Janani Iyer had a dream debut, playing a cop in Bala’s Avan Ivan. Even today, she’s fondly addressed as Baby Amma, her character’s name in the Tamil film, by fans. Now, after Paagan with Shrikanth, and three films in Malayalam, the petite actress can’t help but be excited about her next release, Thegidi. In a chat with City Express, Janani speaks about her role and clarifies that she’s not quitting Kollywood for Mollywood.
“After Avan Ivan and Paagan, I bagged 3 Dots opposite Kunchacko Boban, in Malayalam. The movie led to more Malayalam films like Edison Photos and Mosaiyale Kudhirai. So people thought that I was packing my bags and shifting to Mollywood. But that’s not true at all,” stresses Janani. “I’m very much in Chennai and plan to continue doing Tamil films.”
So, a balancing act is on in Janani’s mind. She is currently shooting for Seventh Day, a Malayalam film opposite Prithviraj and is in talks for another Tamil film.
In the meanwhile, she’s happy to be part of Thegidi, produced by the renowned banners of Thirukumaran Entertainments and Vel Media, and to be released by Abi Studios. The film marks the entry of Pizza fame producer CV Kumar’s brother, Senthil Kumar, as a producer. Speaking about the movie, Janani says, “It’s a crime drama directed by P Ramesh and Ashok Selvan is my co-star.”
The music, by industry newbie Nivas K Prasanna, is already making waves. The film was shot in 45 days with no breaks.
Janani says, as she recalls the experience, “I play the girl-next-door who works for an IT firm. Ashok is a student of criminology. The story deals with how our lives intertwine. For me, the best part was that the shoot was in Chennai. So I could go home after work each day, unlike my earlier films. Since Ashok and I are the same age, going to work each day, felt like going to college to hangout with buddies.”
But it was not all fun and games, Janani discloses, “Initially, director Ramesh and I would have small arguments. He would ask me to take off the film-style make up and look as natural and believable as possible, with simple costumes. But I would want to add a touch a lipstick or gloss, in a vain attempt at vanity. But, soon, I understood his viewpoint and then got into character completely.”