"I am thankful to director Ameer who offered me a role in Paruthiveeran, which got me the national award"
How it happened
I was into modelling and ad films in Bangalore. When I was 18, Fazil approached me. I took a make-up test for one of his Malayalam films. Out of the blue, I got a call from director Bharathiraja who signed me up to do Kangalal Kaithu Sei. I knew he was one of the biggest names in the Tamil film industry.
How it felt
I was happy to have acted in a Bharathiraja film. I went with my family for the film premiere in Chennai. When my name appeared on the screen, my parents and brother wished me best of luck. My brother was glad to see me on the silver screen and encouraged me to come up with powerful performances. More offers followed.
How life changed
Yes it did on both the personal and professional levels. On the personal side, I am not able to go out and spend time, as people easily recognise me. Professionally, I know I’m going up the ladder. I have struggled for the past five years and have so far done 17 films in the four South Indian languages. Now I am doing a Hindi film directed by Mani Ratnam. I am thankful to director Ameer who offered me a powerful role in Paruthiveeran, which fetched me the coveted national award.S. R. ASHOK KUMAR