Filmmaker Aishwaryaa R Dhanush, daughter of global superstar Rajnikanth and wife of actor Dhanush, is proud of her lineage, but does not like to be defined by their fame. She has carved her own identity as a successful filmmaker, playback singer and dancer, author, and most recently an investor of the wellness startup - Sarva & Diva Yoga.
Contrary to general perception, being the daughter of a mega icon doesn’t make it easy in any way. In fact, there was always added pressure because she was under a scanner. “You have to be perfect. It is a challenge. Anybody needs to work for it, wherever you come from. I had the right kind of exposure and the chance. But, I wouldn't say it was easy,” she shares, in an exclusive chat with MAKERS India.
She made her debut as a filmmaker with the Tamil psychological thriller film, 3. The film that featured the popular song ‘Why this Kolaveri Di?’ became one of the most streamed songs of all times. She later directed two more Tamil films, Vai Raja Vai (2015), and Cinema Veeran (2017).
Being one amongst a handful of women filmmakers in the Indian film industry, Aishwaryaa believes that things have certainly progressed, and more women are now working behind the camera. She also believes that being a woman filmmaker doesn’t necessarily mean she has to only make films that have only female protagonists. “I think it is more to go with the story and how the person is thinking and the creativity should be given more importance than the gender,” she shares.
Aishwaryaa also turned author with her memoir ‘Standing On An Apple Box: The Story of a Girl Among the Stars’ that captures her memories and experiences of a young girl in growing up in the world of Indian cinema.
In August 2016, she was selected as UN Women’s Advocate for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in India.
(Interview by: Geetika Sachdev, Video by: Urmi Chatterjee)