The Prabhu Chat
Being Sivaji Ganesan's son helped him get a job. But more than luck, it was pluck and talent that helped him keep the job, says Prabhu. And, no, being the son of a legend hasn't handicapped him, said Prabhu, who frankly discussed his personal and professional life on The Rediff Chat.
Mr Prabhu (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:0 IST)
Hello to all the viewers. Vanakkam and Namaste. This is Prabhu here. I am at your site, ready for your questions.
Mishra (Fri Oct 3 1997 19:49 IST)
Namasteji Prabhuji:-) I'm speaking from Michigan, sir I was introduced to you as an actor after I saw Agni Nakshatram, I often wonder HOW did South Indian films manage to make that big leap and connect commercial cinema with thought-provoking themes in their films? How did this happen in the south? And why can't this happen in the rest of India too?
Mr Prabhu (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:3 IST)
Mishra: Mishraji, yes, I do remember meeting you and my regards. The answer to your question is that pictures down here work like this -- paper work is done in six months' time and the movie is finished in three months. The director and the artists concentrate on one picture at a time. That's why we have good quality movies here. But a good change has come in the north too. We have good movies, like Dilwale Dulhaniya...Hum Aapke...etc.
Chinnapa (Fri Oct 3 1997 19:49 IST)
Mr Prabhu, Vannakkam. Long live Sivaji Ganesan, the greatest Indian actor of them all! What has your father's reaction to your success been? Has he ever said he is proud of you?
Mr Prabhu (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:8 IST)
Chinnappa: Hi Chinnappa! I am proud of being his son. It has been a strenupous job trying to be an actor and his son. It took me a long time for him to appreciate me. that's after my 90th picture Chinna Thampi. His words were, You just started trying to act. I suppose he is more bothered about me doing better. I don't blame him. he's my Dad.
Jason Paker (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:4 IST)
Hello Mr Prabhu, I have been very curious. Why have you never acted with you father, the Great Sivaji Ganesan?
Mr Prabhu (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:9 IST)
Jason: I worked in two movies with him. Agni Nakshatram and Anjali. He should be asked your question. Of course, I love to work with him.
Lisa (Fri Oct 3 1997 19:28 IST)
Hi Mr Prabhu, Tell me something was your father against you becoming an actor? and why did you get into a profession from which you were shielded so much:-)
Mr Prabhu (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:12 IST)
Lisa: Yes, like you said, I was shielded from films. I did my schooling in Bangalore. I would say it is luck and I would thank director C V Rajendran who brought me to films. I love my job and I think only through this profession, you meet so many different people around the world.
Agni (Fri Oct 3 1997 19:48 IST)
Sir what are the requisites to become an actor in the south? Did being a star son help? btw I loved you in Kaala Paani:-)
Mr Prabhu (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:15 IST)
Hi Agni, yes, being Mr Sivaji's son helped me to start my career in films. But I couldn't always depend on his name. I had to slog for what I am today. I am still proud to be his son. But I would say one thing, there are more disadvantages than advantages being Mr. Sivaji Ganesan's son. I am trying my best at least to keep his name up. I hope I am.
Jeevan (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:10 IST)
Mr Prabhu: Were you not conscious of your body when you starred in Kaala Paani? Don't you feel you were looking overweight compared to all other inmates in jail??? Don't you think you should have lost some weight before accepting the role as BEN KINGSLEY did during the shoot of MAHATMA GANDHI???
Mr Prabhu (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:18 IST)
Hi Jeevan, the director of the film, Priyadarshan, wanted me as I was in the film and that's why he made me a jail inmate who keeps eating all the time. I had put on a lot of weight before starting the film as I had broken my knee then and was in bed for about 15 weeks. Yes, I should lose weight.
Katy (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:15 IST)
Hi Mr Prabhu: Sir Do you hate Jayalalitha for what she did to get your niece married off to her foster son? How is she by the way?
Mr Prabhu (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:19 IST)
Katy: Satya is doing fine with a kid. I don't hate anyone for anything,. Her husband takes good care of her. We are happy about it.
Major (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:14 IST)
Do you have any plans to act in Hindi films? Or to produce one?
Mr Prabhu (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:22 IST)
Major, we have produced Hindi films on our banner, like Rakhi, Gowri and Amardeep. We hope to produce Hindi movies in future too. Right me I am quite busy working here. May be sometime I would visit the north.
