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Interview Team : Kaushik L M

Ever since her modelling days, Janani Iyer has always been noted for her cute looks and chirpy presence. After films like Avan Ivan and the recent Thegidi, Janani's film career is looking up too. With a strong base in Kerala too, the future looks really promising for this young Tamil girl. In this conversation with Behindwoods, Janani is at her interactive best.

Thegidi – a new lease of life for me

Definitely. Thegidi has been met with an overwhelming response; it is the talk of the town. There has been a great response in Twitter too. I knew I was part of a very good film but this is totally an unexpected response.

Even the weekdays are running full. The good word of mouth has done the trick after a slow opening. This proves that audiences are open to encourage and accept new films.

The movie’s Telugu dubbed version Bhadram is also doing great in A centers, and the family crowd is very welcoming. They encourage dubbed films also in Andhra. For a dubbed film, we had great promotions and in fact people thought it was a straight film as the lip sync and all is perfect. Recently when I went to Hyderabad for Bhadram’s release, people there were calling me Madhu thanks to the movie’s impact.

Thegidi proves that audiences are open to encourage and accept new films.


CV Kumar – The man who provides opportunities 

CV Kumar’s banner value was one of the main reasons I signed on for Thegidi. It was a nice script too, with a very talented and young crew. Ramesh works like an experienced director, Ashok is very hard working and DOP Dinesh is really impressive. I am also very happy that Nivas’ songs have reached so well with the audience.

CV Kumar is ready to give opportunities and totally trusts the unit. He gave us all the facilities and amenities like a big budget venture. It was all well-planned. The film was shot in a short span of time, with a fully focused effort. Within 40 days, the film was canned and this saved a lot of time and energy for everyone concerned.

I have signed two films for CV Kumar as part of a 2-film deal. I don’t know when the second film will kick-start. I am hopeful and waiting for the right project at the right time.


Puroshathaman Vallaba ...

Ask the director about Purushothaman Vallaba. People even suspected that it was me, Vallabi. (laughs)

We’ll know in the sequel. Everyone is curious and is giving lots of options. It is interesting and shows that people are all fully attentive on the film.

There is a big demand for Thegidi 2 now. Director Ramesh realizes that and said that the sequel is surely on the cards. Hopefully I’ll be in it but it’s too early to talk about it.

Hopefully I’ll be in Thegidi 2


How do you look back at your film career’s beginning? 

My first film Avan Ivan gave me a great reach. People still call me Babyma as they liked my role in the film. In Avan Ivan, the immature role suited my age then. I couldn’t have asked for a better launchpad, what with big heroes, a big banner and of course Bala Sir. I am a huge fan of him. A lead role in his film was like a dream come true. Bala Sir was strict only during the shots while he was really jovial at other times. He teaches his artists and extracts the right work. Every actor should work with him at least once as it is a lifetime experience.

After Avan Ivan, its Thegidi which has given my career a big fillip as it is a total package. I am taking my own speed and creating my own space. I am not after quantity and just want to be in good projects. I am getting good offers after Thegidi and my career should go to the next level after Thegidi’s big success. The next film has to live up to this level. I hope there won’t be another big gap.

People still call me Babyma


You are a good looking Tamil speaking heroine. But has the industry been really receptive to you? 

It is maybe the industry’s perspective, I don’t know. I am waiting for more opportunities. But I am getting good Malayalam offers, despite not knowing the language. May be the criteria to flourish in any industry is that people shouldn’t know the language (laughs)

Anyway I wish to take it slow and steady. I do not want to be stereotyped. I wish that people should wait for my films in the belief that Janani would do something worthwhile.

I am waiting for my big break here in Tamil. I am optimistic as people like my work here.


You seem to do be doing great in Kerala

After my first film in Malayalam became a hit, a lot of big offers with big stars and acclaimed banners came my way. It is very encouraging and I am also learning Malayalam now. All my upcoming Malayalam films are proper commercial films with big stars.

7th Day with Prithviraj is a thriller, with the same technical team that worked in Memories. I am playing Jessie, which is a very vital role. In Koothara, with Mohanlal and Bharath, I play a Calicut based Muslim. In the Nivin Pauly film titled Edison Photos, I play a Tulu Brahmin. In the Asif Ali film, Mosayile Kuthira Meenukal, I play a talkative, innocent Christian girl who travels from Cochin to Lakshadweep.

I will be having two releases on the same day, for the coming Vishu. I am really nervous, and the pressure is too much to handle (laughs)

I will be having two releases on the same day, for the coming Vishu.


Modeling assignments and endorsements

As a model, I wasn’t very choosy. Now, I have to be careful with my endorsements as an actress as people know me. I will consider only good brands which have some quality.


How is your relationship with your peers, co-stars and contemporaries? 

Swati Reddy is a good friend as we’ve done a Malayalam film together. I do stay in touch with my other contemporaries and peers in the industry.

Trisha was very sweet once, when she approached me at an event. I asked her hesitantly if she even knew me but she replied that she wouldn’t ever forget Bala’s heroines. We exchanged numbers then and stay in touch once in a while.

Arya and Vishal also stay in touch. Avan Ivan’s shoots will be among my most unforgettable and happiest days. I used to play around on the sets as I was just out of college. Even Bala Sir used to partake in all the fun. It was extra fun with Arya and the others around in the set.

Vishal was very encouraging. In Avan Ivan, I took a lot of takes, and was nervous as it was my first film. He helped me with my lines, was very encouraging with good soothing words. This relaxed me and I could perform well. He was very patient when I took many takes.

Ashok is a good friend too.

Avan Ivan’s shoots will be among my most unforgettable and happiest days


Are you a big stickler to plans? What is your future wish list? 

I don’t believe in planning and am just going with the flow. I am not taking anything to my head as I believe that things are destined. Whatever has to happen will happen.

In future, I want to work with all the big directors obviously. I have already worked with Bala Sir. I have big dreams of working with great directors like Mani Ratnam Sir. There is so much to learn from each of them, as they are all so talented.

I am also waiting for a good launch in Telugu and I am in talks. The industry has great reach. I wish to do films in all the languages. As an actor it is a big thrill.

I have big dreams of working with great directors like Mani Ratnam Sir.


The Tamil industry seems to be in an exciting phase. How does it feel? 

The industry scenario is nice now. I have never felt insecure and have always felt that the industry is a vast ocean and that there is space for everyone. There is a nice healthy competition. I believe I have my little place, and the same applies to other heroines too. 


Parting words

People think I am very choosy and not approachable. I am definitely open to do more films, different ones at that. I wish to establish myself in Tamil and am hopeful of more good offers.

Behindwoods wishes this big eyed beauty, the very best. 



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