Mumbai: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan had made her feature film debut with Mani Ratnam's 'Iruvar,' which connoisseurs and fans alike, still rate to be his best, till date.
However, interestingly enough, the lead actors Mohanlal, the then debutante Ash and Prakash Raj, had played characters inspired from MG. Ramachandran, J Jayalalithaa and M Karunanidhi, respectively.
Ash, who had a double role in the film, had been noted for her grace and poise.
While Mani had wanted to cast Mohanlal in the role of the protagonist, he wanted a debutante for the lead actress's role in the film, which also starred Tabu and Gauthami.
He, however, had a tougher time casting for the role inspired from Karunanidhi, having originally wanted Nana Patekar for the part.
He'd later approach Mammootty, Kamal Haasan, Sathyaraj, Mithun Chakraborthy, Sharathkumar etc, but all would eventually turn the role down, which would then go to the then relatively unknown Prakash Raj. The actor would go on to win the National Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Ash won immense appreciation for her portrayal of Jayalalithaa, having held her own amid such stalwart actors as Mohanlal and Prakash, went on to collaborate with Mani on multiple projects in later years.
Jayalalithaa died at the Apollo Hospitals at 11: 30 on Monday night, succumbing to complications following a cardiac arrest, plunging Tamil Nadu and her party, the AIADMK, into a political crisis.
Jayalalithaa's close aide Sasikala Natarajan performed her last rites at the MGR memorial. The MGR memorial is home to the mortal remains of Jaya's mentor and AIADMK founder M. G. Ramachandran, the man who introduced the 'puratchi thalaivi' to the world of Dravidian politics....