Actor Kangana Ranaut says that she resonates with the life struggle of celebrated politician and actor Jayalalithaa Jayaram. The ‘queen’ is performing Jayalalithaa’s role in her biopic and she has done extensive research for the same. In her latest interview with a daily, Kangana has revealed how she landed up signing the film and what made her take up the role of one of the most revered female politicians in India.

Mumbai Mirror reported that Kangana was working on her own biopic with writer KV Vijayandra Prasad when he told her that her story is quite similar to the story of Jayalalithaa and she should consider working on the film. The actor talked to the daily and revealed she finds herself absolutely opposite of Jayalalithaa but identifies with her ‘spirit’. Kangana said, “I asked for some time to think over the film during which I read up some more on her and was blown away by what I learnt. It’s a story that needs to be told and I am happy to be telling it even though she was the absolute opposite of me.”

She added, “She was far more docile and refined in her demeanour, more sophisticated in her choice of words and always ladylike no matter what she was going through. But if you tried to run her down, she would always bounce back. She’s risen over every controversy and adversity and I could identify with that spirit though our styles of expression were very different.”

Kangana has given a backseat to her own biopic for a while because she is totally dedicated to Jaya/ Thalaivi. She told the daily, “That’ll (her biopic) have to wait for now as the focus is on this film. It’s the same writer and in many ways our stories, our struggles, are so alike. We both came from humble backgrounds into a male-dominated world, fought the odds to make a place for ourselves. It’s the success story of a survivor with a lot of drama that’ll make for exciting cinema.”

The actor also revealed that she is learning classical dance since Jayalalithaa was a trained Bharatnatyam dancer and she is required to perform a lot of dance in the film. Kangana is also learning the Tamil language to play the role with perfection on-screen. The actor went on to talk about venturing into South Indian cinema and said, “Then, because it’s a biopic of a familiar public figure, I have to adopt her mannerisms to make the performance convincing. I’m looking forward to the challenge of playing a woman who was at once soft and strong. It’ll be a refreshing change to play someone so restrained. There’s also the high of working in a South film. Our three top grossers are Baahubali, Baahubali 2 and Robot, their film industries are bigger than ours, which is why when the offer came along, I thought, ‘Why not?’.”

Jaya/Thalaivi is being directed by AL Vijay and produced by Shaailesh R Singh and Vishnu Vardhan Induri.