Southern stars steal the show

Southern stars steal the show

Southern stars steal the show

Metrolife caught up with a few of the winners such as Tamil actor Dhanush who won the best actor award for his role in ‘Aadukalam’; Malayalam comedian Salim Kumar, who shared the best actor award for his character in ‘Adaminte Makan Abu’; Saranya Ponvannan, chosen as best actress for her role in Tamil film ‘Thenmerku Paruvakatru’ and Sabu Cyril, who bagged the best production design award for Tamil film ‘Enthiran’. They shared their joy of receiving the award and what it meant to them.

‘Nothing is too late’
Reacting to the award, Saranya Ponvannan says that she is thrilled about receiving a national honour. But hasn’t it come after a long stint in the Tamil industry?

“I should never say that it has come too late. The award is proof that my efforts have been recognised. And nothing is really late,” she says.

‘It was a tough task’
Sabu Cyril, who won the best production design for Tamil film Enthiran, says the task he was given in Enthiran was indeed challenging. “I had to make the unreal appear real. I put my heart and soul into the film and the result was amazing. It was a lot of hard work in terms of updating my knowledge in the latest advancement in science and technology,” says Sabu.

Some of the sets of Enthiran, like the lab in the opening scene of the film, was set up in just two days. The robot formation was another challenge where the crew spent almost 45 days erecting an artificial set for the film.

“One had to imagine what science would contribute in future and make something unreal and transform the same into reality, at least on the silver screen. That was tough,” he says. Sabu is working on Ra one and Krrish2, where both Shah Rukh Khan and Hrithik Roshan are projected as super heros. “Nothing is easy, it gets tougher with every new film,” he says.  

‘The script chose me’
The announcement that Dhanush has won the best actor award for Aadukalam obviously has not come at the right time. Dhanush has been spending time with his father-in-law Rajnikanth who has been in the hospital for the last few days. “It’s indeed an honour that I’ve got this national recognition when I am this young but celebrations will have to wait till Rajnikanth recovers and returns home,” says Dhanush.

Like every actor who gets a national honour, Dhanush’s phone too has not stopped ringing. “The honour has come rather early for me and I am thankful to my parents, the director of the movie and my brother who taught me the basics of acting,” says Dhanush.

He says he is happy that although he’s little known up north, the recognition has still come his way. “The jury has been superbly fair and that’s wonderful, considering that I am little known in the north,” he says. Has this award raised the bar to perform better and get bigger? Dhanush says, “The award will not change anything, tomorrow will not be any different. Everything must happen to an actor. He shouldn’t go after it. That’s what happened to me in Aadukalam. The script chose me,” he explains.

Dhanush recalls tweeting about his experience when shooting for Aadukalam. “Among all my 18 releases, my character in Aadukalam was the toughest. It really tested my skills and stretched my limits as an actor,” he says.

His voice grows a little softer when he begins to talk about Rajnikanth. “We can’t wait for him to get back home and get back on track again. Like every youngster, I grew up watching his films and I admire him for his humility. He’s an inspiration not only for me but for young India. He’s a national icon,” says Dhanush.

Talking about his forthcoming film Venghai, Dhanush says, “I play a character called Selvam. It’s an out and out masala film. It’s for the masses. It's one of those films that has no logic in it,” he signs off.

‘The role involved a lot of emotion’
Popular Malayalam comedy actor Salim Kumar had the shock of his life when he bagged the best actor award for his rather intense character in Adaminte Makan Abu. The film directed by Salim Ahmed also won the National Award for Best Film.

 Salim knows that it is the strong script which fetched him attention. Drawn by the script, Salim gave a green signal to act in the film. He didn’t take a single penny for his role, considering that the director was new and Salim’s only intention was to breathe life into the impressive character and give the young man a start in his career.

When the media, friends and relatives began streaming in to his house in Paravoor in Ernakulam to wish him, Salim was in a different mood altogether. More important than the award was his concern and love for Rajnikanth. As soon as he won the award he went to a temple near his house and prayed for the speedy recovery of Rajnikanth. “I am a big fan of Rajnikanth and I hope he gets well soon. I admire him for his courage and strength of character,” says Salim.

He feels Muslims have always been portrayed as terrorists and villains in most films and what attracted him to Adaminte Makan Abu was the struggle which the character had to undergo to save up for a travel to Mecca. “It was an intense role, one that involved a lot of emotion,” he says. 

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