South star Jyotika says she grabbed the chance to play a “slightly older” character in her latest family drama “Udanpirappe” as she believes that such parts are rarely written for women in the movies.
The film chronicles the story of two siblings, Vairavan, played by actor Sasikumar and Mathangi (Jyotika) who attempt to unite the family as differences intensify over the years.
“Udanpirappe”, currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video in Tamil and Telugu (“Raktha Sambandham”), marks her 50th film as an actor.
For Jyotika, star of acclaimed films like “Kushi”, “Perazhagan”, “Chandramukhi” and “Mozhi”, the emotional tale of sibling love and family bond in “Udanpirappe” gave her a character graph she had never experienced before.
“It is so beautiful to play characters slightly older than your age. Everyone is in this rat race to look young. So, for a change, it is a beautiful learning that playing someone older also gives you that joy and an absolutely new experience. This is one of my nicest, most dignified characters I have ever played,” the 43-year-old actor said in a group interview.
Jyotika said female artistes “seldom get a chance” to grow over a period of time with their film choices so it’s “beautiful” when actors get roles where they can play different age groups.
“It’s a fulfilling experience to play such a deep rooted character,” she added.
Directed and written by Era Saravanan, “Udanpirappe” also stars Samuthirakani. The movie is the second project to come out of the four-film collaboration between Amazon and south star Suriya’s 2D Entertainment after “Raame Aandalum Raavane Aandalum”.
Jyotika started her career with filmmaker Priyadarshan’s romantic-drama “Doli Saja Ke Rakhna” in 1998 and emerged as one of the most acclaimed actors of the Tamil industry in the early 2000s.
After a brief hiatus from films in mid-2000s, Jyotika returned to cinemas with “36 Vayadhinile” in 2015 and followed it up with projects like “Magalir Mattum”, “Naachiyaar”, filmmaker Mani Ratnam’s “Chekka Chivantha Vaanam” and last year’s legal-drama “Ponmagal Vandhal”.
The actor said currently she is at a stage in her career where she wants to choose characters that authentically represent women.
“I want to do films where women walk into the theatres and feel extremely dignified watching themselves. I want women to feel they are watching a part of themselves on screen when they watch my films. Because seldom women are portrayed the way they are in actual life in films.
“Especially when we come to Tamil Nadu, most women are homebound and are different from what they are shown (as) on screen. Every time I sign a film, I make sure that the women who are watching it feel connected.”
Which is why, Jyotika said, “Udanpirappe” became a project she had to be a part of because of the writing of its female characters, theme and “messaging.”
“This is a grassroot level script which I haven’t done before. It is not often that we get such powerful deep rooted roles to play. That attracted me.
“It is also a beautiful concept of brother-sister bond, their relationship. But above all, it was the power in the writing what attracted me the most,” she added.
The film is produced by Jyotika and her husband Suriya, along with Rajsekar Karpoorasundarapandian who is attached as a co-producer.