Jayaprakash has become the go-to guy for Kollywood filmmakers when it comes to character roles. TOI gets talking to the producer-turned-actor…
Jayaprakash won the prestigious Filmfare Award for the Best Supporting Actor for his extraordinary portrayal of the upright and honest school teacher Chockalingam in Pasanga, the third film in his acting career. Now, he is tipped to get more awards for his brilliant performance in his 13th film, Yuddham Sei, in which he played the role of an alcoholic pathologist with shades of grey.
Jayaprakash, a Cheran discovery, has proved his mettle in a variety of character roles in a short span of three years. The industry feels that he is going to be the next Prakash Raj, an actor who can play a father’s role, a suave businessman or a crafty villain. For someone who was reluctant to don the grease paint, Jayaprakash has come a long way — from being a film producer (Porkkalam, Chellame, April Maadhathil, Thavasi, Neranja Manasu) to a leading character actor.
Says Jayaprakash, “It was Cheran who got me into acting by asking me to do a role in his Mayakannadi. I knew him as I had produced one of his earlier films, Porkkalam. Initially, I was not keen to take up the offer, but could not say ‘no’ to him. But now, after doing 13 films, I’m enjoying acting and it has become my bread and butter today.”
At the moment, Jayaprakash is doing a variety of roles. He is playing a crucial role as Trisha’s dad in Venkat Prabhu’s Mankatha, a cunning minister in Muriyadi, a do-gooder politician who is a devil-in-sheep-clothing in Kamban Kazhagam, a psychiatrist in Muppozhuthum Un Karpanaigal, a shrewd business tycoon who plays mind games with the hero in Muran.
Says Jayaprakash, “I’m getting a lot of offers, but I make it a point to do films that are challenging and have something fresh about them.”
For a Maharashtrian by birth (he still speaks Marathi at home), Jayaprakash is said to be one of the few actors who can speak fluently in Chennai Tamil. Says the actor, “I have lived in Chennai for 30 years and can communicate well in the local lingo. As an actor, it is a major plus for me. I feel lucky that I have never been typecast and relegated to playing father’s roles.”
Jayaprakash confesses that he stopped making films as a producer five years ago due to mounting losses. “Life is far smoother for me as an actor today than as a producer. I’ve made up for my losses,” he adds.
But the best part, he says, is that he could work as an actor with some of the finest directors in Tamil cinema. “I’m proud to say that I have been moulded by directors like Cheran, Mysskin, Pandiraj, Sasikumar, Samuthirakani, Suseenthiran and Vetrimaran. It gives me a big kick to work with such directors who have made quality and meaningful cinema.”
Source: Times of India (Dated: 15-3-2011)