Friday, December 18, 2009
Behind the razzmatazz
One of the most sought after actors in South circuit, Prithviraj shares with Metrolife, his thoughts on cinema in general
There is no larger than life image that follows actor Prithviraj. And he knows what he’s talking about, which is good cinema, devoid of all barriers of language or borders. “It’s the unpredictability of cinema that I find attractive,” he says. Fame and money could just well be incidental!
As his presence looms large, not just on his home ground (Malayalam), but inTamil and Telugu as well, his work in Mani Ratnam’s tri-lingual Ravana could well take him places (read Bollywood). But the actor is certainly not looking for any ticket to Bollywood.
“If it opens out an arena for me, well and good. It’s not that I haven’t received any Bollywood projects, but none where I could justify myself as an actor. I’m not interested in doing something just to update my resume,” he says.
For now, he certainly has his plate full. And takes prides in being a director’s actor and calls himself ‘completely mouldable’.
“Every director is different but people like Mani Ratnam fascinate me with their commitment to cinema. He probably looks like he is working for his first film with all its excitement."
Prithviraj may be hailing from a family of actors but strayed into acting through Nandanam. “I may not sound modest, but I’m the only star son who could make it in Malayalam.
I was invited to do this film, without even a screen test. Frankly, I’ve no sob story of knocking doors. I was picked up from a different walk of life, while I was studying in Australia. The struggle came after that.”
The struggle has paid off and how! Meanwhile, he is leaving no stone unturned.
While he played a chocolate boy in the runway-hit Chocolate and in Classmates, he turned into a Naxalite leader in Thalappavu.
The latter has been termed a coming-of-age film and his contribution, a fine piece of acting. “It was once-in-a-year role. I actually read about this real-life Naxalite leader and I was also told that I looked similar to him,” he explains.
The transition to Tamil and Telugu films has been pretty smooth, which he attributes to his linguistic skills.
“I have an affinity for languages. I have even started dubbing in Tamil and Telugu.” His remakes in Tamil, meanwhile, are going great guns!
It has been a long road for the ‘bespectacled boy’, whose mother thought he would join the Civil Services.
The jet-setting notwithstanding, he still keeps in touch with books, “following most authors.”
That apart, he has joined the Twitter league after discovering that he has a name-sake impersonating him.
His actor-academician father, he says, inspired him not in acting, but in every other way, especially blunt speaking. The actor minces no words while calling a spade a spade.
Ask him about his perspective on women playing second fiddle to heroes, he says, “There is a drastic reduction of women-oriented films. A woman is more or less reduced to a moving mannequin. And considering they are all such extraordinary actresses, it is a matter of regret.”
His plain speak may also, well, open some eyes. “There are no outstanding films being made in Malayalam these days. There is dearth of good scripts. There are no writers below 30 years. We can only hope for a renaissance.” Amen to that.