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I am basically serious but outwardly humorous: Vivek

S.R. Ashok Kumar

"Humour can travel beyond language and boundaries. In spite of this there is no national award for comedy. I do not know why a comedian is not getting a national recognition?"



Vivek...A comedian to the core

Vivek is today perhaps the ideal example of the concept of humour that is deemed healthy, provoking laughter and thoughts at the same time. The man with a real ability to twist a phrase and offer a brand of wit that's exclusive and appealing even to the upper class audience, has come a long way since his first movie `Manathil Uruthi Vendum'. Now he is dabbling with the idea of doing the lead role in Tamil films, perhaps an ideal time to look back on a career and also look into the future.

I am basically serious but outwardly humorous person. I normally get angry when I see wrong things done with a motive behind it. I wanted all people to do only good things in life and be nice to all, irrespective of place and circumstances.

Even today I remember the first day of my shooting in "Manathil Urudhi Vendum" directed by my guru K. Balachander. I was asked to come running down the stairs. I did the shot to his satisfaction. But in doing so I hurt my toes. But I did not want to show it to him. But after a few minutes the blood was oozing from the wound. KB sir saw it and asked me immediately to attend to it. So today I can proudly say I acted in my first shot itself, by sacrificing blood.

The best recognition I have received is from the President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. I have met him before and after his nomination and later when he came to Chennai as President. He told me to do my best for `children and their education'. I took his word and did two films as per his instructions-- "Samy" and "Kadhal Sadugudu". I made a separate CD with my scenes and sent it to him. He watched them and appreciated me. I feel that is more than an award for me.

Which emotion is predominantly ruling the society? It is comedy. In the tinsel world one cannot forget Charlie Chaplin and Laurel Hardy.

Humour can travel beyond language and boundaries. In spite of this there is no national award for comedy. I do not know why a comedian is not getting a national recognition?

In a film, we comedians act only for 2,000 or 3,000 feet. As comedian I feel that I am unable to express my self fully. If given more opportunity and freedom we can do a better job. Today also in Malayalam films Dileep is doing full-length comedy films. In olden days we had films such as "Sarvar Sundaram". When directors and villains turn to lead roles, why not comedians act as lead actors in humorous movies. "Solli Adippein" is that kind of film. It is 80 per cent over. The film will be released later this year.

Among comedians, I like Surlirajan in Tamil. Brahmanandam in Telugu, British actor Norman Wisdom in English and Johnny Walker and Asrani in Hindi. They can never be forgotten.

I have done nearly 200 films. I like all my films but I would gladly choose "Samy" as top, mainly because the role I did had messages on social reform with a tinge of humour.

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