Style of his own – Friday Review Thiruvananthapuram
|In a freewheeling conversation, Vijay explains why he will act in Tamil films only.|
His future, should he become a politician, is paved with gold, for Vijay would have perfected the role with panache, in a few years’ time. He will act only in Tamil movies. He speaks only in Tamil for any interview. Why doesn’t he speak in English even in another State like Kerala?
“I don’t know English,” he answers, without batting an eyelid, when he came to Kochi for an award function Sunday last. You would think the 33-year-old actor is just in his early twenties. The ‘boy next door’ image sticks in most of his movies. With a day-old stubble and in casual jeans, Vijay does not look too enthusiastic to field questions. But then, his managers warn you that he is a shy person. But he discussed everything from Tamil cinema to his favourite actors in Indian cinema. Who are his favourite actors? Amitabh Bachchan and Madhuri Dixit!
‘Kaadhalukku Mariyadai,’ directed by Fazil, was his first major hit in 1997. Shalini had played the female lead in this movie. Vijay debuted as hero at age 18 in ‘Naalaya Theerpu.’ He has had his share of hits and flops, but Vijay takes it all in his stride. Some of his movies such as ‘Ghilli’ and ‘Thirupachi’ have been huge box office grossers while ‘Kannukkul Nilavu’ and ‘Aadhi’ bit the dust.
“I usually analyse what went wrong when a film does not do well. I do it myself and don’t take anybody’s help. I have found that people expect me to take roles which have a lot of action and some comedy. That is what they like and those kind of films have clicked,” he says.
Does that mean he will do only one kind of movies? “No, maybe once in two years or so, I will do some other kind of movie for a change, that’s all. But no movies in any other language,” he insists. Why?
“I have a problem following other languages and I don’t like my voice being dubbed,” he explains. But Vijay watches a lot of movies in all kinds of languages.
He would love to act with Mammootty and Mohanlal, but again language is the obstacle, he adds. One of the differences between Tamil and Malayalam movies, he says, is that Malayalam movies are more realistic than Tamil movies.
“It is the percentage really. Tamil films are maybe less than 50 per cent realistic while Malayalam above 50 per cent,” he elaborates. But that is how the audiences in both States want them, he is quick to add. However, some Tamil movies such as ‘Paruthiveeran,’ which was very realistic by Tamil standards did well, Vijay says.
“Tamil film industry is very healthy now, with lots of experimental and other kinds of movies,” he sums up the scene.
What about directorial dreams? “No no, I don’t have that mentality, it is not easy,” Vijay feels. Acting under his father’s direction was not easy as one’s parent always wants his son to do the best, but later, he got used to it. Not many actors have the privilege of having as filmy a background as Vijay’s. His father, S.A.Chandrashekharan, is a producer-director and mother, Shobha, a playback singer. Of all her songs, Vijay’s favourite is the one she sang in the movie ‘Sivakasi.’ Vijay has sung many songs for movies though he has had no formal training in music like his mother.
Acting, singing and yes, dancing. Vijay’s signature style, graceful and slow steps, mixed judiciously with fast ones, even got kudos from Prabhudeva.
“My style just developed like that. It was not deliberate. I have had no formal dance training,”
His fans call him ‘Ilayathalapathy’ and even in Kerala, he has a fans’ association which met him at the foyer of the hotel he stayed in at Kochi. The Ilayathalapathy surely has his act together, and is a ‘stylemannan’ in his own right too.
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