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Balakrishna, Jr NTR were never approached to play NTR in Thalaivi, says report

Sources from the production house said no actor has been approached as yet to play NTR in J Jayalalithaa biopic.

Haricharan Pudipeddi

Popular Telugu actors Nandamuri Balakrishna and Jr NTR have not been approached for the role of legendary actor Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao (NTR) in the upcoming J Jayalalithaa biopic Thalaivi, starring Kangana Ranaut. Reports indicated that Balakrishna declined the offer to play his late father NTR in Thalaivi. Even Jr NTR was said to have turned down the offer to play his grandfather in the film. 

However, according to a report on the movie portal, Cinema Express, both Balakrishna and Jr NTR were never approached for the role, so the question of them turning down the offer does not arise. 

“It is a rumour. The makers haven't approached any actor for the NTR role as yet. So how can Jr NTR or Balayya (Balakrishna) reject it," a source from the production house said.

The source further added that since the film will be based on the life of actor and former Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa and her relationship with actor-politician MG Ramachandran (MGR), there would be very little scope for NTR’s character. 

"The story of Thalaivi revolves entirely around Jayalalithaa and MGR. So NTR will only make a brief appearance in the film and the makers don't need a big star to portray the role," said the source.

Thalaivi, being directed by AL Vijay, stars Ranaut in the role of Jayalalithaa. The film also stars Arvind Swami, Jisshu Sengupta and Priyamani among others in key roles. The film is being made in Tamil, Hindi and Telugu  and has been titled Thalaivi in all the languages.

Ranaut, who was last seen in Panga (2020), spent close to six months on prepping for this project. She underwent Bharatanatyam classes, learnt Tamil and even spent hours in the prosthetic make-up sessions.

The project was announced along with its title and first look poster last year on 25 February, the 71st birth anniversary of Jayalalithaa.