"I AM CRAVING TO WORK WITH MANI RATNAM SIR ONCE AGAIN"

Interview Team : Vaishnavi, Jyothsna, Venkat, Ashok Kumar
With 24 alongside Suriya gearing up for a release on 6th May, 2016; Saranya Ponvannan is elated about being one of the most sought after mothers in Kollywood. Despite her glory, she remains grounded, cheery and laidback as she answers my questions without a filter. Talking to her is like talking to a long lost friend. No wonder she is acclaimed by one and all.

How did your foray into the cine industry happen?

Back then Mouna Raagam was a crazy hit and as a college student it was a big thing to be offered an opportunity in Mani sir’s film. I was already a great fan of him and to top it, Kamal sir was the hero, so I was excited.

Oh that, I suppose it’s all destined to happen. Those days it was not about auditioning. It was just like how you see someone and cast them into the movie because they seem like a perfect fit. It was likewise in my story. People liked my photos that I had given for a ladies magazine and offered me an opportunity into the industry via Muktha Srinivasan. Being the producer of Nayagan he directly contacted my father who was a director in Malayalam cinema and talked to him about the offer. Back then Mouna Raagam was a crazy hit and as a college student it was a big thing to be offered an opportunity in Mani sir’s film. I was already a great fan of him and to top it, Kamal sir was the hero, so I was excited. But my father was against this. However my mother and I managed to convince him.


How was the experience of working with Mani Ratnam sir?

My relationship with him was more like that of a student-teacher one. I treated him like my teacher and he treated me like a kid.

I was very raw and did not know anything about the cinema world. My relationship with him was more like that of a student-teacher one. I treated him like my teacher and he treated me like a kid. I was just 18 and I did not have any aspirations. I had no clue about money making or films.  Life was very simple those days and I did not really give it so much importance, I treated it lightly and just did whatever he told me to do so. The teacher student bond helped me give my best. You won’t believe it but now I’m craving to be a part of his movies once again. I wish I could work with him for I am aware of the significances.


What do you feel about being the iconic mother of Tamil Cinema?

I love being the iconic amma

I am very proud of it actually. Attaining success in cinema is not a big deal but capturing hearts is what life is all about. I am very thankful that I have become the household name and people have taken a huge liking to me. For example I have never faced bad press or rumours in life. It is because whenever the press persons want to pen down something about me, they see me as their mother, aunt or sister and with the impeding personal references they are not able to post anything bad about me. This has actually given me a huge responsibility. Because I have to shoulder their expectations but I love being the iconic amma. Living up to the image is what I hope I’m doing and I will continue to do so.


Most of the times you play a very jolly, laidback and easy going mother on screen. So how are you in real life?

People presume that I’m a very laid back person with my children. My children tell me that their friends ask them if their mother is very casual, if she will accept and nod to anything they say. To be frank, it’s not true. I am friendly with my children but I’m disciplined. Discipline is important for me. My children make fun of me because I am not a tech-savvy person and I’m never aware of the current happenings. So they are very protective of me but at the end of the day, I am always available for my children and I support them in all ways possible. I guess that’s what matters as I’m their comforter and confession box.


You play a mother to big heroes like Suriya, Dhanush, Udhayanidhi Stalin, Vishal and Jiiva. What do you think of that?

I give my star-sons a lot of space and do not intrude into their personal lives.

I am basically an extrovert. I talk a lot. But for me to warm up enough to talk a lot, I need time. I mix around with people as much as possible in the time frame given. However though we do not spend much time, I share a lovely bond with all of them. I keep up my limits on sets. I give my star-sons a lot of space and do not intrude into their personal lives. Because of all these, they are all very fond of me. They treat me like how my kids so. All of them are aware that I’m not computer savvy and that I’m not on any social platforms and they tease me about it as well. They trust and appreciate me in all ways possible.  They don’t treat me like a filmy mom or an actress who is in limelight, they talk to me easily like they would do with their real mom and take pride on the fact that I love that as well. They are very protective of me as well. It’s a blessing to know that they appreciate me just the way I am.


What kind of bond do you share with them off screen?

Even people like Suriya who never mix around with others, treat me with a lot of love and respect. 

From Udhay to Dhanush everyone calls me and wishes me on my birthday. They stand up when I walk into a room and always refer to me as ‘amma’. I feel so proud and happy about it.  Even people like Suriya who never mix around with others, treat me with a lot of love and respect. On the sets of 24 he made sure that I was comfortable before going for the shoot. I am proud and happy about all this indeed.


So how was the transition from being a heroine to a mother?

Tomorrow I might show these to my grandchildren as well and tell them that I played a mother for many such biggies

Popularity in cine world is measured by success. When I was an actress I rejected a lot of movies because of glamour scenes and bathing videos. Many big projects have gone by because I didn’t want to wear skimpy clothes. However when I am acting as a mother, I face no such conflicts. As a heroine I felt like a misfit, as a mother this is so comfortable and it feels like this is destined to be. I am tasting glorious success and this is the most prosperous period of my life. I feel happy playing a mother because this will be remembered for ages to come. Tomorrow I might show these to my grandchildren as well and tell them that I played a mother for many such biggies. She signs off on a happy note with a lot of smiles. Thank you for your time ma’am!

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This page hosts exclusive interviews with actors, actresses, film technicians and related celebrities. The interviews are generally personal views of the guest about their projects and film related matters. People looking for information about actors, actresses, directors, music directors, cameramen and other technicians will find this page useful.