Reflecting on her experience working with Mammootty in Kaathal The Core, Jyothika highlighted the importance of equal screen time, noting that Mammootty made her feel secure and respected
Actor Jyothika has voiced her desire for a cultural shift in the Tamil film industry, urging popular and leading directors to create more women-centric films. Currently reveling in the critical and commercial success of her recent film, Kaathal The Core, where she shares the screen with Malayalam superstar Mammootty, Jyothika emphasized the need for substantial roles for women in mainstream cinema.
Reflecting on her experience working with Mammootty in Kaathal, Jyothika highlighted the importance of equal screen time, noting that Mammootty made her feel secure and respected. "Even in a few scenes, we acted together, the dialogues were very less. But, he was so confident with his portion and I felt very respected. It was a big hero, a big director and a big role," Jyothika told Behindwoods.
She also revealed that she has turned down many big films in Tamil because the roles didn't match her expectations or talents. "I keep getting offers. But, there is no scope for performance. I asked the directors to at least give me two good scenes. That is such a shameful request to ask after being in the industry for 25 years. I feel good that you guys respect me and want to cast me in your movies, but where are the scenes? I can't just be around a hero. I am not able to bring myself to doing such roles," she added.
Jyothika also wished to see more and more established directors work on women-centric films. She observed that even though the Tamil film industry is producing such films, they are being done on a small scale with new talents. She believes that when a women-centric film is backed by big directors and top technicians it will look different and also take it to a wider audience.
Jyothika cited the example of Alia Bhatt's thriving career in Bollywood to underline the importance of big directors telling women stories. "Alia Bhatt is working with Imtiaz Ali (Highway), Sanjay Leela Bhansali (Gangubai Kathiawadi) and Meghna Gulzar (Raazi), (among) the biggest directors in Hindi. Where is it happening in our (Tamil film) industry?" she questioned.
Jyothika revealed that she discusses with her husband Suriya about this unfair distribution of opportunities and access to recourse to women actors in the film industry. She also expressed her happiness with the kind of films he's doing where women have much meatier roles compared to roles in other big hero films.
"In most of Suriya's films, girls will always have good roles. Check the best films of Laila, they will all be with Suriya. In Jai Bhim, I think Lijomol (Jose) had a bigger role than Suriya. In Soorarai Pottru, Aparna Balamurali's role was equally important as Suriya's. They both won national awards for that film. So he makes a very conscious effort about it. His job is difficult: he has a fan following to please and he likes to do good films and the girls have good roles (in his films). I am very proud of the work he's doing," she said.