Kamal Haasan says he is glad audience is awaiting his comeback: 'They could have just shrugged and looked the other way'
- In an interaction at the Cannes Film Festival, Kamal Haasan talks about his comeback with Vikram, the north-south debate in cinema, and more.
Kamal Haasan is returning to the screen after almost four years with his upcoming release Vikram. The actor believes this ‘hiatus’ has been rather long, even by his standards. In an interview with Hindustan Times on the sidelines of the Cannes Film Festival, the veteran actor talks about the comeback, the ongoing north-south debate in cinema and what Indian films need to do to go global. Also read: Kamal Haasan on working with Vijay Sethupathi and Fahadh Faasil in Vikram: 'I always think of talent as competition'
Kamal’s last release was Vishwaroopam II, which hit the screens in August 2018. “It’s been a long hiatus, nearly four years now,” he says. Kamal, a veteran of over 300 films, adds that he is grateful the audience isn’t indifferent to him despite the gap. “I’m back and I’m glad audience is eagerly awaiting my comeback. They could have just shrugged and looked the other way but they didn’t and I am very grateful for it,” he adds.
In the last few years, the landscape of Indian cinema has changed a lot. Films from south industries are dominating at the box office while Hindi films are struggling to earn a fraction of that. Amid this debate about north and south industries and content, Kamal says he always saw himself beyond these borders. He argues, “I always looked at myself as an Indian and my terrain was the whole country. I could be anywhere and be comfortable. And that’s the beauty of the diverse country like India. This is a cyclic effect. It’s about how filmmakers get an opportunity to say what they want. I know phenomenal talent that is there in the north as well as in the south. I just hope it doesn’t see-saw like this and we continuously produce films from all over India so that they can go global. It’s long overdue that Indian films become international films.”
And Kamal thinks it is the cinema that has to go global, and not the government’s job to take it there. “The filmmakers have to do films. The government can do bulletins and such stuff but they shouldn’t involve too much in the creative process. And we will have to speak the world language of cinema, which is happening now,” he says.
Vikram, which also stars Vijay Sethupathi and Fahadh Faasil, hits the screens on June 3. The much-anticipated film also has a cameo from Suriya. Vikram has been directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj.