The simple and affable Vikram does not crib about it. Instead, he says that acting in Telugu and Malayalam films at the beginning of his career helped him in honing up his histrionic skills. And he promises to do a Telugu film early next year after completing two of his current assignments in Tamil, which invariably will be dubbed into Telugu too. "We are working on the subject. It will be directed by a popular young Telugu director and probably will go on the floors next March," informs Vikram keeping the other details under wraps for now. The busy actor who had allotted 18 months to Anniyan to play that three-dimensional role based on the split personality syndrome with aplomb, is currently acting in two films almost simultaneously.
The one produced by the Kannada actor-producer `Rockline' Venkatesh has Asin playing the female lead is slated for Diwali release. It was first titled as Maza but the actor and the producer are now going in for a name change.
"Different people have different meaning for the word. Since the film is a wholesome family entertainer for ages six to 80, we have decided to go in for a more acceptable and suitable title," says Vikram with his characteristic smile.
In Mammootty's shoes...
A remake of Shafi's Malayalam big hit, Thommanum Makkalum, set in a rural backdrop, it has Mammootty, Lal and Rajan P. Dev with Laya and Sindhu Menon in the lead roles. It is a simple story with dollops of humour coupled with action and melodious music.
Vikram re-enacts Mammootty's role of fun-loving rough-and-tough guy laced with a streak of comic touch, romantic interludes and fast-paced action scenes.
Shafi who had four big hits in a row in Malayalam (one of his films was remade into Telugu as Kalyana Ramudu) has brought in many changes for his debut Tamil venture to suit Vikram's image and the Tamil nativity.
"Image never bothers me," says Vikram nonchalantly. "I would like to work out on as many experiments on the celluloid as I can. Kamal Hassan is my idol and none can match him in this aspect."
In all humility, he attributes his success to the writers and directors for writing varied roles and extracting the best out of him.
After working in a serious film, Kamal invariably takes up a light-hearted subject. And after Anniyan, now Vikram is doing a total comedy. Is he following in the icon's footsteps? "This is my first full-length comedy, I agree. But it is just coincidental that after Anniyan this film has happened. Please don't make comparisons with Kamal sir. Where is he and where am I! I am just making my grade and he is miles and miles ahead," he says with reverence clearly visible in his eyes.
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