In a career that has spanned over 40 years, child artiste-turned-actor Karan feels “blessed about what’s happening right now”. The Kokki actor has been trending on social media over the past few weeks, and this, despite him not doing a single film in the last two years. It started when a scene from the 1996 film Coimbatore Mappillai went viral for its ‘Shroov’ background score used for Karan’s character, Mahesh, when his plans of winning over a girl get foiled because of Balu (played by Vijay).
Interestingly, though he’s on social media, he didn’t realise that his photos and videos were going viral. “I’m not really active on it but keep myself aware of what’s trending. A lot of people, even from abroad, told me that people are talking about me on social media but it was my wife, who is active on Twitter and Facebook, who brought this to my notice. A few friends from the press too confirmed this, and that’s when I believed it,” asks Karan who is ecstatic about the reception.
“Whether it’s a troll or a trend, it’s good because it’s all about me. Any actor will naturally love it (laughs). Moreover, the ‘Shroov’ scene is more than two decades old; so receiving appreciation for a work that I did a long time back means a lot to me.”
The craze isn’t just online. The actor was mobbed when he went to watch a film recently. “I had gone to a mall to watch Equalizer 2 and though it’s normal for people to come up to me and take selfies, this time, I was really mobbed. I couldn’t even move from the spot and I ended up missing 20 minutes of the film (smiles). But I could see their love for me in person and that’s huge,” says Karan. “It told me it’s not just messages that spread. Something like ‘Shroov’ now trending really shows the power of cinema.
When asked if he felt he was being trolled, Karan replies, “I am happy about seeing all those memes. It shows people’s creativity. It’s like a bunch of people noticing a good scene they hadn’t seen before. The millennials who didn’t know much about me are searching the internet about me. What they feel about me gets translated into their creations. It even got me wondering about myself.
Nambale ippadi nambala pathi yosikkaliye,” says a laughing Karan who goes on to talk about a particular video he loved. “Two people would be fighting, and one of them would wield a knife forcing the other one to walk out. But the reason won’t be the knife but my photo as the knife-wielding guy’s phone wallpaper. Look at how these kids are thinking (laughs uncontrollably).”
The actor believes that all such memes and videos are a reflection of people’s love for him. “I’m glad about the image I’ve been given and it’s visible that the audience likes me. Some from the industry have called me to say how happy they are for me,” says Karan.
As I talk about the films he has been a part of in the 90s, right from Nammavar, I point out about how different each of his roles has been, both in appearance as well as characterisation. “The fact that you feel so delights me because in those films from the 90s, someone else played the lead roles. So I had to come up with something to make me stand apart.
In Sollamale, for example, I would be sporting a hairdo in which there’ll be long strands of hair from the front of my head. So, in either my attitude or my get-up, I always tried to differentiate myself,” adds Karan who feels that whatever add-on they do for the character should stay within the limits of that particular character. “If we overdo something, it’ll not only spoil the character but also the film.”
Karan also adds that he owes it all to the directors he has worked with. “In Gokulathil Seethai, director Agathiyan named my character IC Mohan and that IC stood for inferiority complex. So when I played a car racer with a materialistic attitude in Kaadhal Mannan, I had to come up with something different. Every director I worked with gave me a lot of liberty.”
He says he’s careful about choosing films. “Social media is going to get more influential and more such scenes from old films will be dug up. I want to be satisfied with the films I’ve done later when that happens.” The actor feels more responsible now. “I cannot say I have a great image, but I can’t say I don’t have one either. I’m planning on a new project now.”