Aishwarya Lekshmi recalls filmmaker Mani Ratnam’s advice that helped her gather courage when she was scared to play Poonguzhali in Ponniyin Selvan.
Aishwarya Lekshmi, who essayed the role of Poonguzhali in the historic epic Ponniyin Selvan and returns with the second part of the film, has said that she was initially scared to play the part. In a recent interview, she added that it was filmmaker Mani Ratnam who gave her the confidence to finally take up the role.
Ponniyin Selvan I released last year and received rave reviews from critics. The second part, Ponniyin Selvan II, hit theatres all over on Friday, April 28. The film also features Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Karthi, Trisha, Vikram, Sobhita Dhulipala, Jayam Ravi, and Prakash Raj.
She told News18, “I didn’t think I could pull off Poonguzhali. The one thing Mani sir told me to give me confidence was, ‘Don’t worry, you can pull it off. And this character is sexy’. At a time when you wouldn’t expect a woman to do a job that requires so much physical strength, she (Poonguzhali) was somebody who transported people by rowing a boat from one part of the town to another over a one-night journey across the ocean. That requires a lot of physical and mental strength as you don’t know what can happen in the ocean.”
She added, “She’s (Ponnguzhali) a boatwoman from the fishing community but she’s in love with the king even though she isn’t supposed to desire what she can’t get. She’s not expecting anything from him. Her love is pure.”
Based on Kalki Krishnamurthy’s 1955 novels, the Tamil historical drama chronicles the story of the early days of Arulmozhivarman, a powerful king of the south who went on to become the great Chola emperor Rajaraja Chola I.
Ponniyin Selvan films are the first time that Aishwarya collaborated with Mani Ratnam. She has been in the profession for six years. After her debut with the Malayalam film Njandukalude Nattil Oridavela alongside Nivin Pauly in 2017, she has worked in several films including Fahadh Faasil’s Varathan and Jagame Thandhiram, which also featured Dhanush.
Source: Hindustan Times