When Jayalalithaa turned down a role opposite Rajinikanth in Billa

In a letter, Jayalalithaa wrote that she turned down many offers because she didn’t want to do films anymore.
When Jayalalithaa turned down a role opposite Rajinikanth in Billa
When Jayalalithaa turned down a role opposite Rajinikanth in Billa
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Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's interest in further pursuing a career in films had begun to wane a few years prior to her formal induction into the AIADMK in 1982.

According to a letter written by Jayalalithaa, the charismatic leader who worked in over 140 movies over a span of three decades, turned down many "excellent offers" from the industry in those years.

Dated June 10, 1980, the letter was addressed to one "Piousji" of Khaas Baat, a publication house, in response to an article published by them that claimed she was "struggling" to make a come-back in films. 

The letter was posted online by Brian Laul, who “was taking over the mantle of Piousji (‘Khaas Bhat’ column) from dear Arthur Pais.”

On a Poes Garden letterhead, Jayalalithaa wrote, "I feel constrained to point out that I'm not, I repeat, not 'struggling to stage a come-back'. I am at a loss to understand how you gained this erroneous impression."

She went on to clarify: "In fact, I have been turning down some excellent offers. Perhaps you don't know that the heroine's role in Balaji's 'Billa', opposite Rajinikanth, was first offered to me. It was only after I refused to do the film, that Balaji signed Sripriya for the role. Everybody knows that Balaji is one of the foremost film producers in India today, and Rajinikanth is Tamil screen's superstar. If I am capable of turning down such a dazzling offer, does that not prove conclusively that I am not in the least struggling to stage a come-back?"

Jayalalithaa went on to mention that she was, at that point, no longer interested in a career in films. 

"By God's grace, I am extremely well off financially, and I can continue to live like a queen for the rest..." she wrote. 

The rest, as they say, is history. 

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