Jayalalitha – Acting more drudgery than glamour – From Vamanan’s film archives

Posted: August 5, 2012 in Uncategorized
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The film correspondent of Sports India, a sports journal published from Madras, interviewed Jayalalitha in July 1970 and elicited frank responses to various questions. The interview was carried out on the sets of Sunbeams Sivaji-Jayalalithia starrer, Padhukaappu, in the famous Newtone studios. Draped for her scene in an ordinary cotton saree, she wore simple make up. Jayalalitha had wanted the questions to be written down in a piece of paper.  No sooner did she receive the questions than she began to write down the answers!

Had she had any sentimental objection to act in her very first Tamil film, Vennira Aadai, in the role of a demented widow? ”I was thrilled that I was being given swuch a challenging role”, she said.

”My entry into films was quite unexpected,” she wrote. ”After completing my matric examinations, I had attended the 100th day celebrations of the Tamil film ‘Karnan’. My mother Sandhya. who had acted in the film was suddenly asked by producer B. R. Panthulu whether she would permit me to act in his Kannada film Chinnada Gombe. I was delighted when she agreed to let me act. It was as simple as that – there was no screen test, nothing”.

In response to a question of the kind of roles she would like to play, she replied that she would play any role as long as it had ample scope for her to display her acting ability.

In response to a question on kissing scenes, she said, ”I am not for acting in such scenes. The simple reason is that it is against Indian tradition to perform such intimate ‘closed door’ acts openly . It is not done in any Indian family however modern. Such being the case, to show two people kissing in a film will appear unnatural and unrealistic”.

Commenting on the key to the success of a female artiste, she said with great emphasis, ”No one should dream of entering films unless she is prepared to dedicate every minute of her life and every drop of blood to hard work. Film work is not glamorous. It is sheer mental and physical drudgery”.

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