions. Vijayendra Prasad of Baahubali-fame is jointly penning the screenplay of Thalaivi along with director Vijay, who also got a no-objection certificate from family members of Jayalalithaa.
Touted to be one of the costliest films ever produced in Kangana’s career, the makers have decided to spend over Rs 100 crores for Thalaivi to authentically recreate the period portions of the film. Meanwhile, media reports suggest names like Arvind Swamy, Madhoo, and National Award-winning actor Samuthirakani have been approached to play pivotal characters in Thalaivi but the team is yet to officially announce the list of actors associated with the film.
While the Thalaivi team is yet to commence the shoot, Gautham Menon has completed the first season of a web series based titled Queen, which is loosely based on the life of Jayalalithaa. Ramya Krishnan plays the lead role in Queen, which will be soon aired on MXPlayer. Newcomer Priyadhaarshini is also directing a biopic of Jayalalithaa, titled The Iron Lady, featuring Nithya Menen in the lead. But of late, there is no update on the progress of the film.
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