Exclusive Interview: Amy Jackson and I

Tell us about your acting journey…
India is like my second home now. I am to the country for the first time in 2010. Director AL Vijay spotted me in USA for Miss Teen World pageant in 2009 and felt I was ideal for his film Madarasipattam. Within a couple of weeks of meeting him, I landed up in Chennai, to the country which I never been before. I fell in love with the country during my brief stay of about four years and love the Indian film industry and I really feel part of an incredible journey.

How did you adjust to the conditions in India?
I was just 17 when I made my filmy debut and yes, it’s definitely been a huge journey. Now, I’m 22 and I have evolved as an actress and grown as a person. It’s amazing to be a part of the film industry and work with stalwarts like AL Vijay, Gautham Menon and Shankar during the very beginning of my career.

Who is your mentor in the industry?
I’m completely new to acting and to the country. Director AL Vijay is my guru and it was he who introduced me to the tinsel world. He gave me an amazing career and I have to thank him for that. I have great parents and they been encouraging. It’s a great supporting system in the industry and I have learnt a lot during this brief journey.

Any acting tips from your co-stars?
When I was acting in Madarasipattanam, I had done extensive research for the role. My director Vijay, my co-star Arya and my entire unit helped me to understand the character.

Are you nervous facing the camera for the first time?
Yes, it was difficult. The weather conditions, different food and the environment are new to me. I was just 17 and to be away from my family and friends is difficult. But, I was whole heartedly welcomed by the unit of Madarasipattanam and everyone made me comfortable. Now, the entire unit of the film is like my family.

Brief us about your other films….
Madarasipattanam was received well by the audience. It was a happy feeling considering the fact that I was a new comer. After that Gautham Menon roped me for Ek Deewana Tha in Bollywood and it was followed by Thandavam opposite Vikram and Yevadu opposite Ram Charan in Telugu. Now I’m working with Shankar for I. It’s been an incredible journey.

How was it working with Vikram?
Thandavam was directed by AL Vijay again. I got the honor of sharing screen space with him in two films. He is a huge star here and I know a lot about him. I always wanted to act with him once I started working in films. It was fantastic to work with him. He gave me a lot of advices and he is a very nice person. When I referred him Vikram sir, he insisted me to call him Kenny. He is so simple and doesn’t behave like a star.

Tell us about Ram Charan…
Ram Charan is one of the biggest superstars of Tollywood. He is a fantastic actor and a brilliant dancer. His action scenes in Yevadu are amazing and it’s great to work with him. I visited Hyderabad for Yevadu and I like the city very much.

Why didn’t you sign a Telugu film after Yevadu?
I always wanted to act in a Telugu film but as you know I was occupied with I and allocated bulk call sheets to this film. I was not allowed work in any other film till I complete Shankar’s film, as per my contract. Finally after three years of hard work I is hitting the screens for Pongal and now I can take up new projects!

How did I happen?
When I first got the call from Shankar sir’s office, I was in disbelief! I have been in Chennai but I never met Shankar sir. I wasn’t too sure that I really got the opportunity. It was my goal to work with him as he is a big director in Kollywood. He is very humble, gentle and quite and narrated the story to me. He told me that he approached me for the role Diya in I. The next day I went to PC Sriram sir for trail photo shoot and I was offered the role. It’s a dream come true moment for me and I see it as a great opportunity to work with four legends like Shankar, PC Sriram, Vikram and AR Rahman in one film.

What piece of advice you got from Shankar on the sets?
Shankar sir is full of advices. His vision and direction are impeccable. The very first day we shot in Chennai in a set, I was very nervous as it was my first film with Shankar. I didn’t really rehearsal for the character and didn’t prompt for the scene, I have really got into this alone as I was well-prepared and he knew that if I was allowed to be alone I can become more comfortable.