My first break
Cinema made me look at things differently
How it happened
I was always a movie buff and am a hard core Amitabh Bachchan fan. I think my love for acting runs in my genes. My maternal grandfather Farrukh Mirza was a Bengali actor whose films such as Neel Darpan are still screened in Kolkata. I used to do modelling. When I was in Bangalore during my holidays, I bumped into director Kathir who asked me to act in his Tamil film. Since I didn’t know the language, I opted out and left for my college in Mumbai. A year later, I received a call from producer K. T. Kunjumon’s office in Chennai, asking me to come over for a screen test. Director Kathir had asked them to get in touch with me. Little did I expect I would be part of Kadhal Desam, a trendsetter film.
How it felt
Everything seemed to be normal till I went to the Devi theatre. But when the audience saw me, they started crowding me. In my hotel room, I saw fans thronging the entrance. I was dumbstruck. So I went back to the theatre to watch the film — the experience was indescribable. I just couldn’t believe how an ordinary guy could be transformed into a star overnight.
How life changed
I was not the same guy who could kick-start his two-wheeler and go for a spin. I became the heart throb of many. There were days when I worked non-stop. Since I was single I could enjoy all that. As I was not intent on a career in movies, I juggled dates and acted in different languages. All these were not only challenging but also exciting. Cinemachanged my life and made me look at things from a different perspective. So far I’ve done over 100 films. My Tamil film Guru En Allu, directed by Selva, is to be released soon. I’m currently shooting for a couple of Telugu films and a Kannada movie.
S. R. ASHOK KUMAR
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