In conversation with Priyamani

Jun 27, 2008 Mythili Ramachandran

Priyamani won the national award this year for 'Best actress' for her role in Paruthiveeran. A model since her college days, Priyamani was spotted by Bharatiraja and subsequently cast in his film, 'Kangalal Kaithi Sei.'

Six films old, Priyamani's films include Balu Mahendra's 'Adhu Oru Kanakalam,' and 'Malaikottai,' in Tamil and her debut Malayalam film, 'Sathyam' opposite Prithviraj.

Her role in Paruthiveeran, that of an unglamourous Muthazhagu has left an indelible mark in her career. In a telephonic interview, Priyamani looks back on her career.

An award early in your career must be wonderful. Tell us about one difficult scene in 'Paruthiveeran.'

It was not just one scene that I had to work hard on. The entire film called for hard work. We all had to sweat it out in situations where there was no shade, shooting in the open fields. Director Ameer wanted us to get that tired look.

How did Paruthiveeran happen?

I was on way to my home in Bangalore when I got this call from Ameer sir's office asking me to accompany them to Theni for a photo shoot. I was not aware of the story line then and even after the photo shoot I did not know that I was in the film. I was in Ooty for the shooting of 'Madhu' when my friends from Chennai called me up to say that I was in Paruthiveeran. Of course I was happy.

Do tell us about a few memorable moments during the shoot of 'Paruthiveeran.'

The entire film was hard work and fun. The shooting of the film commenced with the song sequence of 'Iayyayo,' with Karthik and me.This is a film that will remain close to the heart of all the members of the team.

How was it working with Ameer?

He is a fantastic director to work with and a perfectionist. He visualises a scene and till he gets it right he will call for retakes. This was my first film, where I dubbed for myself. I had to speak Madurai slang and Ameer guided me throughout, standing next to me and correcting my mistakes. Thankyou sir.

How was it working with Karthik?

He is an amazing co-star and I felt comfortable working with him. His dedication is remarkable. If Ameer sir asked him to run for an hour in order to get the tired look, Karthik would do just that. When I saw the film on screen, I was taken aback by his performance. Effortlessly he had executed every scene, be it comedy or a heavy one.

What are the projects you are currently working on?

I am working on a Telegu film, untitled yet. And we have shot some scenes for director Kumaravel's 'Ninaithaley Inikkum,' a remake of the Malayalam hit, 'Classmates.' I play Kavya Madhavan's role in it. Another film is director Ranjit's 'Thirakkatha,' opposite Prithviraj.

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