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I still have a long way to go, says actor Charle

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Actor Charle
Actor Charle

S.R.Ashok Kumar

"An actor should not search for a role. Rather, the roles should come to him"

Actor Charle started his career as a comedian but has also played character done some good characters in Tamil moves. A director's delight, he can fit into any role that is perhaps the reason he has worked with almost all the top directors in the film industry. Charle talks about his early days, his present work and his future assignments.

Personally, I am a serious person but professionally a comedian. In real life I get angry very rarely.

I was working as an artist in the song and drama division of the Information and Boardcasting ministry. One morning, director K. Balachander called me to act in the film "Poikal Kudirai". Normally, one would work with some established actors. But I was fortunate to work with poet Vaalee. The first time before the camera, I did not even realise it had been filmed. I was standing in the same place when KB sir coolly said, "Why are you standing there. There is a long way to go." That was so true. I went from one film to other after that.

As he did for Rajinikanth (changed his name from Shivaji Rao), K.B sir changed my name from Manohar to Charle. I did not want `LIE' in my name. So I removed the `i' and called myself Charle.

My first two films did not do well at the box office. But the great director encouraged me and my third film "Poovilangu" was a success. The film ran for 285 days.

I have acted in more than 500 films in Tamil and one each in Telugu and Hindi. I am fortunate to have worked with some of the best Malayalam directors who considered me capable of working in their Tamil films.

I have acted in a number of films as a college student. Recently, I became student myself. After completing my post graduation, I am currently pursuing my M.Phil at Karaikudi Alagappa University. When I sat for the examination, other students were all surprised and asked whether I needed any help. I told them I had studied well and wrote my examination. Do you know what topic I selected for my dissertation? `Contribution of the comedian for the growth of Tamil Cinema'.

I love my job very much. I have worked with all the top directors of Tamil cinema including K. Balachander, Mani Ratnam, Shankar, Balu Mahendra and the recent crop of young filmmakers.

My favourite films include "Vannakanavugal", "Poove Unakkaga", "Oru Veedu Iru Vasal", "Vettrikodi Kattu", "Nyayatharasu", "Oru Oril Oru Rajakumari", "Sigaram" and "Varusam 16".

I should have got the national award for "Vettrikodi Kattu" where I missed it by few votes and an international recognition for "Nanba Nanba", which was sent to the Cannes film festival.

I like all my colleagues and illustrious predecessors. I admire and respect Chandrababu, Nagesh and V.K.Ramaswamy. Among women, my favourites are T.P. Muthulakshmi and Kanthimathi.

After so many years, I have got some of the best comedy roles. In "Thirumagan", directed Rathnakumar, and in "Oru Ponnu Oru Paiyan", directed by Naren Deivanayagam, one can get to see my solo comedies.

I am yet to achieve much in the profession. An actor should not search for a role. Rather, the roles should come to him. The day directors think I am the only person who can perform a particular character, that would be the first of my achievements.

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