While Avan Ivan might have been Janani Iyer’s big break, several people would remember the doe-eyed-beauty (one of the times where the adjective perfectly suits the interviewee) as the ‘Thegidi’ girl. However, it wouldn’t be fair to call her the same anymore as Janani has two releases in a matter of few weeks. Balloon has already hit the screens and it is also the movie that gave Janani her first tryst with stunt ropes. “It wasn’t a big thing but it was a vital scene in the movie. I am not used to the ropes. So physically it was very taxing,” says Janani. Also, the weather condition didn’t help. “We were shooting at 3-4 am in the morning in Kodaikanal and Ooty. It required quite a number of takes. Now I am kind of used to it,” admits Janani. Prepared enough for more? “If it is important for the film then why not,” she remarks.
Balloon is her second release in 2017 (after Adhe Kangal) and surprisingly both the films had two heroines. Was there any qualm about sharing the screen with another actress? “Not at all,” says Janani. “In fact, I would openly admit that Anjali has the larger screen time. But I know my character will make an impact. My role is very vital and the track will justify the title Balloon. More than the screen time, the impact my character creates is what matters to me,” states Janani.
With the woman narrative picking up steam on screen, Janani says she hopes to get such powerful roles on screen. But at the same time, she also believes that maintaining a balance between commercial and off-beat cinema is crucial. “Even Balloon was such a choice that I had to make. I have been doing slightly offbeat films like Thegidi or Adhe Kangal. So why not a commercial movie?,” she says.
For the most part, it is about trusting her instinct. “I can’t afford to be very choosy. I have picked films that I felt will work and it has gone well so far. Thegidi and Adhe Kangal have received really good reviews from the audience and critics. So I figured let me do films like that and be known for being part of good cinema,” she says.
However, Janani admits to having a soft corner for period films. “My portion in Balloon is set in the 1980s but I want to go way back. Probably the era of Mughals where I could play a princess,” she says. “I have always thought things were less complicated back then. Life was much simpler and more beautiful. Even in terms of Architecture, old Madras is so quaint. While we can’t go back, we can recreate that through movies right,” explains Janani.
Which brings us to her next release, Vidhi Madhi Ultaa. Janani plays a happy-go-lucky college girl in a film that she describes as ‘Final Destination gone fun’. “It is a complete entertainer. Even though my role isn’t humourous but the things happening around me are funny. My character had funny shades in Avan Ivan, so why not do an out-of-out comedy film?” she says. Vidhi Madhi Ultaa is hitting the screens on January 5.