The evergreen character of Ramya Krishna – Nilambari in Padayappa (Tamil) and Narasimha (Telugu) – was opposite Superstar Rajnikanth and a negative role at that, which not only earned her acclaim and awards but also showcased her as a vibrantly talented and dedicated actress and dancer. She gave her best in this movie and it proved to be one of the foremost highlights of her career. In her 2019 cover story interview with JFW, the actress opened up about what it took to play the iconic character.
The passion and the closeness to that role reflects in her voice as she speaks of her role as Nilambari “There was no preparation except telling myself to be brave. You know there is this saying in Tamil, ‘ thalai iku mela poyachu, jaan pona ena muzham pona ena’ (meaning “in for a penny, in for a pound”). It was almost such a situation; I had decided to the film knowing that the character opposed that of the Superstar and was an antagonist role. So all I had to do was to ask myself to be brave and bold and do what was required, that’s it.”
He makes you feel very much at ease, he has that quality about him.
Was she ever intimidated by the presence of the Superstar at any point during the film Padayappa? Ramya is quick to kill the curiosity: “That’s the best thing about him, it never did otherwise I don’t think I could have performed like that. He makes you feel very much at ease, he has that quality about him. He makes everyone feel at ease, including the light man and all the technicians around him.” We couldn’t help but ask this actress, who did not mind taking on negative shades in her role, of an unforgettable memory during the making of the film that brought her positive responses. Candidly she responds, “Rajini Sir would teach me how to twirl the cooling glass and put it on, in his style, which I could never get (laughs). And the salute in that scene where I sit down if front of him, he would teach me to do that too. It was overall an interesting experience.”