Universal Hero Kamal Hassan needs no introduction to the world of Indian Cinema. His unique way of portraying a role, boldness in experimentation, amazing acting prowess has earned him many fans all over. He can pull off any role with great perfection and ease. After an experimental film Uthama Villain, the actor is back with an action thriller Cheekati Rajyam which is all set for release this month. Here is an iQlik exclusive chitchat with the actor:
Hello Kamal Hassan garu..
Your new film Cheekati Rajjyam is a remake of French film Sleepless Nights. What was the reason behind choosing a remake instead of an original script?
I really liked the novelty in the story. Usually, many thrillers these days focus on the narration part rather than characterizations. But Cheekati Rajyam features each character having a definite goal. Instead of cinematic liberties, this film progresses in a natural fashion. We are highly confident that the film would be well connected to Indian Audience.
Is there any connection between Cheekati Rajyam and your yesteryear hit Akali Rajyam?
Akali Rajyam was made based on the societal conditions of the early 80s. The film was made with inspiration from Legendary poet Sri Sri’s work. I think the real hero of Akali Rajyam is Sri Sri. However, Cheekati Rajyam doesn’t focus on societal issues. It is an out and out action thriller.
Please tell us about your role in Cheekati Rajyam..
I play the role of a narcotics bureau officer named C.K.Diwakar. The story deals with the efforts he puts in solving a crime scene.
Cheekati Rajyam is a simultaneous make in Telugu and Tamil. Did you face any difficulties in production?
I am not new for bilinguals. My yesteryear film Amavasya Chandrudu was a simultaneous make and was released in the same time too. Cheekati Rajyam was shot ideally in Chennai as well as Hyderabad. As it is a cop action flick, we took special care in the nativity department and the uniforms. Nevertheless, we completed the shoot in 60 days. It could happen great because of the team work.
How happy were you playing this interesting character in Cheekati Rajyam?
I honestly felt I did a unique film after ages. The feel of Hollywood action classics like First Blood and Bourne Supremacy would be attained while watching this.
Why didn’t you plan to direct this flick along with acting?
I consider directing and acting for a same film also to be totally different aspects. Unless you are totally involved in the story, one shouldn’t opt for direction. For me, if I connect to a story at a personal level I would choose to direct it. I loved the story of Cheekati Rajyam and director Rajesh Selva has been with me since seven years. I gave him this chance so that it would fetch him professionally.
You have been in the film industry for about 50 long years. How do you feel when looking back?
I generally don’t prefer looking back (Laughs). I always focus on going ahead. If we think about past, we would be haunted with nostalgia. To make things worse, more mistakes would be seen by analyzing the past.
You are one of those actors who is always ready for experimentation in roles. Isn’t it difficult to brainstorm for such roles everytime?
Not at all. There are many more roles I need to do even now! Out of 200 films I acted in, only 60 are special. The remaining films follow a formula of 6 songs and three fights. So I strongly believe there is more scope for experimentation!
You were predominantly seen in social dramas. Is there any reason for not doing mythological films?
True. I couldn’t do a mythological film till date. I wanted to make such film named Lankeshwarudu long back but it couldn’t materialize. I hope to do it sometime in the near future.
How is Vishwaroopam-2 shaping up?
The shooting formalities have been completed. Once the business formalities are done it would be ready for release.
What is your opinion on awards for films? You must be knowing about IIFA Awards being conducted in Hyderabad very soon this year.
According to me, the real stage for Indian Cinema is in the South. The heart of Cinema flowered in South India. Popular production houses like Gemini made films in Hindi, Gujarati and Bengali as well. Since many years Chennai has been the hub for South Indian Cinema. I am glad that Hyderabad has become such a grand stage for honoring films.
Did you ever feel dissatisfied for not getting an Oscar award for your performances?
Oscar Awards is a platform which judges based on American backdrop. One cannot expect Grammy Awards to assess the talent of Carnatic exponent Dr.M.Balamurali Krishna. Why should a foreign award committee decide the greatness of Indian Cinema? It should be the responsibility of Indian award committees to do that! I feel it is meaningless to worry about why Oscar isn’t given. It is as silly as an Indian Politician dreaming to become an American President!
What is your motto in acting career?
I don’t think there is a shortcut way to succeed in earning money, fame or talent. In order to reach a long destination, the journey would be equally challenging. By going for shortcuts, only disappointments will welcome you.
Do you think formal training is needed for anybody entering into films?
I still consider myself to be a student of Cinema. There are so many things to be learnt. I strongly believe that every aspect of Cinema such as acting, composing, directing needs training. Only few gifted people can excel in it without such training. If anybody says that they are excelling without any training at all must be kidding themselves.
Okay..thanks a lot and wish you the best for Cheekati Rajyam!