We forgot about our image while working on ‘Ponniyin Selvan’, says Vikram
Mumbai, Apr. 28 (PTI) Superstar Vikram says that in “Ponniin Selvan”, every character is a hero and the actors playing these characters are big stars, but they decided to put craft over on-screen personas.
The two-part magnum opus, directed by Mani Ratnam, features some of the biggest names in the Indian entertainment industry including Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Jayam Ravi, Karthi and Trisha.
“When you go on a set, you have a big or small hero and unless you are a fresh face, everyone responds to you like that. So, you take the way you are treated for granted.
“But when a film like this comes out, everyone here is a hero and heroine. And then Mani sir, the master craftsman, (so) when we got there, we all forgot the image,” the actor told PTI.
The film is a cinematic retelling of Kalki Krishnamurthy’s 1955 novel and chronicles the early days of the Chola Empire.
For his role as the crown prince Aditha Karigalan in the film, Vikram said he “read and read” the script and “absorbed a lot from it”.
“But when I got there, he (Ratnam) said, ‘I want you to feel like this person, angsty, unexpected, try to do that, but don’t go into the drama zone, put it down and try to be real’.” So, after a point, I became the character,” said the actor.
The two-parter “Ponniin Selvan” gave Vikram a chance to closely observe all his co-stars. He was particularly impressed by the acting style of Ravi and Karthi.
“He (Ravi) has done very naughty and brutal roles. He is a mass hero. I was like, ‘How is he (Rajaraja Cholan) going to be because that guy is so different. I wanted to know what he (Ravi) does. I was surprised.
“Karthi does a lot of homework and studies a lot. I see his film selection and realize it will help him. He is able to understand the stories that will inspire, the stories that will captivate you,” he said.
“Ponniin Selvan” was one of the biggest releases from the Tamil industry and the 57-year-old South star asserted that audiences are now eager to see films that can cross boundaries.
According to Vikram, subtitles have contributed to the widespread popularity and commercial success of regional films.
“A film related to nativity and a part of India will still work because the emotions are always the same. People, after the pandemic, are willing to watch subtitled films. Now, they are not only watching our films, but unlike what happened earlier, they are watching Korean, German and French films,” said Vikram.
“Nowadays, content becomes the hero more than anything else… I don’t think there will be an India or regional (film), whatever film is good will work. ‘Gandhara’ is a very small film… it is steeped in culture but is celebrated for its relevance to the story,” he added.
Born in Chennai, he starred in the 2016 Marathi romantic-drama “Sairat”, directed by Nagaraj Manjule and the 2020 blockbuster “Thanhaji: The Unsung Warrior”, starring Nagaraj Manjule and Ajay Devgn, which celebrated the contribution of a Marathi warrior, Tanaji Malusare.
Vikram revealed that while the director was making the film in Marathi, he was offered a historical action drama directed by Om Raut.
“Om had approached me (for ‘Tanhaji’) . I wanted to do it but I don’t know the language (Marathi). There was a time when he made it in Hindi. But it was a Marathi subject rather than a Hindi one, but it was celebrated,” he added, adding that he was inspired by the love story “Sairat”.
“Ponni’s Selvan II” released in theaters worldwide on Friday in Tamil as well as dubbed versions in Hindi, Kannada, Telugu and Malayalam. PTI KKB PK PK PK
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