After team “RRR” won the Golden Globe Award for the best original song, “Aashiqui” fame actor Anu Aggarwal congratulated them for their big win and recalled the time when she was working on the Tamil movie “Thiruda Thiruda”. She played the role of Chandralekha in the Mani Ratnam directorial.
“In the wake of ‘RRR’ popularity and congratulating the team I remember I was one of the first Bollywood lead actors to be cast by a south director, Mani Ratnam, in 1992-93. I played a totally different character of an underworld queen, Chandralekha, in the film. In fact, there was a song about the beauty of Chandralekha like some old depictions of goddesses in our ancient spiritual literature and I danced down incredible moves. I was pitted against two boys and there were elephant chases, a lot of running, and escape which to me was amazing fun. I shot with a leopard, did out-of-the-box kind of stuff, and ended up thanking my stars for having had the opportunity to work with Mani Ratnam who did an unbelievable amount of preparation months before we even started shooting. I was impressed with his and the entire team’s dedication to produce a film unmatched,” she said.
“In fact, I remember when we were shooting Chandralekha, and Konjam Nilavu song the choreographer had exclaimed ‘She, Anu can dance!’ That’s when I realised they had the idea that ‘Bollywood actresses can’t dance’. Also they saw me punctual, and even after a couple accidents I had landed on set to shoot. I used to learn Tamil late at night when we weren’t shooting, and went to set early in the morning, as scenes of my close ups were done at sunrise. It was a joy. I hit it off fabulously well with the Director and the entire crew, and they laughed at my Camel cigarettes, or that I traveled alone and my mother didn’t accompany me to the shooting, and then started fondly laughing and saying ‘well that’s Anu’. They adored me. There was a big gap between the south and north films then. The honcho South Indian big movie houses were reluctant, they didn’t think much of Bollywood actors. Subsequently more actors from Bollywood started to be signed and the trend continues in a big way today. Today it is a privilege to be cast by one of the leading directors down south, for instance even RRR has Alia Bhatt and Mani Ratnam has cast Aishwarya Rai Bachchan,” she added.
Appreciating team RRR and the movie, she said, “I chanced upon RRR on Netflix last month and was astounded at the craftsmanship and the full energy feel of the film whose roots show they are so beautifully Indian.”
So are you open to working in films from the South? “I am open to working with anybody who is plunging into making unforgettable cinema, and that includes all such movies whether they are in the South or North,” Anu concluded.