Kalai Rani is an actress among the most experienced artists in Tamil film industry. She had initial fears about acting in films owing to a lack of self-confidence. The veteran actor Nasser, who was a dear friend of hers, was the person who recommended her to try theatre acting. She joined the ‘Koothu-P-Pattarai’ which is a very popular and prestigious theatre group in Chennai.
She debuted in a play titled ‘Kattiyakaran’, which was later selected for the coveted ‘South Zone Festival’. Later, she took part in various drama brought out by the same theatre house such as ‘Guruvamma’ and ‘Vellai Vattam’. After a fine spell of acting in theatre, she got opportunities to act in films. She had wanted to act in films before she decided to try theatre.
Coming to the film industry was a radical shift from a career perspective for her. The acting that happens in theatre or drama is very different from the acting in films since, according to her, Theatre takes months of rehearsals before the final product can be made whereas film requires on the spot acting and dialogue delivery skills. However, she quickly adapted to films, getting recognition for her expressionist method of acting.
Her roles in films such as ‘Devathai (1997)’ and ‘
’ (2000)-which was a Telugu movie has gained lot of popularity and praise even among critics. She received the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for best female character artiste for her performance in the 2005 film- ‘Kodambakkam’. Apart from acting, Kalai Rani also teaches children and hosts workshops on theatre acting. Apart from theatre and films, she is also active in the Tamil teleserial industry.
She remains a favourite for the casting of motherly roles due to the sheer number of such roles that she has wonderfully presented. Be it drama, films, serials, workshops or even applying makeup to artists in the backstage, she believes in perfection and doesn’t compromise on end results at all.