40 years of Jayasudha’s Lakshmana Rekha

The actress had made her debut as a heroine with this film at just 16

Jayasudha’s first film as a lead actress, Lakshmana Rekha, completes 40 years this year. Talking about the film, director N. Gopalakrishna says, “I had worked as an associate director to K. Viswanath, Yoganand and Kamalakara Kameswara Rao. Lakshmana Rekha was my first film as director.

“At that time, I knew many top actresses like Vanisri, Lakshmi, Bharathi, Kanchana and others, and I wanted to cast one of them in my debut film as the subject revolved around a woman. But they were all busy and I decided to go for a new face.”

Before being signed on for the film, Jayasudha had played a small role in Nomu. “I watched the film and I thought that she would fit my role. So I approached Jayasudha’s parents, but they were surprised as they thought that she was very young to play a lead actress. Later, they agreed,” says Gopalakrishna.

Jayasudha was just 16 at that time and the director wanted an innocent face. Gopalakrishna says he narrated the story to her and guided her throughout.

“There was no training, we just did some rehearsals before shooting,” says the director. The story revolved around Jayasudha and veteran actor of that time Gummadi, who played a judge.

“I introduced Jayasudha to Gummadi and he expressed his doubts whether she could carry it off. I told him that she would and though he was not satisfied, he agreed,” says Gopalakrishna.

N.T. Rama Rao had attended the film’s launch as chief guest. He was shooting for Lakshmi Kataksham and had attended the launch in that get-up.

Those days, other producers and directors would see parts of ongoing films. “There was positive talk in the industry about my film and many people showed an interest to see it. I completed six reels and Ramanaidu and Balachander saw the rushes of my film. Before my film was complete, Jayasudha signed three to four films and she became busy,” says Gopalakrishna.

“In a short time, Jayasudha became so busy that we had to shoot our film in the nights. Gummadi was upset with the night shoots but I pacified him and we completed the shoot,” he says.

“The film’s business was done before it was complete and after release, it ran successfully,” he says.

The film became a stepping stone in Jayasudha’s career and launched her as one of the best actresses in South Indian cinema.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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