Jaya Prada's son enters Kollywood

Jaya Prada with son Siddhu  

Jaya Prada has enjoyed success in politics, but knows well that it was cinema that made her who she is. “How else could I have won elections in a place like Rampur (Uttar Pradesh)?” But politics, she admits, has added a great deal to her personality. An introvert by nature, she is now able to address gatherings at a stretch for an hour or two. “For a person who’s scared of the dark, I’ve sure come a long way.” And it all started because a Tamil director, K. Balachander, gave her opportunities in cinema. “That’s why I’m keen to launch my son, Siddhu, in Tamil Nadu. This is a state that embraces everybody.”

Siddhu isn’t particularly nervous about his debut, as cinema is a familiar world to him. “I grew up mostly on the sets. Directors, cameras, and lights feel like home,” he says. He remembers being fascinated by how different his mother looked in each of her films. “One moment, she’d look normal. The next, she’d walk out of the caravan looking like a queen. It was like magic; I’d take pictures with her.”

Uyire Uyire that Siddhu is debuting with, is the remake of the Telugu hit, Ishq. Jaya Prada agreed to fund its Tamil remake simply because Siddhu liked the original so much. “It marked Telugu actor Nithin’s comeback and was a huge hit. As it helped relaunch him, I thought the remake would work for me.” The film is, in its essence, a love story. Jaya Prada explains why love stories make for such effective debuts. Think of Madhavan in Alaipayuthey, and Siddharth in Boys. “That’s because today’s audience is dominated by the youth. Ishq was a huge success, especially with them.” It was only after purchasing the remake rights that she saw the film. “It was good enough for her that I had seen it,” says Siddhu.

As if to emphasise that her finger is firmly on the pulse of Kollywood, she says, “Amid all the horror films releasing in Tamil Nadu, Uyire Uyire, with its focus on romance, will be a relief.” There’s a bit more comedy, a bit more heroism in the remake as “that’s how Tamil audiences like their heroes.”

His familiarity with cinema notwithstanding, Siddhu struggled during the initial days of shooting. His first scene was of his character declaring his love to a girl (Hansika Motwani). “I could have done with an easier scene,” he laughs. It took Jaya Prada’s intervention to get it right. She says, “I told him that even though Hansika was a senior, he needn’t worry about it; that he should play it cool.” Take no. 21 worked like a charm.

If he thought the worst was over, he was in for a shock when told that he’d have to dance with Hansika in Goa, with hundreds of curious onlookers around. To make matters interesting, the dance sequence was for a song called ‘Listen to my heart’ that marks Jaya Prada’s singing debut. “Thankfully, I’d grown comfortable with the crew by then. So, I wasn’t feeling so self-conscious any more.”

Meanwhile, Jaya Prada is also planning a comeback in Tamil. “I’m listening to scripts and would like to play characters that’d strike a chord with the masses. Like the roles I’m playing in Oru Nimisham (Malayalam) and Paranormal (Hindi).” She says politics can be volatile.

“Every politician goes through a lean patch during which they go back to their main area of expertise. Some return to business, some practise law, and I… have come back to cinema.” And brought her son along.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2022 2:54:18 PM |

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