Shades of Sivaji

Prabhu has evolved over the years into an actor of substance, taking on character roles much like his father Sivaji Ganesan in his later years. A recent Malayalam film, Best of Luck, has been dubbed into Tamil as Chellathambi, in which Prabhu plays the dual role of father and son. Sharing screen space with him are Urvashi and Swasika. Says Prabhu: “Sivaji Ganesan was a veteran. No matter how much we try we can never match the outstanding talent that he was. Now that I have switched to character roles, I am doing more films than what I did when I was a hero. And, I am thoroughly enjoying myself doing such a variety of roles. I am happy about the role in the recently released Mirattal. Besides Chellathambi, I am looking forward to a couple of Telugu films. As for carrying forward the Sivaji Ganesan legacy, I am happy my son, Vikram, has decided to don the greasepaint. Making his debut for a talented director like Prabhu Solomon is a dream-come-true for any newcomer.”

The right moves

Ganesh Venkatraman is making the right moves before the release of his Panithuli on August 10. As brand ambassador for the Chennai International Fashion Week, he (and Parvathy Omanakuttan) scorched the ramp on the opening day in designer Ramesh Dembla's open-chested black Jodhpuri to the tune of ‘Kalakku’ from Panithuli. Ganesh is currently shooting for a Tamil-Kannada bilingual titled Chandra opposite Shriya Saran in Mysore. Says Ganesh: “I play a modern-day prince who lives abroad. He meets this princess who still lives in her ancestral palace in Mysore. His western lifestyle is in sharp contrast to hers, but love is a strong binding factor that evens out all differences. It is an interesting script and, with this film, I will be making my entry into the Kannada industry.” Incidentally, all of Ganesh’s earlier films have been multi-lingual.

Ecstatic about Paagan

Modelling and appearing in over 150 television commercials led Janani Iyer to films. This was followed by appearances in Thiru Thiru Thuru Thuru and Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaaya. Janani got noticed as an actor of substance in Avan Ivan where she played the role of Inspector Baby. On the threshold of her first solo role as a heroine in Paagan opposite Srikanth, Janani is ecstatic. Back in the city after completing shooting for Paagan, Janani reminisces, “I have thoroughly enjoyed doing this film — a romantic comedy. I have two duets with Srikanth and a solo intro song. Srikanth with his experience has guided me every step of the way during the making of the film. I am confident Paagan will help me scale great heights.”

A musical love story

Though he has five films in Tamil and one in Kannada to his credit, it was Mynaa that brought awards and recognition to director Prabhu Solomon. Being a cautious and sensible director, Prabhu waited to do something different and when Lingusamy's Thirrupathi Brothers offered to produce Kumki, he was delighted. Looking for fresh faces, the director zeroed in on Vikram, son of actor Prabhu. In this story about a mahout, Vikram is paired with Lakshmi Menon. “I was on the lookout for a fresh face, someone tall and well-built to play the role of the mahout. After screen tests were done for more than 60 people, Vikram happened to meet me and everything just fell into place. He is over 6 ft tall. Kumki is a musical love story revolving around an elephant. Songs are an important part of the screenplay as they carry the story forward. For a long time I have wanted to make a musical and Kumki is the result of that,” says Prabhu Solomon.

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