I like this feeling of thrill

We are on the shooting spot of ďAnjanayaĒ. Itís oppresively hot. Looking for a cool spot, Ajith was inside an AC van. His hair was close-shaven and he was wearing a cotton shirt. He has lost 7 or 8 kilos. He was drinking a hot honey tea.  His way of speaking was also hot like a cup of tea.


  K.R. has recently spoken on behalf of all the producers by saying these words :Ē Itís wrong of Ajith to get involved in car race and to try his hand at piloting planes. An actor shouldnít take such risksĒ. What do you think about it?

     I thank him for caring about me. Itís true that car race is something dangerous . But I like this feeling of thrill. If you go round the film sets the whole year, youíll go mad. Do I have to sacrifice my personal pleasures for cinema? If you think that itís a risk that I get involved in car races, donít come and see me, donít do films with me. Accidents can happen anywhere. I wonít give up car race untill I achieve success in it.     


What do you fear the most for your phisycal health?

     I am afraid when I think of the actual physical condition of Christopher Reeves, the hero of the film Superman. Nobody but him, in the USA, has spent so much money to keep himself fit. He kept his body slim so as to do horse-riding. He has been seriousely injured at his spinal column and, today, heís not able to live autonomously. I can bear any pain. But if ever I had to endure what happened to Christopher and if I had to rely on the others to live... No. It would be the greatest sadness of my life. Thatís what I fear the most for my health.


But,  in spite of that, you take part in car races and in fight scenes, which are dangerous...

     You canít achieve anything if youíre afraid of accidents. You canít prevent accidents in car races. Only one month ago, I had an accident at my knee during the shooting of a fight scene. I had an operation and I came back to act. I also had an accident at my spinal column during the shooting of Vaalee. I was admited in hospital and I had an operation. Within 3 weeks, I came back to act in all the climax scenes of the film. What do you think about that?

( Pointing his head out with his index finger) : The whole power is inside it. You canít assess

your ďinner- powerĒ under normal circumstances. It acquires the whole of its strenght in critical situations. You must use it correctly.


It seems that you become estranged from the others actors...You donít take part in shows and in other events. Why?

     Nobody helped me when I went through difficult times. I stayed in bed during the 2 years which followed my accident . Nobody came to see me. I coped on my own. I donít participate to the things I donít appreciate. Other people can do whatever they want.


Some people accuse some top actors like you to damage cinema by demanding excessively high salaries. Whatís your opinion on that?

     When I started in cinema, they gave me a set salary , telling me these words: ďYou are a new-comer, you donít have any market and not any fans. Thatís quite a luck that we take you on as the hero of our filmĒ. These people were right at that time. But, is it fair to ask us to donít increase our salary after having won some fame? If a producer has suffered losts because of an actor, he can always ask this actor to act free in another film which is produced by him. Why should we reduce our salary?


The dream of all the young actors is to take Rajiniís place, one day. According to most of the people, Vikram seems all set to succeed in it. What are your views on it?

     At the time when all my films were hits, people said the same. Now, itís Vikramís turn. There was a time when I too, was attracted to this aura of fame. If the next film is a flop, then, everything will change. As long as our films are hits, people shower us with praise. If the following films are flops, then, things will completely change. We also have to be prepared to that kind of situation.


If only two of their films are hits,some actors  straightaway think of entering politics. What about you?

     M.G.R., Jayalalitha and ďKalaygnarĒ...All three of them are cinema artists who have become politicians. But, for that, they have devoted the whole of their life to cinema. They have also created their own political party, they have developed it. They have went up little by little and they have finally become Chief Ministres. Being a successful actor is not enough to become a C.M. The current C.M. has certainely sacrificed a lot for politics. Are these actors ready to sacrifice so much? Politics isnít a game.


The Tamil cinema is the only one to show its heroes as special characters, by exaggerating the heroism of these ones. What do you think about it?

     I have no idea as far as the other actors are concerned. But from now on, there wonít be things like that in my films.


Source : Kalaymaamani Ajith

Translated by Kavitha 

                August 2003


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