Jeevan (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:16 IST)
Prabhu: Do you think Malayalam cinema is the best cinema on the Indian screen today???
Mr Prabhu (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:23 IST)
Jeevan, Malayalam cinema has good quality films. Yes, they are one of the best in India today. There is a lot of talent there, in all departments.
ssk (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:15 IST)
hai prabu, why no good movies after Kala Paani?
Mr Prabhu (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:27 IST)
SSk: only two of my movies have come after Kaala Paani. They have been very average. There are some forthcoming movies like the comedy film, Thedinen vandathu. Then with Balu Mahendra's combination and another film with director Seeman who directed Panchala Kurichi.
Sadhika (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:25 IST)
Did you know to dance before you joined films. I must say you were extremely graceful in Duet.
Mr Prabhu (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:29 IST)
Hi Sadhika, I love dancing. But I have never been to a dancing school. My choreographer has to give me the movements and if I can, I do the same. Thanks to my choreographers who give movements according to my size.
khrda (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:25 IST)
Vanakkam, Prabhu. Given another chance would you make the same choices. If no, what decisions would be different?
Mr Prabhu (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:30 IST)
khrda. I want to be born as Sivaji's son again. I want to get a name as he did. That's my wish. I am trying very, very hard.
AFan (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:29 IST)
Hi prabhu, seems like you are answering everybody else but your fan.
Mr Prabhu (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:32 IST)
A Fan: This film field is like our democratic country, by the people, of the people and for the people. If not for you all, we wouldn't be here.
khrda (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:29 IST)
If me and my girlfriend were to watch only one movie of yours which would you suggest we watch and why?
Mr Prabhu (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:35 IST)
khrda: I would like you to watch Chinna Thampi and Agni Nakshatram. Chinna Thampi was my successful film which was remade in Telugu, Kannada and Hindi. All were successful. Agni Nakshatram is a movie which all ages can watch, with or without one's girlfriend. It changed the style of film making in the south and north. Thanks to Mani Ratnam.
Shambhu (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:30 IST)
Mr Prabhu: what kind of role would you LOVE to play in a film?
Mr Prabhu (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:37 IST)
Shambu: I would like to do something like my Dad did in Katta Bomman with a lot of high Tamil. But historical and folklore movies are very costly today. But I will fulfil my ambition.
Shambhu (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:21 IST)
Mr Prabhu: Why is there such a disparity in Indian cinema today, while south Indian films are AWESOME, Hindi films are downright crap, YET south Indian films do not get the rightful place they deserve why is that?
Mr Prabhu (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:40 IST)
Shambhu: There are awesome and crap movies made both in north and in south. We have got our due respect. Since Hindi is spoken more in India, those films are seen more than our films.
Amit (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:38 IST)
Mr Prabhu: Which is the most beautiful women you have seen in your life, or wish to act with??
Mr Prabhu (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:42 IST)
Amit: Princess Diana!
Ramkrishnan (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:41 IST)
Mr Prabhu: Sorry for being late: My apologies: Any plans to enter politics in near future since you are close to Jayalalitha??
Mr Prabhu (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:44 IST)
Ramakrishnan: I have no interest in politics. I have seen my Dad slog in his political days.
Ramkrishnan (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:43 IST)
Mr Prabhu: Did you go to London to attend the funeral or you stuck to television like entire world for her funeral????
Mr Prabhu (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:45 IST)
Ramakrishnan: I was a sad couch potato on that day.
Manish (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:37 IST)
What do you think of Rajni's latest movie Arunachalam?
Mr Prabhu (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:47 IST)
Manish: I enjoyed Arunachalam. It was a lot of fun.
Manish (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:46 IST)
Do you think this chat is doing any good to anyone?
Mr Prabhu (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:49 IST)
Manish: Yes, it is to me. Since it is my first chat on the net. It is amazing to know that you can communicate with people from all over the world at the same time.
Shyla (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:48 IST)
Hi Prabhu: WHAT IS YOUR PASSION IN LIFE?
Mr Prabhu (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:50 IST)
Shyla: HORSES! I love horses. I love to play polo like Prince Charles. I have horses which carry my weight.
Amit (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:47 IST)
Mr Prabhu: Which is your favourite Hindi film, why? And which is your favourite Hindi actor and actress???
Mr Prabhu (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:52 IST)
Amit: My favourite Hindi film is Koshish. My favourite actor, Mr Sanjeev Kumar. and actress, Kajol!
