Chennai: Shankar, known for his highly experimental filmmaking style, is at it again. For the first time, the director is introducing a gay character in a pivotal role in his upcoming flick, Ai, which stars Vikram and Amy Jackson as protagonists.
High-profile make-up artiste, Ojas Rajani, who is behind the stylish looks of celebrities like Aishwarya Rai, Priyanka Chopra, Sridevi, Katrina Kaif and others, has bagged the role. Ojas will be playing himself, a celebrity make-up artist from Mumbai, in a character called Osma in Ai.
The film is produced by Aascar Films and Ojas’ role has much bearing on the script.
The B’town celebrity stylist is in Chennai in connection with a glitzy wedding when DC caught up with him. "My association with Shankarji began right from the days of his film, Hindustani. I did the make-up for Urmila in that film. Then I did Anniyan where I was the make-up and hair artiste for Sada. Later, Sivaji and Robo happened. Shankarji has always been fascinated with the way I work and with my character — the way I am. He used to tell me that he would cast me one day in his films," Ojas tells us.
Gays are not always portrayed in a well researched or rounded manner in films, be it Hindi or Tamil, and didn’t he have apprehensions about the role? He responds, "Shankarji’s vision is different. I do agree that in Bollywood, we are shown in a demeaning manner in films. But what Shankarji offered me was an awesome character where I play myself in a love triangle. That’s the main reason I agreed to go on board. In fact, I was brought into Ai for Amy Jackson’s styling. Incidentally, I turned an actor," Ojas says.
Ojas adds, "I designed my own wardrobe. Shankarji gave me a good budget for my clothes. Since I had worked with Vikram in Anniyan, the comfort levels were high. I wrote my dialogues in Hindi and English. Since my work involved doubling as a make up artiste for Amy, it was quite a tightrope walk."
Will his acting stint continue? "If something interesting comes up, why not?" he says with a laugh. "I am not passionate about going in front of the camera. I am happy in my own space being a celebrity make-up artiste," he ends.