How it happened
As a college student, I used to participate in several cultural programmes. This led me to anchor ‘Super Hit Muqabla’, a popular show, on Doordarshan. Then I was spotted by the Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Limited (ABCL) which signed me for Tere Mere Sapne — it happened to be their first film too. The film marked the debut of four actors — Arshad Warsi, Chandrachur Singh, Priya Gill and me. It turned out to be a hit not only in Hindi-speaking areas but also in Tamil Nadu. As the film became popular, I started getting offers in Tamil. The first one to approach me was director Vasanth, whom I must thank for, he became a mascot not only for me but also for others such as Suriya and Jyotika. He booked me for his film Nerukku Ner. However, VIP and Once More were released before it.
How it felt
I was glad to see my first film both in Hindi and Tamil become box-office hits. I was flooded with offers. I’ve so far done 35 films in Tamil and played meaty roles. I’m happy to have worked with some of the best talents in the industry.
How life changed
Life didn’t change; it got busier. Till now, I have done 60 films in the South Indian languages (Tamil Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam) and two in Hindi — Tere Mere Sapne and Anari No.1. It was always hard work, still I feel my best is yet to come. Nevertheless, I cannot forget Kannathil Muthamital, Vaali, Parthein Rasithein, Priyamanavale and Thullatha Manamum Thullum. Each one is different. All my films have done well and made me popular. I must thank the people of Tamil Nadu and my fans for this. They have now given me a big boost by appreciating my small screen projects as well — “Simran Thirai” and ‘Super Star’ Show.S. R. ASHOK KUMAR