Jeevan (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:37 IST)
Mr Prabhu: Have you ever consider losing weight? Don't you feel JEALOUS of other actors who look more smarter than you??
Mr Prabhu (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:55 IST)
Jeevan: I think I look different from everyone else. That's why I got the characters that I have acted in. Anyway, that's not an excuse. Since I broke both my knees within a year, I have been off exercise ...That's why I am how I am.
khrda (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:53 IST)
Forgive me for my ignorance, But was it not your B'Day yesterday? (Oct 2nd i.e.)
khrda (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:54 IST)
Apart from gandhiji's i.e.
Mr Prabhu (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:56 IST)
Khrda: it was my Dad's 70th birthday yesterday.
JASMEET (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:56 IST)
Mr Prabhu: WHAT ARE THE PREQUISITES ONE NEEDS TO BECOME AN ACTOR IN INDIA? HOW DOES IT ALL FUNCTION? AND HOW MUCH OF LUCK DO YOU NEED?
Mr Prabhu (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:59 IST)
Jasmeet: we have a film institute in Chennai. You can go there for a training. You need lot of LUCK to get a role after the training. Being Mr. Sivaji's son, I got a big boost, but had to stand on my own legs to establish myself.
anand (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:59 IST)
vanakkam prabhu. I am a fan of yours! Chinna thambi unquestionably being the biggest hit of yours, is that the movie that gave you the most personal satisfaction or was there another movie too?
Mr Prabhu (Fri Oct 3 1997 21:1 IST)
Anand: Hi, I completed 110 movies. I have learnt a lot and I feel I have yet to learn a lot. I am not yet satisfied. I suppose a lot of my best is to come.
Ramola (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:57 IST)
Hi Prabhu pleasure to be able to talk to you, tell me why are South Indian actors despite being the BEST in the country unsuccessful in Bollywood?
Mr Prabhu (Fri Oct 3 1997 21:2 IST)
Ramola: We have a lot of talent in the south and thanks to you for thinking like that. why don't you try to figure out and let us know?
khrda (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:55 IST)
Are you a Libran? Do you believe in the sun signs or the moon signs?
Mr Prabhu (Fri Oct 3 1997 21:4 IST)
Khrda: I am a Capricorn. Dec 27. I am not very superstitious. I like to read the star signs every week. I feel happy if there is anything good.
manish (Fri Oct 3 1997 21:2 IST)
Prabhu, what is the biggest lesson you have learnt?
Mr Prabhu (Fri Oct 3 1997 21:5 IST)
Manish: Being patient. Work hard. And you will reach your goal.
anand (Fri Oct 3 1997 21:4 IST)
Prabhu, Badhil kooriyadharku mikka nandri! Would you care to tell anything about your personal life?...about rumours that you were married to Khushboo?
Mr Prabhu (Fri Oct 3 1997 21:7 IST)
Anand: Khushboo is a good friend and colleague. I am married to Punitha and I have two kids, a son, Vikram and a daughter, Aiswarya. And I am very happy with them.
Manish (Fri Oct 3 1997 20:52 IST)
Prabhu! Do you consider yourself to be intellect? Or just another actor?
Mr Prabhu (Fri Oct 3 1997 21:9 IST)
Manish: You need intelligence to be an actor.
Mr Prabhu (Fri Oct 3 1997 21:11 IST)
manish: You can become an engineer by studying, You can become a computer engineer by studying. But you can't become a successful actor by studying. You need to be an intelligent actor.
anand (Fri Oct 3 1997 21:10 IST)
prabhu, thanks! is there a chance you could be acting with rajnikant or kamal hasan in the future?
Mr Prabhu (Fri Oct 3 1997 21:14 IST)
Anand; they both have cut down to doing one movie a year. If they wish. And if they give me a good character in their films, yes, I would.
SE (Fri Oct 3 1997 21:14 IST)
Prabhu, arasial pakkam ... sinthanai unda
Mr Prabhu (Fri Oct 3 1997 21:16 IST)
SE: Vendam Ayya! intha vipareetha vilayattu.
Mr Prabhu (Fri Oct 3 1997 21:19 IST)
It was a wonderful, wonderful experience talking to all of you. I am sorry if I have not answered all of you. With love to all, wishing you a Happy Diwali. Hope to meet you all again sometime later...Hi to Varsha Bhosle! (who writes in Rediff)..Vanakkam..Nandri.