Ponniyin Selvan 1: Aishwarya Lekshmi says she wants to be like her character Poonguzhali

Actor Aishwarya Lekshmi will soon be seen playing the role of the fierce Poonguzhali in director Mani Ratnam’s upcoming magnum opus Ponniyin Selvan 1. The actor says that she finds Poonguzhali very appealing and a woman that she wanted to always become like.

According to the novel on which the movie is based, Poonguzhali is the daughter of a boat man and rows herself. In a promotional video for the film, Aishwarya said, “Poonguzhali felt very sexy. Like she was the woman I wanted to be like. Everybody was in awe of her. And like I said, she was smart, she was strong. She could like row across oceans and she could do that like in two nights, three nights. It doesn’t matter to her.”

Aishwarya Lekshmi revealed that she, in fact, was the first person in the long list of actors, on whom the look test was done.

“For Poonguzhali’s look test, I could see that Eka had a lot of photographs, a lot of references. And we were trying to see what looks better for the character right now in our time. There was a lot of research and the first shot of the entire film was on me,” she said. When asked if the whole process was difficult, the actor said, “Every scene was tough. It is Mani sir we are talking about!”

Aishwarya Lekshmi, who has been part of Malayalam and Tamil films, also recalled the time when she got a call from Mani Ratnam’s production house Madras Talkies.

“In 2019 May or something, I got a call from Madras Talkies asking me to come and meet sir. Obviously, the reports were all over the papers because everybody was expecting sir to do Ponniyin Selvan next. After one and a half years of pre-production, I was the first person on whom they tried the look of the character,” Aishwarya shared.

Sharing an anecdote from behind the sets, Aishwarya Lekshmi revealed that her co-star Karthi, who plays the role of Vallavaraiyan Vandiyadevan, used to always tell her how to be around Mani Ratnam. She said, “They (all co-stars) were fun to work with. Karthi sir used to just hold me back from asking Mani sir too many questions. Because he used to be an AD, he knows Mani sir’s mood. So, he’ll be like, ‘Don’t go.’ He did that all the time.”

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