Striking a balance
Sarath Kumar tells G. PRASAD he is ready to give up films for politics
Photo: By Special Arrangement
Meticulous Sarath Kumar in the Tamil film ‘Nam Naadu’
Sarath Kumar is a busy man these days. Not just because of his shooting schedules, but also because he is head of a political party and president of the South Indian Film Artistes Association. His day is packed, the pace hectic. But Sarath is good at time management. And this helps him strike a balance between personal, public and professional life. The fitness freak that he is — and his well-maintained physique is ample proof of that — Sarath’s day begins with a two-hour workout. Unfailingly.
More a habit
“For me exercise is a habit and I have been doing it for more than three decades now. Even when I go abroad, I take my trainer along with me. Morning workouts keep me fresh throughout the day,” says the former holder of the ‘Mr. Madras’ title. His muscular build has contributed largely to his image as an action hero in tinsel town. But it is not the only reason why he took to exercising seriously.
“I was inspired by my father who was a good athlete. He always emphasised the need for regular workouts to stay fit. I really wish everyone makes it a habit.” Sarath’s forthcoming release ‘1977’ is an action movie and almost 70 per cent of it has been shot in Malaysia. With William Wong, who has trained under Jackie Chan, shaping the stunt sequences, Sarath had a great time working with him. He says the stunts are simply breathtaking. The film is slated for December release.
Sarath’s interest in history made him opt for the role in the Malayalam historical ‘Pazhassi Raja.’ “It was an opportunity I could not turn down,” he says about the film written by M. T. Vasudevan Nair. Directed by the veteran Hariharan, the title role is played by Mamootty while Sarath plays the trusted commander-in-chief.
Sarath confides that he is also a voracious reader. And that he has a passion for cars. He is quick to add that after entering politics, he has had to douse this passion.
Love for cars
“I owned some posh cars. I get attracted to cars with stunning looks and features. But after getting into public life, I felt my passion may be misinterpreted and hence decided against buying costly cars,” he shares. An admirer of Barack Obama, Sarath says the rise of the U.S. president-elect is simply stunning. “I like people who strive hard for the betterment of people and Obama is one such person.”
Back to cinema: Sarath’s daughter Varalakshmi is making her debut in Kollywood with ‘Poda Podi.’ An MBA graduate from the Edinburgh University, she is also a well-trained dancer. “It’s her decision to join films. The script of the movie suits her and also gives her an opportunity to showcase her dancing prowess. She is sensitive to social issue and wants to lend a helping hand to the needy,” he says.
Sarath has revelled in dual roles and most of them have turned out to be super hits. The actor is once again donning a double role –— that of father and son in the film ‘1977.’
“It has got nothing to do with sentiments. I accept the offer only if the subject requires me to do a dual role. Same is the case with ’1977’,” he explains.
The entry of the corporate sector into film production, Sarath feels, will infuse more professionalism in the industry. “I welcome it, as everyone will be benefited. There will be a good money flow and artistes will be assured of their payments. Better marketing strategies will help the films reach out to more people more effectively.”
With wife Radhikaa also busy with her professional commitments, Sarath says the time spent together at home is comparatively less. When at home, their four-and-a-half year old son, Rahul, keeps them occupied.
The couple makes it a point to spend quality time with him. “It is fun being at home,” he says.
Till now, Sarath has managed his film and political career quite well, but is well aware that it can get difficult in the long run.
“I know it is not easy to ride two horses at the same time. I will be making the vital decision after the Lok Sabha elections. If the election results are in our favour — which I hope it will be — I may even sacrifice my film career. I am readying myself for it.”
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