Thy name is Vinayak – Director Venkat Prabhu Interview

In a chat with CT, Venkat Prabhu talks about Ajith’s character in his film and more

V Lakshmi

Director Venkat Prabhu is gearing up for the last schedule of his Mankatha with Ajith. Talking exclusively to CT, Venkat says, “We just have to shoot the climax of the film and a lengthy action sequence. We’ll start after May 10 and finish them at a stretch. We might also go to Bangkok for a chase sequence. If all goes well, the film should release by June.”

THREE SCRIPTS FOR AJITH

Mankatha will be a landmark film in Ajith’s career as it is his 50th film. I had written three scripts for Ajith, but he chose Mankatha. I was a little apprehensive because Ajith’s character in the film, Vinayak Mahadevan, has shades of grey. In fact, I can say he’s the villain in the film. But anna, as I call Ajith, calmed me down and said this would be perfect for his 50th film. He jokingly said that he had no political ambitions and that he could afford to be politically incorrect. Also, Ajith likes Heath Ledger a lot and loves his portrayal of negative characters. So, Ajith was convinced he could pull off Vinayak.

ENSEMBLE CAST

Arjun plays a cop, Prithvi, in the film. The role is extremely powerful and we first approached Nagarjuna for it. He was kicked about it and even wanted to make the film in Telugu, in which he wanted to play Ajith’s role. But we couldn’t work out dates and I couldn’t think of a better person than Arjun to play a cop. It was also nice of Trisha, Lakshmi Rai, Anjali and Andrea to agree to be a part of this film, despite knowing that the film’s dominated by male stars.

SALT ‘N’ PEPPER

Ajith loves to experiment with his looks. He had sideburns in Aasal and a beard in Aegan. We wanted a different look for him in our film and Vasuki Baskar, our costume designer and stylist, zeroed in on a salt and pepper look, a la George Clooney, for Ajith. What’s interesting is that at the same time, Ajith also sent us a couple of looks inspired from Clooney. After seeing him in the film, I’m sure men will stop dying their hair black!

THE SINGLE ACT

When we were shooting in Dharavi, Ajith sprained his leg. He had to walk with the help of crutches and despite the pain, shot for a chase sequence. He will be seen sporting a cast and crutch in it. Somehow, those stills were circulated on the Internet and rumours started spreading that Ajith plays a dual role and one is that of a physically-challenged person!

BIRTHDAY SPECIAL

Though I couldn’t release the film or its audio on on Ajith’s birthday (May 1), I wanted to surprise him and hence, at 12 am on May 1, I released the song trailer of Mankatha on a popular video sharing website!

Source: Times of India (Dated: 2-5-2011)

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