Comedian to return to Tamil screen after a two-and-a-half-year hiatus

“I can understand your stares. You seem to be looking at me as if asking, ‘Was all this necessary’,” actor Vadivelu told a media gathering at the music launch of his film ‘Tenaliraman’ on Tuesday.

The actor is making a comeback to Tamil cinema, in the comedy feature, after a two-and-a-half-year hiatus. He was forced to take a sabbatical from films after being a star campaigner for the DMK in the run-up to the State Assembly elections in 2011, during which he was particularly scathing against the DMDK, which was then contesting the election as an ally of AIADMK.

When the AIADMK government came to power, Vadivelu, who was then one of the most sought-after comedians in Tamil cinema, lost out on several film projects and literally vanished from the screens.

Commenting on his comeback project, Vadivelu thanked the production banner, AGS, and the brothers, Kalpathi S. Agoram, Kalpathi S. Suresh and Kalpathi S. Ganesh, for backing him at a time when there were many detractors in the industry who warned them against producing a film with him in the cast.

“There have been a few offers but I wanted to come back in a ‘King Kong’ project. And this was it.”

The actor did not dwell much on politics at the media conference, save for a self-deprecatory reference. “I just did the same comedy I am used to doing on screen, off it, too. So what? Such things happen. There are many who are doing that now,” he said.

Vadivelu who plays a dual role — that of the king and of one of his ministers, ‘Tenaliraman’, — in the film said though it was inspired by the tales of the folk hero Tenaliraman, who is believed to have been a poet in Krishnadevaraya’s court in the Vijayanagar empire, the story and screenplay had enough fantasy elements and was tailored to be a summer blockbuster.

Now that he is back in the fray, Vadivelu said he is looking forward to acting in more films, not just as the lead actor but also as supporting cast. He deftly avoided repeated questions from journalists, even requesting them to help him stay away from politics.

Other cast and crew members of the film, who were present at the audio launch welcomed Vadivelu back. Actor and director Manobala said the hiatus was a much-needed one for Vadivelu.

The music for the film has been scored by D. Imman. The story, screenplay and direction have been handled by Yuvaraj Dhayalan. The film is set for release on April 18.

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