Jaya Prada: There is no life without Pranayam
Legendary director Satyajit Ray had once hailed her beauty, and now, the stunningly beautiful Jaya Prada is back in a Malayalam film: Blessy's Pranayam. The film also stars Mohanlal and Anupam Kher in what is said to be an "unconventional love story."
Jaya Prada had a hugely successful career in films and has acted in films in several languages. She has also been active in politics as a member of the Indian Parliament.
The actress told Meghna George what to expect in Pranayam.
How do you describe your character, Grace Mathews, in Pranayam?
I think it is one of the most memorable roles in my career. I have always looked forward to doing performance-oriented roles and this was one of the most difficult characters that I have done to date. We have a great script and a fabulous production team. It was really special shooting for the film with such brilliant actors as Mohanlal and Anupam Kher.
Your film is titled Pranayam (Love). How important is love for you?
I have been asked how come I am still playing the female lead in a film called Pranayam, after three decades in the industry! My answer is, pranayam is there everywhere and no relationship will exist without love in this world. And, of course, there is nothing like age restriction when it comes to love. I think the world is surrounded by love.On a lighter note, it is perhaps like glamour; if you say you don't need glamour, you are not fit for this world (smiles). There is no life without pranayam.
Image: Jaya Prada
'I think politics and films are a great combination'
You have always been known for your beauty. How do you feel when people tell you how beautiful you are?
(Smiles) It's a compliment and I feel nice.
How important is beauty in Pranayam?
I think it is the beauty of the mind that is important in Pranayam. You have to make efforts to overcome the hurdles in love. Talking about the film, Pranayam is a total package of love, based on the purity of a relationship.
You were active in politics. How much did your success in films help you in politics?
Politics and acting are two parallel paths of my life. I have been actively involved in films as well as politics. Of course, politics is very demanding and is quite different, but I had public acceptance because of my career in films. If I go anywhere, be it Karnataka, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh or Maharashtra, I get recognised, and mostly, I am treated like a family member.
I think politics and films are a great combination. Still, I have the urge in me to do really good roles. But I feel isolated at times when politicians treat me like a film star and the industry treats me like a politician.
Image: A still from Pranayam
'I would love to do Malayalam films if I get good roles'
Is politics more filmi or is there more politics in films?
(Laughs) Oh, that's a nice one! At times, I think there is more dramatics in politics than in films.
You have acted with both Mammootty and Mohanlal, the two big stars of Malayalam films. What was the experience like?
They are great actors and fantastic human beings. Mammootty is perfect in his looks. I could learn a lot of things from him. Mohanlal is very friendly and can talk about any subject. It is wonderful to work with both Mammootty and Mohanlal.
After doing Pranayam, do you plan to act in more Malayalam films?
Of course. It has been absolutely exciting shooting for Pranayam. If I get good roles in Malayalam, I am certainly going to accept.
Image: A still from Pranayam