She has carved a niche for herself as an ‘on screen mother’ to several leading actors. Meet Janaki Sabesh whose second Singam outing is on the cards
Janaki Sabesh bagged the role of a mother in Jeans fifteen years ago. Over the years, she has played mother to Aishwarya Rai, Ajit, Jyothika, Madhavan, Vijay, Siddharth, Sada, Priya Anand and many others. And she is as charming as she was in her debut flick. Once again, she will be seen essaying the mother’s role in director Hari’s Singam II.
Ask her what the secret of her evergreen beauty is, and the unassuming actor laughs, “Staying beautiful is all in the mind. I am happy and positive most of the time, and I think that reflects on my face.”
Her role of a doting mother to Anushka Shetty in Singam II is no different from the one she played in Singam. Ever since renowned director Shankar brought about a change in the image of the on screen mother, making her look younger, active and bubbly, in Jeans, Janaki comfortably fit into it. “I am happy, playing mother all the time. There has been an element of humour in my character in most of my movies. Even if I have very few scenes in Singam II, director Hari has made each one of them memorable and my dialogues will surely evoke laughter. I am fortunate to make people laugh,” she says, before adding, “Although I have been selective about roles, I am open to doing challenging roles like the one I did in Ayan.”
Acting, a passion
Acting is more a passion than a full-time profession, she says. But having studied filmmaking and with a clear knowledge of all that goes on on the sets, she appreciates the hard work put in by actors playing prominent roles. For Janaki who has acted in 26 movies along with veterans such as Lakshmi, Sivakumar, S.Ve. Shekar and Radha Ravi, learning is an ongoing process. Having shared screen space with veteran Nasser in Singam among other films, she feels there was a lot to learn from him. Confessing that the only exposure to acting she had was when she dabbled in theatre during her college days, Janaki says, “On the sets, I get to learn about improvisation, dialogue delivery, how to face the lights and so on. Besides, we can share a lot about cinema, art and culture with seasoned actors.”
Apart from Jeans, her role in the Vijay-starrer Ghilli is unforgettable. Recalling the shoot, Janaki says, “I cannot forget Jeans as it was the beginning of an exciting journey in my life. The role in Ghilli was lengthier and the shoot took place for many days. I had a lot of fun shooting for this movie. It feels nice when people remember the role and appreciate it. In fact, they call me ‘Ghilli amma’,” she says with a twinkle in her eye.
Apart from being an actor and a homemaker, Janaki is the Regional Head Marketing at Real Image Media Technologies. How does she balance the three worlds? “I am lucky to have a family that has always been supportive. Besides I believe that whatever you do, give it your 100 per cent and things will fall in place,” says the ever cheerful Janaki.