Janani Iyer talks about her break in Tamil films

Two Tamil films —Avan Ivan and Paagan — turned the spotlight on Janani Iyer. She played contrasting characters, of a young police constable, and a bold, outgoing modern girl. Both the performances won her appreciation. “I want to be remembered for roles that people will sit up and take notice. I have said ‘no’ to a number of new scripts because they offered nothing new. Such films don’t impress me. I would like to see myself in a fantasy role or a period film, something like Aishwarya in Jodha Akbar or Kajal Agarwal in Magadheera. It would be a great opportunity to perform such fairy tale roles and soak in the magic of the ambience,” she says.

Learning acting

She can’t stop talking about her mentor director Bala. He introduced her in Avan Ivan. “It is every actor’s dream to work with Bala sir. I am lucky to have had a good start to my career in my films,” she says. How did Bala choose her at the audition? “Because of my expressive eyes,” she says with a laugh. “And, because I knew Tamil.” She did over 180 ad commercials before entering films. “I have no regrets that I didn’t go to an acting school. My first film and Bala Sir have been my acting school. After Avan Ivan I felt confident as an actor.”

Any memorable moment from Avan Ivan? “I found it difficult to act without laughing,” she recalls. “The dialogues in the film were hilarious, especially the scenes in which Vishal is dressed as a woman.”


Janani is happy to be a part of Tamil film industry. “There are so many new releases every Friday, and most of them are with new directors and actors. They explore novel themes, and the audience appreciate good films. I enjoyed films such as Vazhakku En 18/9 and Vaagai Sooda Vaa.”

Though the industry is highly competitive, she wants to create a distinct identity. “They have accepted me in roles that give scope for performance. I also want to explore roles such as the one Genelia did in Santosh Subramaniam. It was such a pleasure to watch her on screen.”

Janani looks up to actors like Sridevi. “Sridevi was a complete package, who delivered glamour with élan and shone in performance oriented roles too. I want to emulate her.”

The young actor, who grew up in Chennai wants to establish herself in Tamil films first before looking elsewhere. “I belong to Chennai, and I want to be in Tamil films. A number of actors like Shirya, Asin and now Ileana in Barfi, have made a mark in Bollywood. There is stopping the actors as long as they have the talent. It’s very encouraging,” she says.

Janani Iyer was in Coimbatore recently to launch Pix 5D Cinema at Brooke Fields Mall.