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On playing Poonguzhali in "Ponniyin Selvan," Aishwarya Lekshmi says: Never imagined I'd experience this kind of love

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Aishwarya Lekshmi claims she was taken aback by the adulation she received for portraying Poonguzhali in Mani Ratnam's “Ponniyin Selvan” considering how little screen time she receives.

Lekshmi plays a “fierce” boat lady in the two-part tale, which is inspired on the wildly successful 1955 Tamil books of the same name by novelist Kalki Krishnamurthy.

“I never anticipated that my character would be liked, welcomed, or respected in this way. Since they are all celebrities, I anticipated that the movie would do well and that each character would succeed. I also anticipated basking in their success. I never anticipated experiencing such affection. Everywhere I go, I sense love, Lekshmi said in an interview with PTI.

“Despite not having much on-screen time, my character Poonguzhali was a fully realised character in her own right. She undertakes all the required physical labour and is courageous and furious, the speaker said.

The movie follows the life of Arulmozhivarman (Jayam Ravi), one of the most powerful kings in the south who later rose to become the great Chola emperor Rajaraja Chola I, and stars Vikram, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Karthi, Trisha, Shobhita Dhulipala, and Prakash Raj.

Lekshmi said that, despite the size of her part, she was just honoured to have been in a Ratnam film.

“I consider it an honour to have had the opportunity to portray Poonguzhali since the book “Ponniyin Selvan” by Kalki's readers described the character as an icon. I'm happy I got to portray her. Lekshmi, widely known for “Mayaanadhi,” “Varathan,” and “Jagame Thandhiram,” expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to work in Mani Ratnam sir's film.

The 31-year-old performer, who has experience performing in Malayalam, Tamil, and Telugu, said all of her roles have the trait of being “capable of rising to the occasion.”

“I have had the good fortune to play powerful characters in every language I have worked in—more than strong, extremely well-written characters. I believe there are certain similarities among them all, including the fact that they have all overcome challenges.

“However, since the state's culture is important, there are cultural distinctions between each character. I'd like to think that commonality triumphs over distinction,” she remarked.

Last week, “Ponniyin Selvan II” was released.


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