you worked with Pa. Vijay before?
Yes, he has written lyrics
for my serial Kalki. I know him well but with
this film we will have more time to interact.
Pa Vijay is a very intelligent and soft-spoken
guy. All people on the creative side have some
kind of unique streak of excellence in them
which I think Pa. Vijay has. I am really looking
forward to working with him.
Pa Vijay is a very intelligent and
There has been
quite a long gap since your previous film. Any particular
I cut down on films drastically once I got married.
Actually, in the last 10 years of my career, I have
done hardly 4 or 5 films. Firstly, I need lot of time
for my family and so I can’t travel too much
outdoors. I don’t work after 6 if I shoot locally
and don’t work on Sundays. Since I have these
restrictions, TV is fine because most of the time
it is my own production, so by the time I reach the
location with makeup its 9.30 or 10. The timings are
we went beyond the director-
hear you will be working with Amitabh shortly.
How did you get this opportunity?
Mad Dad is directed by Revathy Varma who had directed
June R. We have worked together earlier and remained
in touch but we went beyond the director-actor
relationship. She had shared lot of feelings with
me and vice versa. We have a good comfort level.
So when this film came up, she said, I am sending
you a script, just go through it. When she spoke
to me, I read it and I found it really good. I
said I will do it but what about the other stars,
and she said Mr Bachchan would be playing the
lead. The script is finalized and we are waiting
for Mr.Bacchan’s dates and will start before
the end of the year hopefully.
Can you tell us
more about your role?
I play Mr. Bachchan’s wife; it’s a very
cute and lovable role. I don’t want to say too
much as I will then have to explain my character and
How is it working
Like I said, Revathy and I never maintained just an
artiste director relationship. We are friends and have
a comfort level. She had some personal upheavals in
life and we had discussed that and I have been supportive
to her. Its more than a cordial relationship, we share
a wonderful relationship.
Is this the first
time you will be sharing screen space with Amitabh?
I have done three films with him as a child artiste.
Can you tell us
something about the experience?
For me Amitabh Bachchan is the icon. If you ask me who
my favorite star is, it’s Bachchan. I have been
a typical Mumbai girl who grew up seeing Bachchan all
over. I have done films with Amitji when I was very
young. I remember going to Kashmir and Amitji taking
us for a jeep ride and buying us puris, dahi and kachumbers.
I have very wonderful memories. I still remember there
was only one hotel that had a pool in Kashmir. Sometimes
Shweta and Abhishek would drop in on the sets but we
have lost touch completely. Even when I was very young,
I used to tell Mr. Bachchan I wanted to act with him.
But he would look at me and show me his palm and say,
if I give you a tight slap across your face you will
be alright. You’re just as old as my Shweta so
don’t even think about that. But times have changed
now and I am really excited.
Tell us about your
work in television?
Jackpot is the longest running show for me, we have
been doing the show for 8 years and it has created history
in Indian television as it’s a game show that
has run non-stop. We have shot over 400 episodes for
the same channel, same producers and the same sponsors.
It’s really amazing and still going strong. It’s
really close to my heart. I did Maanada Mayilaada for
three seasons continuously and that is a wonderful experience.
I am doing Poova Thalaya, a talk show for Kalaignar
TV. I am also going to start a new show for Vijay
TV Azhagiya Tamil Magan which will be a very fun-loving
show. It will give me scope to be myself, full of
laughter and banter. I am starting a news serial for
Jaya TV and as of now my hands are full. I am also
doing Ponnar Shankar with Prashanth and Jairam as
my pair. That film shoot is like a picnic spot for
us, we look forward to it and it stars Jairam, Prashanth,
Nasser, Sneha, Prakashraj, Riyaz and a lot of other
artistes. We all are like people traveling for a picnic,
gossiping, pulling each other’s legs. It’s
a nice atmosphere because of late there is the growth
of the caravan culture where after each shot people
go back in or sit in a corner with a book. We are
not doing that, instead we are sitting together and
laughing out loud. It’s real fun.
