How it happened
I am basically a stuntman and have worked on nearly 500 films. My father Arunachalam and brothers are also fighters. I was asked to assist in a fight sequence in director Bala's Pithamagan. At that time, he promised to give me a role in his next film. I forgot all about it till one day I got a call from Bala's office. When I went to see him, I was offered the villain's role in Naan Kadavul. I told him I was only a fighter and would not be able to pull it off. But he said he would mould me for the role. That's exactly what happened.
How it felt
As a fighter, I've seen myself on screen several times. But doing a substantial role was a big bonus for me. I went to Udhayam theatre to watch the film. People instantly recognised me and started shaking hands with me. In fact, some women even tried to keep a distance from me! This made me realise the impact the role had created. And the credit for all this goes to director Bala.
How life changed
Life has changed overnight. Post- Naan Kadavul, I have acted in two Malayalam films, one Kannada and eight Tamil films, including Milaga, Thambi Arjuna and Bana Kathadi. I have a dozen films on hand, some of which are ready for release like Thambi Kottai.
s. r. ashok kumar
Some women even tried to keep a distance from me! This made me realise the impact my role in Naan Kadavul had made