CHENNAI: It’s any actor’s dream to get even the tiniest of role in a Rajinikanth film. Actor Karunakaran is one of the lucky few whose wish has been granted. The actor, who has bagged a role in the Rajini-starrer Lingaa, is just back after spending several days of shooting with the Superstar in Hyderabad. His joy knows no bounds as he recounts the humbling experience in an exclusive chat with CE.
“I was extremely nervous when I joined the unit in Hyderabad. I couldn’t believe that I was going to share screen space with the Superstar for so many days. I have been a huge fan of him since childhood. It is director K S Ravikumar who came to my rescue and told me to relax!” recounts Karunakaran.
He was a bundle of nerves when he first met the Superstar up close, recounts Karunakaran. “When the moment of our shot came, I saw Rajini sir approaching me and froze on my tracks! Whatever few words I had thought of saying, all blanked out. But to my surprise, Rajini sir came towards me with a broad smile, singing the words, ‘Kaasu, panam, dhudu, money money’! I appear in that song in the movie Soodhu Kavvum. I was just rooted to the spot!” he says with a grin.
The Superstar also appreciated Karunakaran’s role in Soodhu Kavvum. “He said, ‘Supera paneenga’,” Karunakaran recalls. “I was amazed at his simplicity. He put me at ease instantly by his words. For an upcoming actor like me, to be noticed and remembered by the Superstar himself is great, what more could I ask for?”
The first shot involved Karunakaran to be in the presence of Rajini for an elaborate time. “I was shivering with excitement and nervousness. But Rajini sir asked me to be casual and relax. All through the next few days, I was floored by the way he put me at ease in his presence. He would never go back to the caravan after his shots. Instead, he would sit with us and chat. I even bucked up some courage to talk to him about his films, and he would narrate incidents about shooting Baasha and Annamalai,” he says.
For Karunakaran, the experience has not only been exhilarating, but also impactful. “I noticed the way he cares about his fans. When a large crowd gathered during one of the shooting days, he made time to go and wave to them, saying that they had come a long way to see him. His simplicity and caring nature has left a lasting impression on my mind. The days I spent on the shoot with Rajini sir will be the most cherished of my life,” he signs off.