Vikram on Kadaram Kondan, being appreciated by 'role model' Kamal Haasan and Mani Ratnam's Ponniyin Selvan
Vikram opens up about his characterisation in Kadaram Kondan, what Kamal Haasan's words of praise meant to him and his son, Dhruv's debut.
Vikram has worked with many senior directors in the past but in Kadaram Kondan, he teams up with Rajesh M Selva, a director with just one film under his belt. “It was fantastic working with Rajesh, he was very clear about his requirements and at the same time, he gave me a lot of freedom to experiment with my looks. I also believe in directors' conviction; if they are firm about something, I would definitely do it because they are the decision-makers on the sets. All you have to do is to blindly follow them; so either you should become the director or believe them. I prefer the latter," says Vikram in a group interaction prior to the release of his action thriller.
At the trailer launch of the film, Kamal heaped praise on Vikram saying henceforth ‘Chiyaan’ will be called as ‘KK’. KK is the short form of Kadaram Kondan. “I think it’s so kind of him to say such good things about me on the stage. Generally, he doesn’t praise other actors so whatever good things he told me at the trailer launch is equal to ten National Awards. Moreover, my childhood was filled with Kamal sir’s films. I grew up watching his performance and as he hails from my hometown, it was quite natural for me to consider him as the role model in the film industry. When you hear words of appreciation from a person like him, it’s definitely a memorable moment," explains the actor on listening to Kamal Haasan’s speech at the trailer launch.
As a matter of fact, it was Haasan who suggested Vikram for Kadaram Kondan. “When they signed me for the film, people told me that the role was written for Kamal sir but he only suggested my name. Though I don’t know the reason behind his decision, I was honoured and said yes just because Kamal sir is producing the film. Later, I was also impressed with the storyline and my characterisation. We all gained confidence when Kamal sir was impressed when I showed him my final look in the film with the salt and pepper hairdo, he said ‘wow’”.
Talking about his character in the film, Vikram says, “There is a suspense element around my role in the film. He doesn’t talk much so you can’t guess what is running in his mind. Generally, with the kind of look I’m sporting for the film, people would expect me to roar on the screen but in Kadaram Kondan, things are subtle and I think that’s what worked in favour of the film. Also, my character will look stylish and the action scenes will be the major highlight."
The actor says that the story of Kadaram Kondan takes place in one day. “As the entire story happens within twenty-four hours, I can’t talk much about the storyline. All I can say is that the young team has done a commendable job. After a genius like Kamal sir who observes each and everything in cinema genuinely appreciates a film, the entire team is quite confident about the final product”.
Vikram says in his leisure time, he always works on new hairdo and sometimes, even change his physique so that he could give it as a reference to directors. “I always think about cinema so I would work on my look at leisure time. In fact, the getup which I sport in Kadaram Kondan was designed by me. Now I’m growing hair for Mani sir’s film so it’s quite natural for an actor to change his looks for the characters offered," he says.
Shedding light on his amazing physical transformation, Vikram says, "Well, earlier I used to follow unhealthy formula. For example, I survived with one roti and an egg during Sethu days. I used to travel eight kilometers to the shooting spot by walk. For a foodie like me who is capable of cobbling 25 idlis, following a strict diet will be quite challenging but I'm enjoying the process. But these days, I'm following healthy ways to increase and decrease weight."
Talking about Mani Ratnam’s magnum opus Ponniyin Selvan, the actor says, “I will begin shooting from early next year for the film. Mani sir has asked four months from me. I’m already working on my looks and the physical training process is also going on simultaneously. It’s a big film so I don’t know the exact shooting schedule but they have asked me four months for my portions”.
There was a big announcement on the actor’s Mahavir Karna but now, the shoot got postponed. “The shoot was supposed to have commenced long back but now, they asked my dates from August. It’s a fantastic script but I’ve other commitments including a film with Ajay Gnanamuthu and then, there is Mani sir’s film so I told them to get ready next year. Yes, the project is happening but there is a slight delay,” he adds.
Vikram is also quite excited about the launch of his son Dhruv with Adithya Varma. “People tell me that he resembles me with his bearded look. I don’t want to rave much about my son’s film because only audiences have to talk about it. But I think Arjun Reddy has got a fantastic story so irrespective of any language, the film will definitely run at the box office. All you have to do is not to ruin it with bad filmmaking techniques."
When asked if there are any plans to share screen space with his son, Vikram signs off by saying, “No, I want him to first establish himself as an actor. Later, if time permits and a right script comes in our way, will think about it."
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