Our very own Garam Dharam, aka Dharmendra had the singular honour of being the only Bollywood actor to have worked with Jayalalithaa.
He speaks fondly of his erstwhile co-star. “When I heard of her death all the memories of our shooting together came rushing back to me.We had a great time. The film was called Izzat and I had a double role. I was cast opposite Kajol’s mother Tanuja ,and Jayalalithaa. Back then, she was not the iconic ‘Amma’ that she later became to the whole nation. She was a dedicated focused co-star.”
Recalling the days of shooting with her Dharmendra says, “We shot for one month and a half in Manali. The location was lovely, the co-stars were lovelier and the food was the loveliest. Jayalalithaa would come on the sets with her mother and they would often bring delicious South Indian food for all of us. Those were the days when close ties were formed among all the people who worked together.”
Dharmendra recalls Jayalalithaa as a good co-star, good friend and an even better dancer. “Like Hema , she was a terrific dancer. I remember she had good songs and dances in Izzat. We had a whale of a time shooting.”
He did keep up his rapport with Jayalalithaaji. “When I would be shooting in Chennai I’d call her up. We met a couple of times. But she was busy with far more important things than cinema.Fate had chalked out a very distinguished career for her in politics. I am very proud to see how far she went in life. She would have gone much further if destiny had not snatched her away.It is hearbreaking to see co-stars and colleagues go this way.”