Sunday, October 3, 2010
She’s smart, she’s sweet and she’s won the hearts of all those around her. Amy Jackson, a native of Liverpool, England, who is making her debut in Kollywood with the period film, Madharasapattinam, seems to have made a name for herself here even before the release of her first film.
Says Vijay, the director of the movie, which has Arya playing the lead along with Amy, “When I began looking for a heroine, I happened to see Amy’s picture in the Miss Teen World pageant on the Internet. The moment I saw her picture, I knew that she was the person I was looking for. My only concern was whether she would agree to be a part of this project. We searched all of England for her. In fact, my line producer in England, David Choudhary, after being unable to trace Amy, sent me pictures of a hundred other girls to choose from. I told him ‘I don’t mind looking at the pictures but I want Amy as my film’s heroine.’ Finally, we decided to have auditions in London and as luck would have it, Amy walked in on the third day. That was how she came to be part of Madharasapattinam.”
It’s evident that the director has infinite trust in his actors. That feeling seems to be mutual and is evident in Amy’s reply to a question on why she chose a Tamil film over other languages.
“I’ve always wanted to travel to India. Acting is one of my passions and this film appeared to be the perfect opportunity. When I went for the casting, I wasn’t sure if I’d do the movie. But once I heard the storyline and met the director, I was sure I wanted to be part of it. Everyone made me feel welcome — not like how it is in England. I was able to relate with Vijay and we decided that it would be a good move for me to make.”
The actress, who has worked on this project for almost 90 days, has spent about six months here. Ask her to comment on the experience of working in a Tamil film and she says, “I didn’t know what to expect. However, it was a fantastic opportunity and Arya and Alex really helped me settle down.”
Going on to describe her character in the film, she says, “My character’s name is Amy Wilkinson and she’s the 18-year-old daughter of the governor of Madharasapattinam. A problem arises when I fall in love with an Indian boy as it was forbidden back then.”
Insist on a few more details and she carefully discloses, “My character is that of a kind, genuine person who loves Indians unlike her father and stepmother.” Mention the word ‘action’ and she gets excited. “Yes, I figure in the climax and it’s one of my favourite scenes,” she says, flashing a big smile.
So, how did she find working with Arya? Says the actress, “I was really nervous because he is such a big star here but then, he’s been really sweet and helped me with my scenes. I’ve got a lot of admiration for him.”
Finally, did she have communications problems? She smiles, “Not exactly! People here had a hard time understanding me as my accent was different. However, I had no problems understanding their English.” And Tamil? “I learned a few words but have forgotten them,” she says before signing off, “It’s a really hard language to speak. But then, I’m willing to give it a try.”