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Ajmal: People will be suprised to see me in Ko

Last updated on: April 20, 2011 15:07 IST

Ajmal: People will be suprised to see me in Ko

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Shobha Warrier in Chennai

Doctor-turned-actor Ajmal was noticed by the Tamil film industry in his very first film, Mysskin's Anjathe.

His last release was the comedy Thiru Thiru, Thuru Thuru. Now, he will be seen in one of the most awaited films, K V Anand's Ko. He is the common man in the film around which Ko revolves. So far, he has taken effort to choose roles that are diverse and not repetitive.

In this interview, Ajmal talks to Shobha Warrier about his experience of acting in Ko

How did you get to act in the film Ko?

Director K V Anand had liked my work in Anjathe and Thiru Thiru Thuru Thuru. In fact, he had congratulated me after watching Anjathe. One day, he called me and asked me to meet him. We met up and he narrated the story of Ko to me. It was a mind-blowing story. I felt it was something new to Tamil cinema.

What attracted you the most, the story or your character?

First of all, the story revolved around my character. I play a common man in the film. I liked everything about the film -- the director, the story, the music director, my character...

My character is Vasanthan Perumnal. I am a sacrificing gentleman in the film and everybody loves him. It's a dream role. I am sure this role and this film will take my career to a new high.


Image: Ajmal Amir in Ko

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'All the characters I have portrayed so far are different from each other'

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How are you connected to the photojournalist played by Jiiva?

I cannot divulge much about my character. I can only say both the characters go parallel but they are also connected in a certain way.

Compared to the roles you have portrayed in Tamil so far, how different was Vasanthan Perumal?

I can proudly say that all the characters I have portrayed so far are different from each other whether it is Kriba in Anjathe or Gautham Iyengar in TN 07 AL 4777 or the comedy role in Thiru Thiru. Even my role in Ko is very different. Those who have seen me in my earlier films will be surprised to see me in Ko.

How much did you have to stretch yourself as an actor in Ko?

If you know your character well and work hard to portray it as sincerely as you can, you need not stretch yourself; it will come automatically. I feel an actor should not only talk and walk like the character but feel like him too.


Image: Ajmal Amir in Ko

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'My character is totally different from the real me'

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How did you reach the look of Vasanthan Perumal?

We tried several looks and finally decided on one particular look which satisfied the director and the cinematographer. We have decided on a very formal look.

Was it an easy role to portray?

No role is easy to portray. This is a very mature character, a real gentleman. As I am a fun loving guy, it was tough for me to be such a serious character. But once I became Vasanthan Perumal, I forgot myself. My character Vasanthan Perumal is totally different from the real me.

Do you become the character you portray once you reach the sets?

No, I become the character only five minutes before the camera starts rolling. And when the director says cut, I cease to be the character. I try not to go beyond what the director narrates or play it below the graph. There should be a graph for every character and we actors must perform within the graph. For example, Kriba in Anjathe did not dance properly though I am a good dancer.

Similarly, you have to detach yourself and be the character and create some interesting mannerisms for each character.


Image: Movie poster of Ko

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'K V Anand is a cool guy who explains clearly every minute detail'

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What was K V Anand's contribution in shaping Vasanthan Perumal?

He gave me a lot of options and I chose one of them. While shooting, I used to give him a lot of options and he would choose one.

Was he a tough director to work with?

He is a very cool guy who explains every minute detail clearly. I had so many doubts and even to a small doubt, he would take time to explain. He would tell you what happened before and after the shot so that we are very clear.

But he doesn't say 'great shot' or anything like that. He used to call me Aji, and I was very happy when he called me that. At home, everyone calls me Aju, and KV Anand is the only person who calls me Aji and I felt a lot of love and affection when he called me that way. 


Image: Ajmal Amir in Ko

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'I was surprised when people recognised me as Kriba of Anjathe'

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How was the last day of the shoot?

My last day of shooting was in Pondicherry. It was a song that travels through many important places in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and ends in Pondicherry. The whole crew was there in the song.

In every place, Jiiva and I would go and explore the cuisine of the area. I was surprised when people recognised me as Kriba of Anjathe.

At Pondicherry, I was told that my work was over, and that my flight was booked for the evening. Usually when you leave the sets for good, the entire crew would clap and send you home. When nothing of that sort happened, I was a bit disappointed. I just wandered around. K V sir was finishing the last shot then. Suddenly, they called me and started clapping and sang, 'Thank you Ajmal, you have done a good job!'

Then I understood my job is done. After that, I ran to catch my flight.

Where are you planning to be on the day of the movie release?

I don't know. My family wants me to be with them. But the Ko family wants me to be there in Chennai. My friends from Ukraine, where I studied medicine, are calling me after seeing the trailer and they want me to be with them. Anyway, I am looking forward to the release of Ko.


Image: Ajmal Amir in Ko

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