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Not a stranger in Kerala

SREEDHAR PILLAI

Vikram dwells upon his Malayali connection.



THINKING ACTOR: Vikram.

He is an actor with oodles of patience and self confidence. If he moved us to tears with his comeback film `Sethu,' he had the audience rooting for him as the one-man army who cleans up the system in `Dhool' and `Dhill.' His roles as a tough cop who romances a college girl in `Saamy' made him the darling of teenagers. And the guy who just grunts and grimaces in `Pitamagan,' walked away with the National Award last year.

Today Vikram, one of the superstars in Tamil cinema, has made it big in Kerala too. He is familiar to the Malayali audience as he used to shake a leg in films of Mammootty and Suresh Gopi. Now Vikram's latest film, `Anniyan' is releasing today. In this exclusive interview, Vikram talks about his craze for everything Malayali and his new film `Anniyan.' Excerpts:

How do you speak such good Malayalam and it is said that you never miss a Malayalam film?

(Smiles) How can I forget the eight Malayalam films that I had done during my struggling days. I played a small role in `Indraprastham' with Mammooka and, trust me, he used to get very angry when I told him that he had two left foot. But recently I saw `Thommanum Makkalaum' and was impressed by the way he danced. I rate him as one the best actors in our country and wanted to remake his `Kazhcha' into Tamil.

The versatility of Malayalam artistes big or small is amazing. And I love Kerala food especially the `Kallume Kakka' in Kozhikode area.

My wife Shailaja is from Thalasseri and its no surprise that I love everything Malayali!

You have a fan following in Kerala and recently fan clubs were opened in your name. Please comment.

I heard that in Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram there are fan clubs for me. They must having a feeling of affinity towards me after watching my Tamil films as they have also seen me playing underdog to Malayalam superstars in the past. And they can relate to my acting style which is natural and subtle.

I also try to play different characters in different genre of films, an inspiration that I got from Mammootty and Mohanlal.

Tell us about the storyline of `Anniyan.'

I play Ramanujam, a lawyer who is referred as `rules Ramanujam' as I react if anyone who goes against the law book. My character cannot tolerate injustice, corruption, not obeying traffic rules and people with no civic sense.

Knowing very well that one person cannot make a change to our society I try and kick start the attempt to see that India becomes like Japan, Singapore or any other developed nation.

Nedumudi Venu plays my father and there is Kalabhavan Mani and Cochin Haneefa in cameo roles. Let me tell you that Ramanujam is very different from the usual run-of-the-mill heroes that you see on screen.

Heard that you are doing the Tamil remake of `Thommanum Makkalum'?

Yes, My new film `Majaa' is a remake of `Thommanum Makkalum' with some nativity changes directed by Shafi who did the original. Asin is my heroine and we hope to finish the film in 50 days.

Then I will be doing a mass commercial film for producer A.M. Ratnam and then if all goes well I will do `Kazhcha' with director Blessy.

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