About Pasumai Kalam
was the one who named the scheme Pasumai Kalam.
Although I named it, our former President
Abdul Kalam is the brain behind it. Once when
I met him, he asked me to propagate in my
movies the necessity of planting trees. And
he also asked me why I would not go ahead
and plant trees myself. I wasn’t sure
I could do it but I took it up on myself with
the help of my fan clubs. Support started
pouring in immediately from social welfare
organizations and we received good press coverage
for the scheme. Because of the publicity,
many people came forward and joined us.
We have so far planted 7.25
After Trichy, the movement has spread to Coimbatore,
Chennai suburbs and city, Salem, Cuddalore and students
from universities like Annamalai and Anna University
participated in this. We have so far planted 7.25
lakh saplings. We have time till December and I am
confident that our target of 10 lakh saplings will
be met with easily. This target could easily be crossed
as well. We want our former President to do the honors
of planting the 10th lakh sapling. We requested his
date on the January 26th Republic day. If it works
out, the event will be held in a Tsunami affected
village in Cuddalore.
I am being loved by media and
found that I am being loved by media and general
public after I took this project up. This
was something I could not even achieve even
after 500 movies. Good thoughts will transform
into good deeds. Great journeys start with
a single step. I understood meanings of all
these great sayings. I am very happy that
our former President’s wish is being
fulfilled by me.
What are the benefits of planting tree saplings?
Is the message being conveyed properly?
than promoting the benefits of planting trees,
we should make people understand the ill effects
of deforestation. Global warming is haunting
us, we are experiencing Tsunamis and Japan
is slowly sinking. We are going through acute
water shortages. We had plenty of water resources
before but they are depleting. So now we have
to dig deeper and deeper to find fresh water.
We are turning irrigation land into concrete
jungle and we are further sucking up water
resources to meet the demand. And that is
one of the reasons for earth quakes and tremors.
Like Mankatha Ajith, mother earth is asking
us ‘Evlo Naal Daan Naanum Nallavanaave
Irukkaradhu.’ So what is the remedy
to all this? The only answer is planting trees
to invite more rains to increase our water
resources. Only if there are rains, will there
be agriculture. Only if there is agriculture,
will a country be self-sustained.
Like Mankatha Ajith, mother
earth is asking us ‘Evlo Naal
Daan Naanum Nallavanaave
Are you making efforts to spread this message using
It is easy to spread this message using my movies
but the movie’s story should fall in sync with
the message. Only then I can use this message in my
movies. But I will try and promote this in my movies
if opportunities are available.
Are there any
memorable dialogues in your film career?
It’s a late recognition for
Balachander’s Dadasaheb Phalke award
a late recognition for Balachander. He’s
had a phenomenal career and he is also instrumental
in taking Tamil films to Hindi, after Sridhar.
His movies have thrown lights upon many socially
relevant issues and he has given many talents
to the industry. He is a giant in stage plays,
movies and teleserials. He is a boon to the
Indian film industry. I am thankful to the
Indian government and God almighty for conferring
Balachander with the award.
I have so far done 500 movies and every movie is special
in one way or other. So whatever people loved is memorable
These days your movies do not have messages
to convey. Why is this?
not a preacher and do not want to overdo on
the message part. I am an entertainer and
I can’t take over the movie with my
messages since it’s produced by someone
else. Entertainment is the main thing and
if I get a chance to deliver a message, I
I’m not a preacher
Why do all the comedians resort to double meaning
Aren’t double meaning dialogues a part of our
literature? Even Thirukkural has a separate section
for lust. There is a good mix of audience who watch
every movie and movies are directed at them. They
enjoy watching it. It’s all about how you take
How do you compare
the movies during the time you came to the industry
and now? Has the quality improved?
I am not anybody to assess the quality of movies.
Technology has redefined the way movies are created
and there is nothing to rate as good or bad.
Who is your favorite
It’s a tough task to establish yourself as an
actor here. You have to have a unique style. I came
to the industry in 1987 but Vadivelu came 4 years
after me and he is more popular than me. I had to
wait till 1996, 9 years, to establish myself. Fans
are the ones who decide this.
Have you found
any difficulties in trying out new things in the industry?
I am a comedian and I am comfortable with comedy.
But today fans are an improved lot and there is scope
In the latest
line up of actors, who do you like the most?
You don’t expect a villain to
rape or give a punch
do you make everyone laugh in film events?
that is my job. Audience expects that I crack
a joke or two when I am in front of the mike
and I have to fulfill their expectations.
You don’t expect a villain to rape or
give a punch in events but comedians are expected
to make people laugh off-screen too. That’s
the power of comedians. And this image does
not come in a day or two. For making them
happy, the fans applaud in return. This is
something of a God’s gift to make people
Well this is a tricky question. Everybody has their
own style. So it’s hard to tell. There is only
one MGR, one Sivaji, one Rajini and one Kamal. Like
I said, taste of audience is changing.
About comedy in Vedi
is indeed a Vedi in the movie’s comedy.
It’ll be totally different from what
you have seen. I have to thank Prabhudeva
for that. He offered me this role and told
me that I would be perfect for this. I even
have a song in the movie. I play a gym instructor
with a six-pack like Surya and Vishal and
how did I get a six pack? That is for you
to see in the movie.
I have a six-pack like Surya and
About your future projects
That list is very dicey since the production and release
of movies is not in our hands. My job is only to act
in a movie and wait for the release.
What are your
comments about the issues that crop up every now and
then in film industry?
Please ask this question to
have been in Rajini movies but not in Kamal
movies so far. Why is that?
ask this question to Kamal. I acted in Rajini
movies because the stories needed me and Rajini
wanted me. I am ready to be in a Kamal’s
Life is full of ups and downs and it is common in
any field. Cinema is not immune to it. And cinema
is designed to entertain people. So when we live for
you and invest money to make movies, you simply go
watch pirated CDs. Please go to theatres and watch
movies. Otherwise the industry will be destroyed.
So when you buy a pirated CD next time, please think
of the crores that go into making the movie and the
people behind it. It is like helping somebody in robbery.
Don’t do it.
What do you think about actors in politics?
am not associated with any political party.
So this question is not correct. I am clear
that I do not need politics in my life. And
when I need it, I will quit cinema.
I do not need politics in my life
What do you think of the population explosion and
the present day issues? Where will it lead us to?
I do not think it will lead us anywhere. People will
become more responsible towards the society. Roads
are being built, infrastructure is getting better.