SAC'S INTERVIEW TO KUMUDHAM

July 14,2011

Vijay's meteoric rise to the top is testimony enough that a warm heart, generosity and the gumption to do whatever it takes will surely put one in the driver's seat of life. Be it his dancing, his political views, quiet evenings with friends or dealing with back-biters, he has a unique understated approach for it all Amitabh Bachchan sir is one of my favourite actors. There is a certain sense of Statesman like aura. He carries himself with such dignity. I once recieved an award from him and it is still one of the most memorable days in my life
At a time when a hero's longevity is fragile, Vijay has made an example of his staying power over two decades. Celebrated as Ilayathalapathy by his fans, he is the darling of the masses, scaling greater heights of popularity with every film of his. Known for his monosyllabic interactions with the media, Vijay has always shown a certain warmth to DC, especially when he visited the office sometime back and even sang for its staff.
Vijay's youthful looks at 38 are hard to miss, especially after having been in the film industry for more than two decades. He replies even before one can complete the question! “My wife Geetha (his short form for Sangeetha) keeps me happy . As an actor I have to be away from home sometimes for months together. She takes care of my home, kids and shoulders the strain of this, so that I can do my work peacefully. She does the balancing act perfectly. All credit goes to her.“ Vijay has his own way of reaching out to the masses thrice a year. He conducts the weddings of the poor and promotes education. Is his philanthropy a prelude to a larger role he has in mind for the future? “No long-term plans of any such sort,“ he retorts. “It gives me immense joy and contentment when I indulge in such activities.“
After Superstar Rajinikanth, industry pundits say that Vijay touched the 100-crore mark with Thuppakki. Does that scare him or make him happy? “It's heartwarming,“ he says, after a pause. “Perhaps it was possible because of a change in release pattern and size, the multiplex boom, youth thronging to theatres, the huge marketing efforts that have contributed to this new trend. Is it scary? No, not really, but it makes my responsibilities greater as audience expectations soar. The Velayudham star performed a single number in Prabhu Deva's Hindi film, for which he has become the toast of Bollywood. Will this metamorphose into pursuing B'town films? “Absolutely not! I am happy where I am. It was just a cameo appearance for my friend Prabhu Deva. I was shooting in Mumbai for Thuppakki when Prabhu Deva made a surprise visit to my sets. He didn't say anything but just invited me to the adjoining set where he was canning a song with Akshay . He wanted me to shake a leg with him. That's how it happened. It was fun and we had a rocking time.“
It's hard not to ask him who he thinks was his most sizzling on-screen jodi: he avoids replying. All he will say is that earlier audiences thought it was Simran. If given an option to change his career Vijay says he would stick to cinema, maybe as a producer, “but definitely not as a director,“ he says. “It's a major responsibility which I don't want to take right now.“
Responding to his son, Sanjay, shifting loyalties from films to cricket, the doting dad says, “He keeps shifting his choices; one day he says he wants to make it big in films. All the same, he is a crazy cricket buff and wishes to become a cricketer.“ No sooner had Vijay returned home for a break from the shooting of Thuppakki, the first thing he did was to book tickets in the VIP box for IPL 2012's opening day match in Chennai. “But my son insisted that we watch the match live only from the gallery stands along with the public,“ he says. “He wanted to enjoy the match in that spirited mood. He literally dragged me to the gallery . After a point, neither was I comfortable nor were the spectators around us. I walked out halfway through, leaving Sanjay there,“ says Vijay . The titles of his films -Thalaivaa for instance -remind one of hi political aspirations. “Well, as miscon strued by many, Thalaivaa has noth ing to do with politics. Neither have led any group in the film! When you watch the film, you will know the title is justified. It's a new genre for both the director and me.“ He is also quick to add, “My fans are my true tha laivargal (leaders).“

Speaking of co-stars, Amala Paul, he says “is a good performer“ while Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan seems to be his all-time favourite actor. Where does he see himself in the next ten years. “I will be President of America,“ he remarks, lightheartedly . “Jokes apart, where else will I be? Only in Tamil films.“ Reminiscing about `puppy love' he thinks for a while and blushes and brushes it off, “I can't really think of any .“ A maturity shines through when he responds to a query about how he reacts to people who talk behind his back. “Very simple! Ignore the ones who talk behind your back, after all they belong there, behind you.“ He regards time as the most valuable thing in his life. “The best thing you could ever give to someone is your valuable time -because you are giv ing something that you never get back,“ he says. His favourite hangout spot is undoubtedly `home sweet home'. “I like only house parties or in friends' places if not in my own house. I feel , more at ease and cosy when I am at s home or in the houses of close pals.“ The West Coast of America is his preferred holiday destination. “Given I a long break from work, I would pack off to the Pacific Coast.“

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