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'This award is special as it's my first Best Actor award'

Last updated on: September 8, 2009 

'This award is special as it's my first Best Actor award'

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Prakash Raj is arguably one of the most talented actors of the Indian film industry, having won many prestigious awards like the Best Supporting Actor award at the national level for Mani Ratnam's Iruvar. Two more National Awards later, now, he has bagged a Best Actor National Award for his performance in Priyadarshan's Tamil film Kanjeevaram.

R G Vijayasarathy spoke to the brilliant actor about his big win.

This is your first Best Actor award at the national level. How do you feel?

Elated! I have won three awards so far, but they were in the Best Supporting Actor category. Even at the beginning of my career, I got a National Award for my performance in Iruvar

After a few years, my performance in Krishnavamshi's Anthapuram fetched me a second National Award. The National Award jury gave me a special award for my performance in the Tamil film Daya and Telugu film Khadgam.

This award is special for me as it is my first Best Actor award.


Image: Prakash Raj in Kanjeevaram

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'A film like Kanjeevaram has brought credit to Tamil Cinema'

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You played the role of a silk weaver named Vengadan from Kancheepuram. How different was this role from the other roles which fetched you National Awards?

Let me first tell you that I worked in Kanjeevaram mostly because I wanted to respect myself as an actor. Actors do not normally get such roles in their career. I have been very lucky. Priyan handled each sequence of the film perfectly.

Vengadan's role was crafted very well in Priyan's script. There were several shades to the character. The story moves with the nostalgic memories of this character. I was very charged when Priyan narrated the script to me. It was one of  the roles that made me think before acting. I am happy and excited over this award.

The best comment I heard was from one of my friends in Bangalore -- he said that a film like Kanjeevaram has brought credit to Tamil Cinema. That should sum up the efforts that have gone in the making of the film.


Image: Prakash Raj in Kanjeevaram

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'Priyan showed exemplary courage in taking up such a project'

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What was Priyadarshan's role in shaping this character?

I give full credit to Priyadharshan not only for this award but for the entire film. For a director of his stature, Priyan showed exemplary courage in taking up such a great project. He had many successful hits behind him but the commitment he showed during the making of this film was really worth appreciating.


Image: Prakash Raj in Kanjeevaram

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'Kanjeevaram is a memorable film for me and many others'

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Is Kanjeevaram a memorable film in your career?

Kanjeevaram is a memorable film not only to me, but many others too. We should think of Priyadarshan -- who is the highest paid director in the country -- to have accepted a challenge like this without bothering about financial gains. Think of the great technicians like cameraman Thiru and art director Sabu Cyril, who worked passionately.


Image: Prakash Raj in Kanjeevaram

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'I am making Abhiyum Naanum in Kannada'

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Though you are a Kannadiga, you are directing your first film in Kannada now. Will you take up projects like Kanjeevaram in Kannada?

Presently, I am working on two Kannada films. I have great respect for Ravi Chandran sir and he invited me to act in his film. He said it is a villain's role. I did not feel like asking him any questions. I went to Sakleshpur and acted in two schedules for the film.

Another film is Dhool where in I am playing the same role that I played in the Tamil original Thiruvilaiyaadal Aarambham.

About my directorial venture, I am making a Kannada film which will be a remake of my Tamil film Abhiyum Naanum. I am co-producing this film with a friend B Suresha and Shylaja Nag of Media House.


Image: Prakash Raj in Abhiyum Naanum

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