'Rajnikant is above success and failure'
Rajnikant may have drawn flak from critics for his cameo in box office dud Kuselan, but Malayalam star Mohanlal says that the Tamil superstar's stature is "beyond success and failure".regional movies Updated: Aug 29, 2008 19:57 IST
Rajnikant may have drawn flak from critics for his cameo in box office dud Kuselan, but Malayalam star Mohanlal says that the Tamil superstar's stature is "beyond success and failure".
"Actors like Kamal Haasan and Rajnikant are larger than life. They cannot be accepted in guest roles. I can get away with small cameos, off-beat roles, walk-on parts, anything. I'm playing a 90-year-old man in a new film," Mohanlal told IANS.
"There're some actors in this country like Amitabh Bachchan, Chiranjeevi, Kamal Haasan and Rajnikant who are above success and failure. They're blessed people. If you say I'm one of them, then I too am blessed," he added.
The Malayalam moviedom maverick is currently busy with his Japanese film Nair San. After learning Japanese for his role, now he is gearing up to do a full-on action scene with Hollywood star Jackie Chan.
"Jackie Chan appears in a major action sequence with me. I'm trying to physically prepare for the role. I've already shot for about 150 days for Nair San in Japan and Mongolia," he said.
"I'm the first actor from Malayalam cinema to feature in a Japanese film. I've to speak not only in Japanese but also in Chinese and Mongolian," he added.
The action scene with Jackie Chan will be shot in Mongolia.
Nair San, which is being made at a whopping cost of Rs.2 billion ($50 million), will be subtitled in English and released all over the world.
Directed by Albert, the film is about Aiyappan Pillai Madhavan Nair, who left Kerala at the age of 18 and settled in Japan. He fought against the British from Japan. Later, the Japanese government presented him with the title San.
"Nair was an Indian freedom fighter. I've met the man. He owns a chain of restaurants. I've been to his restaurant in Tokyo. And he has been to my home in Kerala.
"He passed away at the age of 85-86. I feel very privileged to be playing Nair. The film will definitely get wide release in Japan," said the actor who has received rave reviews for his performance in Aakashagopuram.
Aakashagopuram is based on renowned Norwegian playwright Henrik Johan Ibsen's play The Master Builder".
"I can tell you that Ibsen at this point of time couldn't be done in any other language but Malayalam. I'm fortunate to have done it. As an actor it's my job to do the best of the roles I get. However, the roles have to come to me. I can't go after the roles.
"It was the director K.P. Kumaran's dream for 20 years. He had been pursuing me for 15 years to do a screen adaptation of Ibsen's play. I finally agreed.
"Ibsen's The Master Builder is a complicated play. I've done stage plays including a play in Sanskrit. But Ibsen is tough. However, I treated the film like any other. I play an architect. Changes were made. For example, my character's Norwegian name was changed for the Indian audience."
Mohanlal has also finished a war movie, Kuruskshetra, based on the Kargil war. "It's a major film," he says.
Mohanlal, who has worked in a couple of Hindi films too, says he doesn't regret doing Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag.
"People just pounced on Ramu. They forgot how much he has achieved in the past. Such things happen. In fact, Priyadarshan has just offered me a role in a Hindi film to be done in the middle of next year. I get a lot of Hindi films. But they don't interest me.
"But I'll do Priyan's film. It's a 12-13 day film. It isn't a conventional Hindi film. It has a message on AIDS. Priyan is returning to his roots. He recently did a fantastic Malayalam film called Kanjeevaram. I was supposed to do it. But I couldn't. Now I'm looking forward to working with him and to doing a Hindi film."