As an actress
you have a script but on TV it calls for a lot more
spontaneity. Did you find it difficult to manage the
I am an extrovert and expressive person and like to
express my emotions whatever they may be. I work on
spontaneity. All my performances have always been
spontaneous. I have never gone and done homework and
then come and worked on them. I was a spontaneous
actor. All my shows are spontaneous and the spunk
shows bring down the morale of contestants. Since
you are doing reality shows too, don’t you feel
the criticism pulls down contestants and is negative?
The reason for the success of Maanada Mayilaada is
that none of the judges ever brought down the confidence
and morale of contestants. We have pointed out flaws
and mistakes but always encouraged them in a way saying
that, you are wrong but you can be better, you can
improve. Where we have pointed out they were wrong,
they have in many cases come back with the same performances
and taken away the Best Performance Award. It’s
always important how the judges on any reality shows
relate to participants.
Tell us about
your production house?
We are silent workers. We have a movie which is on
the floors. We have not publicized yet but it’s
almost complete, just the songs to be done. It’s
called Nagaram directed by Sundar C who is also acting
as the hero besides featuring Vadivelu and Anuya.
you waiting for your husband’s films to
I really don’t know.
I am a very laid-back wife. I don’t interfere
with his work, I don’t know what production
he is doing, what the script is, who plays the
lead and other actors. Absolutely clueless!
Guru Sishyan and Vaada are to release but I
don’t know which will release first.
I am a very laid-back wife
How did your
family react when this controversy on your comments
on pre-marital sex broke out? Did it affect your kids
in any way?
They are very young, one is 4 ½ and the older
one 9. So 5 years back, they were too young to even
react to it. My husband and I never discuss these things
and problems before the kids. That way it has been very
smooth for our children.
How did you
feel when you got to know about the Supreme Court
I was really glad. I was really excited because my lawyer
called me when I was in London. It was early morning
around 6 and I was fast asleep. She woke me up and she
said, we have made it, we have won the battle. I was
very excited and the first thing I did was to call Sundar
and tell him that we have won the cases. More than me,
I think he was more excited, I could feel the excitement
in him. He was overjoyed and was shouting. People who
know him understand that he is an introvert and not
a person who can easily show his emotions. But this
was one moment, where he was calling up people his friends
and others telling them that she has won it.
I am too busy to react
do you handle the controversies that keep cropping
up? Like the one where you were allegedly wore
footwear near a deity. How do you react?
I don’t even react; I am too busy to react.
First of all, it was not a temple, it was a set.
The model of the deity was 10 to 15 feet behind
me and this gives a 3-D effect when you are on
the stage especially, I was not the only one,
even the person who built the set was walking
around with chappals on. We saw him going around
in chappals and doing the set work. People just
wanted to create an unwanted issue.
In Rettai Suzhi,
they have a character called Khushboo who gets into
trouble when she talks. How do you react to that?
I have not seen the film so until I see the film, I
won’t be able to react to it. I have known Thamira
for long and know that he won’t do anything to
bring any kind of pain to me. The actors in the film
are both directors who have the highest regards in the
film industry from me also. And I have worked with both
the directors Bharathiraja sir and Balachander Sir and
both are very fond of me. So I am sure they would not
allow anything that shows me even remotely in bad light.
What has been
the reaction of the average woman to these controversies?
Well, even the women who came as demonstrators were
clueless about what they had against me when questioned.
They said they were asked to raise slogans and were
promised biriyani and Rs.100 for that, and that’s
all they knew! When I went to surrender myself most
of the women who had gathered said they came to see
me and not to protest, Women have been very supportive.
The moment my flight landed, the staff congratulated
me, and other people also did. I have been receiving
numerous mails and messages from even absolute strangers
telling me it is their victory; they have won the
battle and applauding me for standing by what I said.