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Jayalalithaa biopic Thalaivi: Jisshu Sengupta to play veteran actor Sobhan Babu

The Bengali actor made his Telugu debut with the NTR biopic last year, where he played the role of filmmaker and producer LV Prasad. 

Haricharan Pudipeddi

Well-known Bengali actor, Jisshu Sengupta has been roped in to play the role of veteran actor Sobhan Babu in the upcoming Jayalalithaa biopic, Thalaivi (2020). The veteran Telugu star and Jayalalithaa were rumoured to be in a relationship and shared a very close bond.

Jisshu made his Telugu debut with the NTR biopic, NTR Kathanayakudu (2019). He played the role of well-known filmmaker and producer LV Prasad in the film. Recently, he was seen playing a psychopath in Telugu film, Aswathama (2020).

Thalaivi, which is being directed by Vijay, stars Kangana Ranaut in the role of former Tamil Nadu chief minister and legendary actor J Jayalalithaa. The film also stars Arvind Swami and Priyamani in key roles.  

Kangana, who was last seen in Panga (2020), has spent close to six months on prepping for this project. She underwent Bharatanatyam classes, learnt Tamil and even spent hours in prosthetic make up sessions. The actress said it was interesting as well as difficult, to play the role of the late film star-turned politician, in the movie.

There was a lot of backlash when the actress's name was announced to play the role of Jayalalithaa. Soon after the announcement, the director clarified his reasons for casting her in the lead role.

The project was announced along with its title and first look poster on 24 February 2019, on the occasion of the 71st birth anniversary of the late politician. 

The film's music has been composed by GV Prakash Kumar, while Nirav Shah is the cinematographer for the project. The screenplay is by veteran Vijayendra Prasad, who also wrote Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015)

The project has been on floors, despite Jayalalithaa’s niece J. Deepa filing a civil suit in the Madras high court, to restrain the team from making the biopic.