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Advantage Prithviraj

VIJAY GEORGE

Prithviraj's career graph may have its highs and lows but the actor is unfazed as he maintains that it is all part of the game.


I do want to be remembered in film history, somewhere down the line, with some strong performances. That is all I aspire for. Prithviraj



FOCUSSED ON CAREER: Prithviraj says he is not in a hurry to be the next superstar of Malayalam films.

Even the best of actors have had to go through the grind. And things have been no different for the new generation of film stars. Touted as the next superstar of Malayalam films, Prithviraj carries a lot of expectations on his shoulders. However, his youth, looks and impressive lineage have not always transformed into success stories at the box office. But such thoughts do not seem to bug him. "For me it does not matter. I believe that when you start playing to such equations, you stop being a serious actor," he says.

Says Shyamaprasad who directed him in the much-acclaimed `Akale,' "It's not fair to gauge his merit by such success rates alone. Prithviraj is an intense actor who is very talented and very intelligent."

Fascination for films

At 22, Prithviraj has 25 films to his credit. "Although films have always fascinated me, my perception was that I would fare better behind the camera. But now I love being an actor. I have worked with some of the best directors in the business and also, with new comers. On an average, I hear close to three or four scripts a day. And I have never fixed a deadline to be the next super star. Still, I do want to be remembered in film history, somewhere down the line, with some strong performances. That is all I aspire for."

Dearth of original scripts

The real crisis, according to Prithviraj, is the dearth of original scripts.

"Although we are on the look out for exciting scripts, we end up compromising at times. Also, when loads of young talent make their entry into films in every other language, many of the youngsters here are reluctant to dedicate themselves to films. They would have convinced some moneybags about their grand plans but the homework, which is essential to support those plans, is conspicuous by its absence.

"Just look at Tamil where the young generation have come up in an amazing way. They come with bound scripts, complete with scenes and dialogues and their focus is evident. I mean, why are our people in such a hurry?"

He should know. After `Kana Kandein,' Prithviraj has his share of fans in Tamil Nadu too. Now he is the hero of K. Bhagyaraj's `Parijatham,' in which the director's daughter, Saranya, is acting as his heroine.

"It's certainly not that I am aiming to be the next sensation in Tamil. I have no plans to match Vijay's dancing skills or Ajit's action scenes. I am aware of my pluses and minuses. I have been receiving offers from Tamil right from my `Nandanam' days but I decided to wait for some good roles, like the ones I get right now."

Did his `rebel-act' during the film strike affect his standing in the Malayalam film industry? "Absolutely not. I don't believe that I have lost anything on account of my stance during the crisis. I said only what I thought was right. I am not a bit repentant about what I had done then."

Does he feel frustrated when he thinks about the number of hits to his credit?

"I do feel bad when a film of mine fails to click, but there is no reason for any sort of frustration. The sincere efforts of a lot of people are involved in the making of a movie and the entire team ardently want it to be received well."

But he agrees that he might have erred in the selection of some of his films. Why is he generally perceived as a `serious' guy? "I stop acting the moment the camera is switched off. People say that you need to have a plastic smile glued on to your face always and act friendly even with strangers. I cannot digest such things and I am happy with the way I am. Those who know me well are aware that I have not changed a bit after getting into show business."

Elder brother and actor Indrajith says, "He has always been a shy person and talks less even when he is at home."

The brothers feel that it is Prithviraj who resembles their father, the late Sukumaran, both in looks and nature.

Grapevine has it that Prithviraj had nixed `Minnal,' the project which was announced a few months back. "I was to appear in the film along with my brother. But after `The Police,' we decided to wait for a while, of course with the consent of the producer. The project has just been postponed and has not been shelved."

He will soon start shooting for director Padmakumar's film, with whom he had done `Ammakkilikkoodu' earlier. Santosh Sivan's `Ananthabhadram,' in which he is the hero, will be in the theatres this November. What is Prithviraj's strength? "I am, perhaps, the least ambiguous person and always clear about what I want to do," he says.

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