Aishwarya Rai Bachchan had made her acting debut in Tamil movie Iruvar. Her role in the film was reportedly based on late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, who died late on Monday in Chennai.
Aishwarya played a double role in Iruvar. The film was apparently based on friends-turned-political rivals MGR and M Karunanidhi. In the first role, Aishwarya played the character of Mohanlal's wife. Mohanlal portrayed the character of MGR.
While Aishwarya's first character dies in the film, she appears again in the movie in the character of an actress, who joins Mohanlal's political campaign and eventually the two get into a relationship. This second role played by Aishwarya was apparently derived from Jayalalithaa's real life story, portraying her and MGR's then liaison.
While there were apparently some similarities between Aishwarya's second character in Iruvar with that of Jayalalithaa's life, her second character also dies in the movie.
The portrayal of popular politicians from the south Indian film industry had created a lot of controversy around the film that was directed by Mani Ratnam in 1997. Supporters of the political stalwarts had opposed the release of the film, but it saw the light of the day after much hardships.
The makers of Iruvar had denied links with real-life characters of south Indian politics. Jayalalithaa, who had been a popular actress, created a big name in politics. She was known for her powerful leadership and was called Amma out of affection. Her death has left the people of Tamil Nadu in deep grief.