Mr KK, the dubbed Telugu version of his latest Tamil flick, Kadaram Kondan is up for release and Chiyaan Vikram is absolutely unscathed.
Although Sketch didn’t do well... “Oh, it did well in Tamil,” interjects Vikram who is evidently pinning hopes on this movie to work here in Telugu as well.
Looking menacing in the posters with a salt and pepper look which he apparently styled himself, the film is going to have an “international standard” he says.
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“I play a mysterious person who has grey shades and has quite a striking personality.
The film brings to mind a Hollywood action thriller with the sequences, the styling and its treatment on the whole.
It has a flavour that will appeal to a larger audience and a wider nativity,” he promises. Mr KK, produced by RKFI – Kamal Haasan’s home production – was written originally for Kamal Haasan himself but was the turned over to Vikram when the former got busy with his political career.
However, both were true professionals in what could have been an awkward situation. “Kamal Haasan is not just a living legend, he is an entire era. To be playing a role that was originally written for him and him approving of me is huge.
But he never stepped on my shoes, he let me interpret the role and perform how I see fit,” the actor fawns.
The 53-year-old actor says he has immense clarity on what he wants to deliver as one of the top actors across the nation. “All of us want to be able to fare well at the box office. Everything we do is in the hope of bagging a hit.
But, I don’t only want to be a part of blockbuster movies but one of the reasons why a film becomes a blockbuster. It’s not about the money I earn. I used to get Rs 750 as a copywriter.
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After I started getting Rs 2 lakh as an actor I stopped worrying about money,” he chuckles adding, “Now it’s all about who I want to work with and explore and learn and perform as much as I can in this profession.
Also the amount of impact commercial cinema has on the audience is profound. Relating to characters and adoring them is a result of a certain nativity that these films bring to the screen.
I have always tried to bring such nativity and such relatability to my characters in my films.”
Nativity and a connect to the audience is his priority and that didn’t change when he reportedly got an offer for a Hollywood movie which he rejected. “I don’t want to be a publicity stunt.
Hollywood movies adding an Indian or Asian character to draw our markets is not a good enough reason to accept a movie.
I don’t want to be promoted as an actor in a Hollywood film and then end up doing a cameo. For instance, Big B who is a legend was talked about a lot when it came out that he was in The Great Gatsby.
But he was only visible for a small bit and it only disappoints the fans,” he elaborates.
Of rejecting and being rejected, not being able to find even a break in his own native industry but finding stardom in Kollywood might hit some nerves.
But Vikram believes he is beyond that now. Recollecting his eventful past he says, “In the beginning when I was still struggling I only cared about getting an opportunity and being able to act.
Whether it was in Telugu, Tamil or Malayalam, if I had caught a break in any of these industries I would have continued my work there. It’s just a chance of fate.
And now I get love from all over.” He recounts, “Up until Sivaputhrudu all my hits in Tamil were being remade in Telugu. When Sivaputruda started to gain attention by itself in Telugu, I realised that I was being noticed for my acting.
When Aparichitudu came out I started to be recognised nationwide. Cinema in today’s day is surpassing language. There are subtitles and people are just choosing to watch good cinema no matter which language.”
While he seemed confident that its universal appeal and the plot will work with all kinds of audience, he also is excited about his upcoming periodic film helmed by Mani Ratnam. “Working with Mani sir is always enriching.
Not just when we are acting but even when he is talking to the cinematograher he explains in detail the emotion, the movement and the feelings of the characters in detail such that they also visualise his idea.”
The multilingual which is set to hit the floors in August has Vikram playing Aditya Karikaalan, the heir apparent for the Chola throne in the periodical.
Mr KK, starring Vikram and Akshara Haasan directed by Rajesh M Selva is set to release on July 19.