Perhaps, no actor has ever experimented with so many variations in roles as well as in makeup like Kamal Hassan has done on Indian cinema. And he has got public acceptance for his efforts at the box-office. When young actor Ajith, who is ranked second after the superstar-duo Rajanikant and Kamal Hassan, issued photos in the get-up of a 60 year old man which is one of the nine roles in the forthcoming Citizen in which he was playing the lead opposite Vasundhara Das, the first question that arose was whether he was imitating Kamal Hassan in Indian or Hey Ram and whether he was doing another Navarathri like thespian Sivaji Ganesan did.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“When I went to invite Kamal Hassan to my wedding, I praised his brilliant performance as an old man in Indian and expressed my desire to do such a role. When I asked for the contact numbers of the makeup artiste Michael Westmore, Kamalji told me that it was a very costly proposition because the payments had to be done in dollars. So he told me to contact Anil Premgikar from Mumbai.
Thus you see it was Kamalji who inspired me to do this role. As for doing nine roles with different getups in the film, I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to reveal anything about it yet,Ã¢â‚¬ said Ajith with a smile that is known for having many young teenage girls go weak in the knees.
As it takes about six hours to don the make-up for the role, so Ajith has to leave as early as one in the morning to get ready for a seven am shot. The location is like an island situated on the outskirts of Chennai and takes about three hours to travel from the city and then by boat to get there. On the island, they have to make do with only the facilities available there. The effort is to make the film as realistic as possible and thus shoot on locales where the story matches. I am confident that this film will definitely make any Indian proud. When one sees an offbeat and inspiring film, it makes one proud. It may sound like I am boasting about myself but I can tell you that this film will bag atleast four awards; possibly for the director Saravana Subbiah, art director Saboo Cyril who is too good, cameraman Ravi K Chandran or myselfÃ¢â‚¬ discloses Ajith, thumping the desk to prove a point.
AjithÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s career graph shows his work with directors whom he introduced. Despite being a successful hero today, he has consciously avoided working with known names. Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not true that I have intentionally avoided established directors.
Actually there was a time when I waited for a Shankar or a Mani Rathinam to call me but it never happened. But then I got a call from Surya for Valee which went on to became a big hit. Producer Chakravarthy of NIC Arts stood by me and continued to hold on even when I was blacklisted and dumped. Now it is Saravana Subbiah who is doing Citizen and Murugadas is directing Deena. It is these people who have grown with me and I want to be with them. I am doing a film with Surya once again. I shall also be signing a film with Chakravarthi.
Citizen is being released in May. Deena that is to be released on Pongal day is produced by Karthikeyan who had earlier done Irratai Jadai Vayasu. Citizen, I am sure, will be a commercial success because it has a theme which will be ofinterest to the viewers. It is to be released in Tamil and Telugu and later remade in HindiÃ¢â‚¬.
When queried about him and director Pravinkanth parting ways over the film Star, Ajith said that the project was a commercial one and the director had with him the music rights of RahmanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s score and this was a factor which was important to the film but when the director said later that he wanted to produce the film, it was shelved and Deena came was made,Ã¢â‚¬ explained Ajith. He has a film with Ezhil, a film directed by Suresh Krissna among the many other projects lined up for next year. Meena and Naghma are the other two leading ladies. Music is by Deva.