Interview with Karan: “I am very happy with the current stature of Ajith and Vijay”
Senior actor Karan is back to the silver-screens this Friday (Sep 16th) with Uchathula Shiva, where he plays the lead hero. In the 1990s, Karan emerged as an indispensable character actor thanks to films like Nammavar, Kadhal Kottai, Love Today, Sollamaley and Kannedhirey Thondrinaal to name a few. He then graduated to lead hero roles with successful films like Kokki and Karuppasamy Kuthagaidhaarar. Uchathula Shiva is meant to be a racy commercial entertainer, and Karan talks in detail to Kaushik LM in this interview,
“I’ve had a good success rate mostly but the last 2 to 3 films didn’t go well and I wasn’t feeling satisfied. I then took a break, which looks like a big gap now. For the past 1 year, I have been working on Uchathula Shiva which is a light hearted, racy, jolly film falling in the commercial entertainer space.
Dir Jaypee told me a line which he developed and narrated within a week. I really liked it, my wife also liked it and she agreed to produce the film under her newly launched banner, K Entertainments. I was a little skeptical about her production move but she was confident. This is her first outing as a producer and she learnt on the job. It was a smooth production process and we didn’t make any compromises. I am not sure if any other banner could have done justice to this film.
The title Uchathula Shiva was also apt. This was Jaypee’s first suggestion, hinting at a man on a rampage and I liked the Lord Shiva connect in it. My real life traits have been used for this energetic character sketch, as Jaypee has been observing me closely over the years.”
Karan rewinds the clock to the Nammavar days when Kamal Haasan positioned him as the deadliest baddie in town,
“You can give opportunities to people but Kamal sir gave me a life. Over the years, there has been no film like it and it’s a big benchmark for a campus film. People were terrified at this character, Ramesh, but they really liked him too. The rest is history.”
Karan also talks about Ajith’s Kadhal Kottai which proved to be a major turning point for all concerned and his transition to the lead hero space,
“Kadhal Kottai released on July 12th, 1996 and from the very next day, all of our lives and careers changed in an instant. From then on till 2003, I was working non-stop. Characters were written specifically for me and I was blessed to be a part of countless Hit films. In 2001, during the making of Kunguma Pottu Gounder, Sathyaraj sir gave me the spark to try hero roles, he used to encourage me a lot in general.
I was also not enjoying working non-stop in multiple languages, though the going was really good. I sought Kamal sir’s advice and he asked me to think deeply about my career choices if I wasn’t enjoying what I was doing. So I took the break, which created a big furor in the industry circle as many directors had planned their films with me in them. I also had my share of doubts in this phase but stuck to my decision. Then, Kokki’s positive response among the audience validated my decision.”
Karan sounded very pleased when asked to comment on the current stature of two of his prominent 90s co-stars, Ajith and Vijay,
“I am very happy with their level. Our careers took off at the same time and we grew as actors in the 90s. Both of them have a grand stature now, continuing the lineage of MGR sir – Sivaji sir and Rajini sir – Kamal sir. It’s a big thing to maintain their image and continue to do successful films.”
Karan signed off stating that he isn’t in any hurry to do back to back films as the quality of work matters to him. But he promised to increase his volume of films and be more prolific in the coming days. Best wishes.
Interviewed by Kaushik LM