Kamal Haasan relishes villain role in post-apocalyptic 'Kalki 2898 AD'

Actor  Kamal Haasan
Actor Kamal Haasan

MUMBAI: Actor Kamal Haasan, who plays the antagonist in "Kalki 2898 AD", says he was craving to play a bad man on the screen and is glad he got the opportunity through the futuristic drama.

Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the film features top movie stars like Amitabh Bachchan as the immortal Ashwatthama and Prabhas as Bhairava, an avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu.

Haasan plays the role of Supreme Yaskin in "Kalki 2898 AD", directed by Nag Ashwin.The film also stars Deepika Padukone as Sumathi.

"I was (telling) backstage to Amit ji (Bachchan) about how I always wanted to play a bad man because the bad man gets to do all the good things.Where the heroes are singing romantic songs and waiting for the heroine, he (bad guy) can just go ahead and do what he wants." I thought I'm going to play the bad man so it's going to be fun.

But then, he (Ashwin) wanted it to be different.I'm almost like a sage in the film with a bad idea," Haasan told reporters here at a promotional event of the film on Wednesday.

Speaking about his menacing bald look in the film, Haasan said the idea was to do something that had not been explored before.

"We had a lot to talk about (the look), and also not look like something else that I had done already or somebody else has done already.

I thought I've a fantastic idea and I had not seen any images of the film, so I thought I would dress myself up in such a way that people would turn around and look at me.

"I was like, 'I'll do research', and I got to know that, 'Amit ji is doing it (the film)'.Then I thought, I'll come with armour, I was told, 'Prabhas has got that'. I didn't want to be pregnant in the film (referring to Padukone's character Sumathi), otherwise I would've tried that as well. With a good director, even that would've been possible," the 69-year-old actor said.

He further said the team went to Los Angeles to get the right look for his character.

"We travelled to LA, we failed a couple of times before we arrived at the acceptable look.So, it's a collaboration. I hope the audience will react the same way we did when we saw the first look," he added. Haasan recalled being stunned when he was first approached for "Kalki 2898 AD".

Calling Ashwin as an ordinary man with an extraordinary idea, just like his mentor the late legendary filmmaker K Balachander, the actor said the director knew how to present his vision.

"I'm used to these kind of ordinary looking people (referring to Ashwin) who do extraordinary things. My boss, my mentor (K Balachander) was one such man.He looked like a government official.If he entered any house, you'll think there's been an income tax raid. "But I've seen what he was capable of from the kind of films he did.

I think 'Ek Duuje Ke Liye' was his 60th or 70th film. So, I was not surprised.I don't underestimate these ordinary looking guys.They have a depth that doesn't show unless you talk to them.I had the opportunity of talking to him, he is a man of a few words," he added.

At the event, Bachchan presented the first movie ticket of "Kalki 2898 AD" to Haasan.He fondly recalled watching Bachchan's 1975 blockbuster "Sholay" weeks after it had been released in cinema halls.

"I wish this had happened four to five decades ago as I waited for three weeks to watch 'Sholay'.

I never thought I'd get a first day-first show ticket from Mr Amitabh Bachchan.I was a film technician and now I'm an actor.But, not much has changed," he said.

Produced by Aswini Dutt of Vyjayanthi Movies, "Kalki 2898 AD" is set to be released theatrically on June 27.

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