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Rajinikanth remembers Meena's transformation from 'Amul Baby' to leading lady

Tamil superstar Rajinikanth recalled fond memories of working with Meena. 

Rajinikanth remembers Meena's transformation from 'Amul Baby' to leading lady

Rajinikanth and Meena have worked together in several hit films. (Photos: Instagram/ Meena Sagar)

Last Updated: 02.39 PM, Apr 13, 2023


Tamil superstar Rajinikanth was a chief guest at an event that celebrated Meena for completing 40 years in movies. And during the event, he shared some memories of working with Meena in multiple films. Rajinikanth said that he was surprised to see the transformation of the actress from a child artist to a leading lady.

Rajinikanth recalled working with Meena in the 1982 film Engeyo Ketta Kural. "At the time, I was doing movies like Murattu Kaalai, and Pokkiri Raja. Panju Arunachalam wanted to do a family movie with me. And he offered me Engeyo Ketta Kural. I liked its subject very much. Even today people ask me why I'm not doing movies like Engeyo Ketta Kural," he said.

Rajinikanth also shared that Meena, who played his daughter in the movie, was only 6-7 years old at the time. Later, Rajinikanth again worked with Meena in Anbulla Rajinikanth (1984). "She was looking like a doll (at the time)," he recalled.

The actor also praised Meena's professionalism and commitment towards her roles. He noted that Meena was always in her character. In Anbulla Rajinikanth, she played the role of a child with a paralyzed left arm and a serious heart condition. "Even at that age, she was very committed to her character," he said.

Rajinikanth went on to share his experience of working with Meena in the 1989 film Yajaman. "AVM wanted to do Yajaman and director R. V. Udayakumar narrated the story to me. I felt it was a different story, family-orientated and a big scope for the heroine. And I suggested a few names for the leading lady. But, they informed me that Meena will be the female lead. I was like which Meena?," he recalled. 

Rajinikanth was taken aback when he discovered that the same girl who had worked with him in Engeyo Ketta Kural and Anbulla Rajinikanth was cast as the female lead in Yajaman. Since he had not seen her since their last film, he had no idea what the grown-up Meena looked like. To persuade Rajinikanth, the producers showed him Meena's performance in a few Telugu movies. "I was shaken. Is this the same 'Amul Baby' Meena? She had completely transformed into a beautiful and charming woman," Rajinikanth recalled. 

Rajinikanth also spoke about Meena's story sense and how he used to bounce off his movie ideas to gauge the quality of his movies. "I narrated the story of Padayappa to get her reaction. And she fell in love with the Nilambari character and insisted on playing that character. Instead, I offered her the other female lead, but she didn't want that. I felt her innocent face was not the right fit for Nilambari," he said.

"Meena is still upset with me for that giving her that role," he quipped.

Rajinikanth and Meena also worked together in Veera and Muthu, which were also big hits. Meena also played a cameo in Rajinikanth's Annaatthe.

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