The life story of Jayaram Jayalalithaa, one of the most charismatic female politicians of India, is one of the most fascinating tales to be told on cinema and many actresses would vie to play her. She was a leading film actress in the mid-1960s (appeared in 140 films between 1961 and 1980) and from 1989 was the general secretary of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and later served five terms as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for over 14 years (1991-2016). She passed away in Chennai's Apollo Hospital on December 5, 2016 at the age of 68.
We learn exclusively that apart from Vidya Balan and Ramya Krishnan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has been approached to play the Amma (as Jayalalithaa was known by her fans) of Indian politics and is in talks for the Vishnu Induri directed film. Aishwarya Rai played the fictitious character Kalpana (which was said to be inspired from the late politician) in filmmaker Mani Ratnam's Iruvar in 1997, which was loosely based on Dravidian stalwarts MG Ramachandran and M Karunanidhi.
“Vishnu Induri’s biopic on Jayalalithaa (in Tamil) will star prominent names from Bollywood and South. While Vidya Balan has been approached to play her too and is one of the major front-runners, the makers are keen to cast Aishwarya as Jayalalithaa as she brings a star value and own glamour to the project and they have approached her in recent times. South star Ramya Krishnan has also expressed interest in playing Jayalalitha. Aishwarya is definitely excited as it’s a prestigious role and she’s always had a soft spot for south movies but she needs to be sure about certain things before giving her nod. So talks are underway. Currently, Aishwarya has been flooded with scripts and now that Anurag Kashyap’s movie Gulab Jamun with Abhishek Bachchan is not happening, she is looking at other movies to sign. She is fluent in Tamil too, having made her debut in Mani Ratnam’s Tamil political drama, Iruvar, so it will almost be like going back to her roots. There will be two looks - one for her younger days and another more mature one for her political career. For the younger role, prosthetics can be used too. If Aishwarya gives her nod to Jayalalithaa’s biopic she will have to immediately begin prep,” a trade source said.
Interestingly, J Jayalalithaa, in an interview to popular talk show host Simi Garewal in 1999, said that Aishwarya was suitable to play her on screen. When asked about her biopic, Jayalalithaa had said, "Aishwarya Rai would be suitable to play me in my younger days, but then to play me as I am now (back then) or I am likely to be in the future, I think it would be a little difficult."
Three biopics on Jayalalithaa have been announced. One by producers Vishnu Induri and Brinda Prasad, another by director A Priyadhaarshini (starring Nithya Menon as Jayalalithaa), and the third one by veteran director Bharathiraja. Tamil filmmaker Vijay (of Madrasapattinam fame) is directing Induri’s Jayalalitha biopic. A Priyadhaarshini recently released a teaser of her movie, called The Iron Lady, showcasing Nithya Menon as Jayalalithaa.