Director Bharathiraja is one of the most important directors in Tamil cinema. He can be called the Imayam of direction. To that extent, all his works are considered to be the best epics in Tamil cinema. Moreover, Bharathiraja is not only the most famous director in the world of Tamil cinema but also an actor and producer. Also, it was Bharathiraja who introduced many heroines like Radhika, Radha, Revathi, Rekha, Ranjita, Sridevi into the world of Tamil cinema. He made his directorial debut in 1977 with the film 16 Vayathinilae. In the very first film, he made a name for himself among the people. Following that, he has given many super hit films with many leading actors. In this context, Bharathiraja had recently given an interview to them.
Interview with BharathiRaja:
When asked, how did you choose Sridevi as your first film heroine in it? He said “who said that Sridevi was my first film heroine? Madam Jayalalithaa, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu is my first film heroine. This will come as a shock to everyone. But, this is the truth. Before the film 16 Vayathinilae, we did a fantastic story called ‘Sondha Veedu’ with story writer R Selvaraj. My boss KRG was there to produce this film.
Call sheet from Jayalalitha:
The film is about the subject of feminism.
Hero Muthuraman was contracted for the film. I was in the idea to cast Jayalalithaa as the heroine. For that Selvarajan and I went to Madam Jayalalithaa’s Poes Garden house. Then Madam Jayalalithaa sat patiently for an hour and listened to the story we told. She said that she liked the film and asked me Are you the director of this film? Madam Jayalalithaa gave me a call sheet for 28 consecutive days after saying yes and smiling.
Then I, Selvaraj, Muthuraman, composer Kumar was all ready to go for filming. But, a great director who was in a field at the time acted so silly to abstain from doing my film. He said to her ‘He’s a little boy, a guy who’s not even known to hit the clapboard at the shooting spot, don’t trust him and be in trouble’. So, the movie ‘Sondha Veedu’ picture just stood still. Then I took the same story many years later in an AVM production named Pudhumaipen.
Revathi played the role of the Pudhumaipen which was to be played by Madam Jayalalithaa. In the first film, I was careful about choosing Heroine. I introduced Sridevi in the film 16 Vayathinilae to avoid any controversy. The film came out better than I thought. Sridevi was claiming to be an amazing actress. Also, Revathi’s role in the Pudhumaipen starring Pandian was a surprise to many. The film was hugely acclaimed as Bharathi Kanda Pudhumaipen”. It can be said that this was the film that gave a super hit to Bharathiraja. They say that if Jayalalithaa had acted in this story it would have suited her.