By Haricharan Pudipeddi
There’s nothing more rewarding than the high one gets while facing the camera as an actor. Maybe that’s why an increasing number of southern technicians have taken interest in acting and are seriously contemplating a switch in career.
Ever since Prabhudeva, a popular choreographer and dancer, donned the actor’s hat many years ago, the trend may not have caught on, but it definitely didn’t fizzle out.
For popular southern composer G.V Prakash Kumar, nephew of A.R Rahman, the acting seed was planted by filmmaker A.R Murugadoss.
“Murugadoss sir saw one of the posters of ‘Thaandavam’, in which I was singing into a microphone. He liked it and called me to ask if I’d act in his production. I wasn’t really interested with the offer, but he somehow managed to convince me,” Prakashsaid.
Unfortunately, the film was shelved. But Prakash went on to sign three films as actor – “Pencil”, “Darling” and “Trisha Illana Nayantara”.
Prakash has “no plans” on giving up music for acting. In fact, he recently signed Tamil actor Vijay’s yet-untitled next film as a composer.
Producer R.K. Suresh, who is making his acting debut in filmmaker Bala’s Tamil drama “Tharai Thappattai”, says he has always been interested in acting.
“I have the intellect of a businessman and the heart of an actor. I even undertook acting classes a few years ago to keep myself ever ready for an opportunity to act. When I met Bala sir during the release of ‘Paradesi’, I expressed my interest to act,” Sureshsaid.
Six months later, Suresh received a call from Bala, who wanted him to play the villain in “Tharai Thappattai”.
Suresh will continue producing films, but said that “I’m open to act if I get good opportunities”.
For composer Vijay Antony, who turned actor with Tamil thriller “Naan”, it was an opportunity to “break away from monotony”.
“I’ve acted in plays and have also tried writing. Although acting was on my mind, I didn’t want to romance three heroines and fight an army of henchmen. I wanted to debut in a script-oriented film. Acting was my shot at doing something more creative,” Antonysaid.
“Naan” was a sleeper hit, while its sequel “Salim”, which released recently, turned out to be a highly profitable venture.
Antony also will continue composing music while simultaneously acting.
In upcoming Telugu comedy “Gaddam Gang”, composer Achu has played an important role.
While it was actor Rajasekhar, who convinced Achu to take up the role, one isn’t sure if he will continue acting.
In Tamil comedy, “Kallappadam”, the film’s director, editor, cinematographer and music composer play themselves in the movie. It’s about how first-timers try and make a film braving the challenges thrown at them by the industry.
“We all decided to act because we play ourselves in the film. Who else can play us better than ourselves? I’m not sure if we wish to act again but facing the camera and seeing yourself on the monitor afterwards does feel good,” the film’s director, Vadivel, said.
Going by the trend, it could verily be asked: Why should only heroes have all the fun?