Friday, 29 January 2010

Spreading cheer - Actor Prabhu

Prabhu’s soon-to-be-released Asal is a much-expected film of the year. malathi rangarajan talks to the veteran actor-producer
I f you need lessons in being casual and cautious at the same time, Prabhu is the best pedagogue you can find! Sprinkling the exchange with oodles of cheer he also ensures that he gives away only so much about his family production Asal, which is expected to roll out in the next few days. Nevertheless it’s a joy to interact with the veteran, who has astutely put his days as a successful hero behind him and is now creating a niche for himself as a rewarding character actor.
You don’t sense the anxiety of a producer in his voice as we talk about Sivaji Films’ Asal, one of the biggest projects of the year, which is to see the light of day soon. What keeps him in such good humour always? “Basically I’m a happy person,” he laughs out loud. And on a serious note adds, “We have capable folks handling the production.” Ramkumar, Prabhu’s brother and the brain behind the banner, Prabhu’s son Vikram, Ramkumar’s son Dushyanth, Giri Shanmugam and others in the family are on the job. “And for me life continues to be peaceful with a loving family of wife, children, grandson and a host of well-wishers,” he chortles.
Strangely, even after the stupendous success of Chandramukhi, Sivaji Films’ didn’t go in for a Tamil venture at once. Instead Ramkumar decided to make a Hindi film, and Delhi Heights came about. “Hindi isn’t new to Sivaji Films. We’ve made some great films there in the past. The music of DH was a sell-out. And the film was a small experiment. We now know the market better,” contends Prabhu. All the same, be it the impressive cast, exotic locations or the formidable technical crew, nothing about Asal is small.
For the first time, Ajith Kumar joins hands with the imposing production firm. “It was so easy to work with him. One day when Ajith asked me casually why we weren’t doing a Tamil film, my poser was, ‘Will you work with us?’ That was when Asal began,” he says.
Roles of substance
He’s now working with Narain in Thambi Kottai and is entering Telugu with the Prabhas-Kajal Agarwal film, Darling. Prabhu chooses characters with care, and manages to zero in on roles with substance. But nearly all of them have him portraying characters from a bucolic background. So we’ve been seeing him clad in dhotis most of the time (may be the Ayan look was different). “With my convent schooling and English fluency, I should be able to do enough justice to modern characters. Somehow after the success of films such as Unakkum Enakkum… I was offered roles on those lines,” he smiles. But Asal should change all that — stills from the film that show a hip and happening Prabhu are doing the rounds. And don’t miss his accessories in them! “Ha! Ha, I should give my son Vikram and nephew Dushyanth the credit for their tips on the latest trends,” he replies.
What made the producers take director Saran on board for Asal? “Saran has potential and he and Ajith have made hits together. If you are referring to the earlier piece of news that Gautham Menon or for that matter Harris Jayaraj was to be part of a Sivaji Films’ project, I’d like to clarify that they are wonderful technicians and our production house will work with them one day. Things didn’t work out only because of the dates.” Anyway Saran and Prabhu have known each other from the time the actor played hero in K. Balachander’s Duet. Saran was KB’s associate then. Later, Saran wielded the megaphone for Vasool Raja MBBS in which Prabhu donned the role played by Arshad Warsi in Munnabhai…
Asal’s heroine line-up of Bhavna and Sameera Reddy should be an added lure. “As I told you, we have an interesting cast that includes Suresh, Pradeep Rawat, Rajeev Krishna, Kelly Dorgi and Sampath. And both the girls are wonderful, very professional,” he certifies. What kind of roles do they play? “I know only mine,” he laughs cryptically. “But I can assure you that Asal will be a cool, stylish actioner like Billa. A real entertainer! Bhavna is making a comeback with the film and Asal should augur well for her.”
But who is he paired with in the film? “Ah! I won’t tell you that,” he chuckles. The ever-smiling, tight-lipped conversationalist is at it again! (Paradox intended!)
Source: The Hindu (Dated: 29-1-2010)


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