The actor plays money lender Kanaka Ratnam in ‘Muthyamantha Muddu’
If actor Aamani proved her mettle in director Bapu’s Mr Pellam (1993), her performance in SV Krishna Reddy’s films Subhalagnam (1994) and Maavichiguru (1996) made her a household name among Telugu film goers.
The actor reprises the role of the money-mad, controlling Kanaka Ratnam in the Telugu daily serial Muthyamantha Muddu, launched a month ago on Zee Telugu. Director Ramjee helms the loves story set in Nellore, with script and dialogues by Rasool.
A scene from ‘Muthyamantha Muddu’
Kanaka Ratnam’s obsession for money stems from her carrying forward her mother’s money-lending business. With a big bindi, colourful bangles and jewellery, the mother of three is sharp-tongued and bossy, asserting her dominance over the family. When her son Govind falls in love with Geetha, a Tamilian, and marries her, Kanaka Ratnam’s battle with her daughter-in-law begins.
“Initially I was not interested but when I heard the story, I couldn’t say no. My character has a commanding personality. Portraying varied emotions without making her a negative character is a challenge,” says Aamani.
Bengaluru-based Aamani travels to Hyderabad for shoots and credits the team for her Nellore accent in the show. Though transforming into Kanaka Ratnam was easy, the dialogues posed a challenge.“I could get the body language of an overbearing person right but the slang was initially tough.”
As for the television stint, she says, “Work flow is a major difference between film and television serials. A film actor gets some rest between shots but the small screen is demanding and keeps actors on their toes.”
Enriching film career
In her two-and-half decade-long film career, Aamani has also essayed various small roles in Aa Naluguru, Chandamama Kathalu, Middle Class Abbayi, Bharat Ane Nenu and others.
She was recently seen as a street vendor and actor Kartikeya’s onscreen mother in Chavu Kaburu Challaga. Actors have to move with the times and accept roles that give them a scope to emote, she says. Citing the examples of Jayasudha and Jayaprada, she says, “They were both stars in Telugu films and later did varied roles. Jayasudha made a mark as a mother in so many movies. If you stick to your own image you can never grow as an artiste. Essaying different roles is a challenge but it is also quite fulfilling.”
While Aamani’s foray into Telugu television is new, she is familiar to Tamil audiences as Rathinavalli in the serial Poove Unkaaga. She discontinued the project after a year due to her mother’s hospitalisation from COVID-19. When her mother’s health deteriorated, Aamani found herself cash-strapped. “My money was locked and no one helped me. But Arvind sir (Allu Arvind of Geetha Arts) immediately sent money to be given for a project. It was my money but what mattered was that he gave it when I needed it the most.”
She spends more than 25 days in Hyderabad for shootings. “I miss my children — seven year old Nihal and five year old Vibha. Whenever I get a small break I am back in Bengaluru to be with them.”
Aamani looks forward to her next project Arrdham, a Telugu-Tamil bilingual film.
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