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I am completely a director’s actor - Chiyaan Vikram

Written By Chiyaan Vikram on Monday, May 23, 2011 | 8:01 PM

‘I am completely a director’s actor’

Veteran of many hits, recipient of national and state awards, equally acclaimed by critics, fans and colleagues, “Chiyaan” Vikram still comes across as a modest newcomer. Vikram sees himself as a professional actor and not a star though filmdom does consider him a star among actors!

And professionally, his ambitions are nothing less than vaulting as is obvious when he says, “I just want to be known for my acting skills. My dream is that people will one day say that there was MGR, Rajinikanth and Vikram!”
In the city for the music launch of his soon-to-be-released film Naana, in which he plays the role of a mentally challenged person, Vikram spoke about his ambitions and “one of the best characters” he has ever played. “I don’t work with awards or numbers in mind,” he says. “It is only the script that matters. If I am impressed with the story, I will go out of my way to perform well and give it my best.” So, for Naana, he worked to prepare for the look, the gait, the mannerisms and more.

“I used to go to institutions with a notebook and pen to observe special children and learn their mannerisms. It took me almost two months to do my homework and get myself to act the character,” he says. It wasn’t easy. “For the first ten days or so, I suffered a lot getting into the skin of the character. Each day I would improvise on my acting to see how I could make it better. There were different things to be kept in mind while giving a shot. I had to concentrate on my hands, legs and my tongue. But in about fifteen days, I got so used to my character that I found it difficult to shrug it off. Even in between shots, I walked and talked the way Krishna, my character, would. Each night I had to look at myself in the mirror and tell myself that I am Vikram and not Krishna.”

Vikram is all praise for director of Naana, Vijay. “I am completely a director’s actor through and through,” he says, “so if you see me acting well, it is because there is a talented director behind me. When Vijay approached me to play the part of Krishna, I was huge, having just finished shooting for Raavan. At the end of the meeting, he told me ‘this is the not the way you should be looking for Naana. So I gave myself a deadline and within one-and-half months, I lost 10 kgs” Preparation also involved getting used to working with kids, as the film is about Krishna’s relationship with his daughter, the role played by Sara. “It was fun working with Sara. During my first rehearsal, I found out that she had mugged up all of my dialogues. Then there was another kid who would start crying whenever she saw me. I had to spend all my free time with her so that she would get used to me!”

Vikram waves away speculation about offers from Bollywood. “I am not very comfortable with the language,” he says frankly, adding that, “in order to make it big in Bollywood one needs to be very focussed and available.”

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