For a love story to be successful, it is important that both the hero and heroine leave a lasting impact with their performances. Though last week’s release, Pariyerum Perumal talks about a lot of things, it has a strong undercurrent of romance, and both Kathir, in the titular role, and ‘Kayal’ Anandhi as Jothimahalakshmi aka Jo have cemented their place in the audience’s hearts.
Anandhi, who made her Tamil debut in the 2014 Prabhu Solomon film, Kayal, says that though she is happy that the Tamil cinema audience still calls her Kayal and consider her as one of their own, Pariyerum Perumal will give her a new identity. “I strongly believe people will now start calling me ‘Jo’ Anandhi.” She adds that Jo has been the most relatable character she’s played in her career. “It’s a role based on a real-life person and I liked the challenge of giving life to the character.”
Pariyerum Perumal features many non-actors in the supporting cast, and Anandhi believes that director Mari Selvaraj’s narration of the character and the backstory of Jo helped improve her performance in the film. “While shooting for the film, I would sit in the classroom the whole day, spending time with my classmates in the film by playing games like tic-tac-toe. This helped my performance feel more real and natural. I lived the character of Jo during the 47 days of shoot,” says the actor, who also praises her co-stars Kathir and Yogi Babu for their intense and natural acting in the film.
Talking about first-time filmmaker Mari Selvaraj’s style of directing, she says, “He was so confident in the way he handled the people and crowds in this film. He is very sensible and knew exactly what he wanted from the cast and crew.”
Anandhi reveals that apart from the strong content in Selvaraj’s script, the other factors that influenced her decision to accept the film was the involvement of Pa Ranjith, who bankrolled the project under his Neelam Productions banner, and the fact that Selvaraj was director Ram’s assistant.
Reiterating her preference for intense roles over run-of-the-mill commercial heroines, Anandhi says, “It is tough for me to portray cinematic love, which has a lot of dramatised expressions. It doesn’t come naturally to me. It is realistic films like Pariyerum Perumal that I can relate to.”