Kangana Ranaut rarely breaks the character. It doesn't matter if she has a camera or not.
We find an ornate kangana recently conferred by the Indian government with Padma Shri and sitting alone on a plastic chair on the set of her upcoming trilingual exhibition. Thalaivi,
The crew took a short break to rearrange the camera positions for the next shot. Kangana, who has an assistant to the company, does not go back to her van like most artists and instead stays there. It is consumed in a separate world; Her hands slide in a symmetrical rhythm as she traces the steps she had just learned from the dance choreographer Gayathri Raguram.
Represent an icon
It's unusual to find the Bollywood star in Chennai, however Thalaivi documents the life and times of the late Prime Minister of Tamil Nadu, J Jayalalithaa, and documents their transition from film star to politician. So Kangana has no better place than Chennai to bring the political icon back to life on the big screen.
That day, however, the crew films a dance performance that requires the non-natural dancing kangana to leave its comfort zone, but it appears to be well prepared.
"I did a lot of research [to play Jayalalithaa]"Says the actress with a smile as she sits in the middle of this conversation.
A few months ago, Kangana was training in classical dance to prepare for this moment.
This is one of the cases where an actor does everything he can to refine his craft, even if it's something that only takes a few minutes of the film's duration. Maybe that's why when asked about her, Vijay tells us that Kangana is "a director".
“I think the director is my best friend on the set. I don't feel like I need to be driven around like a cattle. Most actors have to get them off the net [vanity] van, but I am not I am at the director's disposal, so I look like a totally involved person, ”she notes.
Your involvement as it affects Thalaivi Goes beyond it. She has significantly refreshed her knowledge of Jayalalithaa.
"When she was humiliated in the state assembly and said that she would return as prime minister … I think that was an extremely powerful moment in her life. Until then, she was in the shadow of MGR and never revealed her own political aspirations. But that was a very crucial moment, because if she had been beaten and humiliated in the world of a man as a woman, everyone would have lost her trust. It is very powerful for them to show the kind of character strength under these circumstances, ”she adds.
When the offer to play Jayalalithaa came up, Kangana said that she felt "it was intimidating".
"She (Jayalalithaa) was a different kind of actor. She wasn't like me. She was more of a glam star … someone like an Aishwarya Rai in Bollywood. It was a very big challenge to fit in these shoes because I am not known as a glam star, ”she says.
However, there is a common thread.
"I have the feeling that there are similarities. She was a very reserved actress. It is the same with me. I never wanted to be an actor, so we became very unusual actors. I think she always felt that she was worth a lot more than just being a glamorous doll [in films]and she became a politician. For example, how I became a filmmaker because I felt that being an actress was very restrictive for me. So I think there are parallels, ”she notes.
There is one aspect that she thinks that goes beyond the mere parallel in her life.
"I think she (Jayalalithaa) longed for a family like any woman and she longed for a child. I think there was a time in my life when I longed for a family. I think some of the married people took advantage of that … especially married actors … I'm not going to reveal who. There are scenes [in this film] with an actor who is married and who promises marriage and then uses his word. She has to face a lot of public humiliations. I think that happens to a lot of young actresses. It's not something that only we share, ”she says.
The right opportunity
However, when the first look at the film was revealed, there was concern that the younger Kangana would be able to pull off the older Jayalalithaa in the film.
Kangana explains: “They (production) assured me that the film would end when she became prime minister for the first time. I think she was about 40 years old (Jayalalithaa was 43 when she started her first term in 1991) and I am 32 years old. But I weighed [the pros and cons], I decided it was an opportunity and if it is done well it can be very exciting, ”she adds.
Thalaivi marks her return to Tamil cinema after a break of 12 years after work Dhaam Dhoom (2008) with Jayam Ravi.
Will she be open to more Tamil films? “Right now I want to do the kind of scripts I do in Bollywood in Tamil. But I don't want heroes to play the second violin. It's very common in the south and even in Mumbai, "she says, adding," I don't do it, even if it's big khan or kapoor. I will not do that. If I make another Tamil film, it has to be an exciting character. "