Anjali Ameer, a transgender actress, will play one of the three female leads in director Ram’s Peranbu. The film, a drama, has Mammootty playing the male lead.
Actress Anjali and child artiste Sadhna, who played a critically acclaimed role in Ram’s award-winning Thangameengal, will play two pivotal roles in the film.
“It was Mammootty who suggested Anjali’s name,” Ram told Silverscreen. “He had seen her talking to a Malayalam news channel. She was selected for the role after an audition in which she performed really well. She plays an important character in the film, the details of which I can’t reveal now,” he said.
Anjali, who hails from Calicut in Kerala, underwent a sex-change surgery at the age of 20 to be a female. Now settled in Coimbatore, she started off her career as a model. She is the first transgender to play a vital role in a big mainstream film in India.
On Sunday, Mammootty introduced her through his Facebook page:
Ram, who began his career as an assistant director in Bollywood films like Pukar and Lajja, directed Kattradhu Thamizh in 2007, and Thangameengal in 2013. The films won him rave critical acclaim. His third film, Taramani, starring Andrea Jeremiah and Vasanth Ravi, is awaiting release. The film is being promoted as the final one in his ‘globalisation trilogy’.
Peranbu marks Mammootty’s return to Kollywood after a gap of 12 years. The Malayalam superstar’s roles in films like Viswa Thulasi (2004), Thalapathi (1991) and Mounam Sammadham (1989) are well-known.