The makers of Kangana Ranaut’s forthcoming film, Thalaivi (a biopic on former Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalitha), directed by A.L. Vijay, has roped in actor Prakash Raj to play the role of Karunanidhi, the DMK leader who was also chief minister of Tamil Nadu.
Says the film’s producer who reiterates that Karunanidhi’s character in the film will be shown as it was in real life— his fallout with MGR and later how things got worse with Jayalalitha.
When Prakash Raj was approached for the part, the actor was delighted. “He also reminded us that he played Karunanidhi 22 years back in the Mani Ratnam directorial Iruvar (1997),” says the film’s producer Vishnu Induri. Also, director Vijay and Prakash Raj share a close bond.
“Both of them know each other well, and that worked big time for us,” reveals Vishnu who adds that he needed a performer to reprise the legendary politician.
“Karunanidhi sir is a legend and there’s a great aura that surrounds him. So we needed an actor with great screen presence to reprise him. Who else, than Prakash Raj? We just couldn’t think of any other name.”
The filmmakers wanted to stay true to Karunanidhi’s real-life character to depict him on-screen. “Why will we mess it?” questions Vishnu, adding that such an iconic role has to be dealt with great deal of consideration.
When asked whether Prakash Raj’s role will feature grey shades — because he and Jayalalitha were die hard enemies — the producer comments, “We are only recreating history, will not tamper it. Karunanidhi and MGR were best friends initially, but later things took a different turn according to the political scenario. So we will show Prakash Raj exactly like how Karunanidhi’s life was.”
So viewers can expect to see both sides of Karunanidhi — when he was friends with MGR and how later they became political rivals and with Jayalalitha, an enemy.
The actor is expected to join the sets from January 2020....