The Ponniyin Selvan Casting Looks Perfect Because Of Mani Ratnam: Trisha

Jayam Ravi and Trisha talk to Ramya Subramanian about Mani Ratnam and their fun moments playing siblings in this epic
The Ponniyin Selvan Casting Looks Perfect Because Of Mani Ratnam: Trisha

Mani Ratnam’s Ponniyin Selvan I is slated to hit the theatres on September 30. The ensemble cast of Vikram, Aishwarya Rai, Karthi, Trisha, Jayam Ravi, and others have impressed the audiences, who are excited to see their favourite characters come alive on screen. When asked about this perfect casting, Trisha, who plays Kundavai, goes on to credit Mani Ratnam.

“The Ponniyin Selvan casting looks 100% perfect because Mani sir takes you (the actor) as a blank slate and he makes you the character. I don’t think I am the only perfect Kundavai, he made it as such. He has done so much homework and he brings that character out. Because initially many people doubted whether I would suit the character. But at the end of the day, when we see the posters and films, we can see that he made us live the character,” says Trisha.

Director Ratnam is known to be a “man of few words”. But during the shoot of Ponniyin Selvan I, those few words made the actors’ day. Trisha says that he speaks less but knows when to appreciate and motivate an actor. “During this film, he used to send a text after the shoot like, “Good job Trish”. So that would make my day. When the poster came, he said, “It was received well, Trish.” He knows when an actor is slightly feeling low and he will know what to say then. When you have an insecure moment, I don’t know how he knows, but he will immediately say things and he will push you. He did that a lot in the film especially when I used to talk in senthamizh. He will keep pushing you and give pep talks continuously,” says the actress.

The Ponniyin Selvan Casting Looks Perfect Because Of Mani Ratnam: Trisha
Ponniyin Selvan Is A Dream Come True For Tamil Cinema: Karthi

Jayam Ravi, who plays Arulmozhi Varman, is new to Mani Ratnam’s school of acting. The actor says he took some time to understand Ratnam and what he wanted. “For me, I had a process. Initially, I used to be nervous and talk a lot. He would tell me to be cool. Then I started understanding his process and he started understanding that I am getting used to the process. When I used to do something, he would scold me a little. After that I got clear. I began to understand what he was expecting as a director. So one day, he was about to explain a sequence and then he said, “You will do man.” I did a little dance inside,” rejoices Ravi.

Talking about the exercise regime and shooting for war sequences, Ravi says that it was difficult to control the horses. “The film was physically demanding. I had to ride horses and fight with swords. When it comes to action sequences, it is quite different. We can even ask someone to hit us and tolerate that pain. But it is very tough to control the horses. I had to learn the techniques, develop a bond with the horses and learn how to handle them. I also had to ride the horse in one hand and fight with a sword in the other. In addition, the costumes were a little different and I got several bruises. We also fell down from the horses and once my shoulder got dislocated,” says Ravi.

Trisha has romanced Ravi in several films like Unakkum Enakkum (2006) and Sakalakala Vallavan (2015). Similarly, she has played the love interest of Vikram (Who plays Aditya Karikaalan, Kundavai’s brother) in films like Saamy (2003). When asked if anything comical happened when they had to act as siblings, Trisha recalls, “Yeah, it was really funny to call each other akka and thambi. There was one sibling scene, it took quite some time to get that right. It should be convincing because I have starred in big films with them as a love pair. But after watching the scene on the monitor, we were like, “Not bad. we managed to pull it off like siblings.” We also sometimes looked like we belonged to the same family. But again, it is Mani sir’s magic. At the end of the day, it is just acting.”

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