Dedication is his forte
The Vice-Presidential suite in 15th floor at Marriott hotel in Kochi. Beyond the glass window, the Kochi skyline sparkled as if in a cinemaScope film. Far away, like the hand of a beautiful woman, lies the under construction metroline. 'Chiyaan' Vikram sits beside the bed room lamp watching the city skyline.
Anniyan, Ambi, Remo, Kanthaswamy and Linkeshan, the characters portrayed by Vikram, flashed through my mind for a second. Sporting a new look with an unkempt beard and a handlebar moustache, Vikram gave me a Remo style smile. He has come to Kochi for the promotion of his new film "10 Endrathukulla." Pulling a chair for me to sit, Vikram again immersed himself in the cityscape.
"Kochi is becoming more beautiful after each year. I remember the Kochi of yesteryears when I came to act in Sainyam and Mafia. Like humans, every city continues to astound us."
So you have not forgotten anything?
Smiles... All the joys and sorrows he experienced in his journey till now reflected in that smile.
Forget?.... Can anybody ever forget the house he has grown up even though he has gone places. Though I am in Chennai, I observe each and every change that is taking place in malayalam film industry. I do not remember the number of times I have seen Bangalore Days, Ohm Shanthi Oshaana and Classmates. I called Anjali Menon and told her to start thinking about a film in which I can be the hero. I also spoke to Blessy sir. A film like Chemmeen.... which is remembered by viewers even after so many years. I wish to do such a film. When you meet these directors, tell them that Vikram is waiting.
His iPhone rings incessantly. The ring tone is the hit song 'Njan Panja Bullet Than' from the film "10 Endrathukulla." Vikram switches off the phone and is ready for conversation.
After doing "I", you chose to act in "10 Endrathukulla". What all elements attracted you to this film?
"10 Endrathukulla" is a film directed by young director Vijay Milton. I had seen his film "Goli Soda". The film presented a realistic theme in a commercial way. Upon seeing the film, I realised that Tamil film industry has got an excellent director. It was while I called to congratulate him, that Milton told me the story of "10 Endrathukulla". This film presents a commercial theme in a realistic way.
In my journey of searching for new themes and portrayals, this film proved that my decision was correct. The journey begins in Chennai and ends in Nepal.
The story happens within a span of four days. The film destroys the conventions of cinema on how the hero should be, how he should talk, how the villain should make his entry and how love should be presented in films.
The audience will see a kind of 'under acting' from me, which they have not seen before. Along with this, the film also offers some novelties in fights, dance and action.
You are an actor who does a lot of home work before doing a film. What home work did you do for this film?
I first tried to escape from the body language of the character that I portrayed in "I". I have tried to give a small change to the form of the character. People will get to see a hero which they have not seen till now. Each scene of the film was shot with five cameras. Without our knowledge, director Milton will take the close up, wide and up and down shots. I have tried my maximum to be natural and not to "act" in the film. This is a risky performance.
You select talented heroines in your films. In this film , Samantha is the heroine. Your views on this teaming up?
I did not select the heroine. It was Producer Murugadoss' selection. I share a good chemistry with Jyothika and Trisha while doing films with them. This will also benefit the film a lot.
The heroine's character in this film is very complicated. The producer thought about casting few other artistes for the role. Finally, it was decided to select Samantha. She portrayed the role well. This will be one of the best characters in Samantha's career.
Hollywood fight master Leo Berlin has done the fights for this film. On the experience of working with him?
All these have happened because of my desire. When I see hollywood films, I used to dream about doing a car chase or car jump similar to those. When such desires crossed the limit, the result is Leo Berlin landing here. He has created astonishing shots for this film. When I was ready to do action scenes without a dupe, he got charged up. To give me confidence to do a car jump in one scene, he also held the camera in his hand and hung on a crane before jumping.
Because of this, the tension of doing such scenes came down. Each fight scene had a clear story and script. Fight scenes in the film has comedy, action and revenge and love. All these are the hard work put in by a small actor who wants to walk along with the changing times and tastes.
You had put in a lot of hard work for the film "I". As an actor, were you satisfied with the film?
Definitely. "I" is the best film in my career. Before "I", Anniyan director by Shankar Sir was my favourite film. In "I" , I had the chance to portray three faces in one film. That of a bodybuilder, hunchback and a model. "I" has given me such an enormous range to portray.
On the appreciation the film received
I am a big fan of Rajinikanth. After viewing the film, Rajini sir said, "In Indian cinema as well as in world cinema, I have not seen an actor who puts in this much effort for a film, and for a character in the film."
This is a recognition given by one hero to another hero. What more do I need than this. All my friends in Tamil industry called me. All these are great energy boosters.