There are two films and a web series which will soon release on the life of late Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa. Nithya Menen, Ramya Krishnan and Kangana Ranaut are playing the political leader in their respective projects, and social media is rife with discussions on who looks most suited to doing the role. While Nithya Menen and Ramya Krishnan have both found some acceptance, Kangana's look as the older Jayalalithaa has come under much flak.
But what about the rest of the cast? The challenge of making a biopic is that the audience should be able to connect the cast with real life personalities. Here are our picks for who should play who in a biopic on Jayalalithaa.
Jayalalithaa: We think both Nithya and Ramya are suited to playing the role. However, Urvashi, Khushbu, Roja or Vijayashanti will also fit the bill. Another choice is Anushka Shetty - although the actor might be too tall, she is known for playing strong women characters. She can also play the older and younger versions convincingly.
MGR: Mohanlal played MGR in Maniratnam's Iruvar. While Indrajith is playing the role in Gautham Menon's web series, we feel his brother Prithviraj is also a good choice for the same. Junior NTR can also pull off young MGR. For the older version, Sathyaraj would be our pick.
Karunanidhi: The late Dravidian stalwart was Jayalalithaa's biggest political rival. Prakash Raj played him in Iruvar and he would be suitable for the current projects too. Nasser would be another actor who can play Karunanidhi. Though Vijay Sethupathi does not really resemble Karunanidhi, we can imagine him too playing the leader who was known for his witty one-liners.
Sasikala: Sai Pallavi is rumoured to be playing Sasikala, Jayalalithaa's longtime associate and companion, in the AL Vijay film starring Kangana. Others we can think of for the role are Saranya Ponvannan, Suhaashini and Radikaa Sarathkumar. Malayalam actor Parvathy, who is known to change her look according to the roles she plays, could also pull this off.
Janaki MGR: MGR's wife briefly became the CM following his death, but was soon upstaged by Jayalalithaa who projected herself as his political heir. We feel actor Rohini would do justice for the senior role while Keerthy Suresh would fit a young Janaki.
Sobhan Babu: Jayalalithaa was said to be in a relationship with the Telugu actor for a long time though the two never got married. Dulquer Salmaan who played Gemini Ganesan in Mahanati would probably be apt for the role. Another person we can think of for the role is Ram Charan.
Durai Murugan: The current treasurer of the DMK, Durai Murgan was a close confidante of Karunanidhi's. In 1989, when Jayalalithaa was Leader of Opposition, he is said to have pulled her saree and torn it, following a ruckus in the Assembly. While some say it was an accident and others say it was deliberate, the truth is that it became one of the most defining moments of Jayalalithaa's political career. She swore that she would enter the Assembly again only as a Chief Minister. Actor Karthi would suit the role.
Stalin: Karunanidhi's son Stalin is another important person who ought to feature in the biopic. His son Udayanidhi is an actor in the Tamil film industry, but we'd pick Arun Vijay for the role.
Kanimozhi: Karunanidhi's daughter Kanimozhi is another role that Rohini can play. Actor Radha is another person who comes to mind.
Azhagiri: Bobby Simha looks much younger than Azhagiri but it's a role we can imagine him playing. Azhagiri is the eldest son of Karunanidhi.
TTV Dhinakaran: Sasikala's nephew launched the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam after he was expelled by the AIADMK following Jayalalithaa's death and the high drama that ensued. Though he looks much younger, actor Prasanna might be suitable for the role.
OPS: The man who was Jayalalithaa's choice to be the caretaker CM sprung a surprise after her death and rebelled against the Sasikala faction. MS Bhaskar would be a good fit for this role.
EPS: The current CM of Tamil Nadu was among the key players in the battle for power that broke out after Jayalalithaa's death. Actor Jayaprakash would suit the role of EPS.
Simi Garewal: Jayalalithaa was a guest on Rendezvous with Simi Garewal, a rare occasion when she let down her guard and shared some candid views on her life and career. We can imagine Telugu actor Lakshmi Manchu or Samantha pulling off the role of the graceful Simi.
There are many more players in this saga but this is our list for now. It remains to be seen which episodes from Jayalalithaa's life will make it to the films/series.