Bollywood stars might have fan followings, but nothing compares to the adulation that is showered on Tamil icon Rajinikanth. From bike rallies dedicated to him, to bathing his hoardings in milk — the 65-year-old’s stardom is unparalleled.
As expected, his latest release created a stir, as fans went all out to catch the first show of the film. His co-stars, too, are full of praise for him.
Radhika Apte, who also stars in Rajinikanth’s latest release, says working with him has been “one of the best experiences” of her life. “To observe him on and off camera was amazing. He is hardworking, and a real professional,” she says.
Sonakshi Sinha, who worked with him in Lingaa (2014), says “it was an honour to work with him”. She says he’s the “most humble” actor she has met. “Even with the craze surrounding him, his demeanour is calm and composed,” she adds.
Sivaji (2007) actor Shriya Saran says she has learnt to be “level-headed” from the star. “It is always pleasant to work with a man who gives you so much confidence. He is as kind to the light-men on the sets as he is to the film’s producer,” she says. Amy Jackson, who will be seen with him in an upcoming film, says she was “nervous” before the shoot. “I didn’t know what it would be like. But Rajinikanth is a gentleman. He says ‘hello’ to everyone on the sets,” she adds.
But what is the reason behind his massive fan following? “His persona on screen is unmatched. But I believe that his stardom is the result of him being a good person,” says Sonakshi. Shriya echoes the sentiment, saying, “People wonder why so many fans are crazy about him. What they don’t realise is that it’s not stardom, but real love that people have for him.”
More importantly, Radhika says the superstar has not “forgotten his roots”. “What makes him a star is his respect for what he has achieved. When he works, he completely surrenders himself,” she says.