Amala Paul

Where: Aadai

Why: It was the trailer that shocked a state. Leading ladies in Tamil cinema are still expected to be virginal arm candy, and even the “heroine-oriented” films keep them in a cage – you can step out to play horror-movie victims (like Nayanthara) or message-spouting do-gooders (like Jyotika), but no more. So when Amala Paul appeared naked in Aadai, it was disruption of the highest order. The film itself was like nothing you’d seen – a concept-driven curiosity. But the design of the protagonist went further. The character was bold, obnoxious, non-virginal, potty-mouthed – and she spent a good chunk of the film in her birthday suit. (It was her birthday, to boot.) It wasn’t sleazy. It wasn’t exploitative. It was just an actor telling Kollywood: I have the guts to play this part. Do you have the guts to accept me?



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