TAMIL NADU

`Life isn't about regrets'

photo: By S. James  

S.S. Kavitha

To enter a profession at 17 is no mean feat: Prashanth

Madurai: S on of actor-producer-director Thiagarajan, Prashanth has been papa's boy, grateful to his father for everythingThe doting father too could not help showering compliments on his son. Attired in a saffron-coloured T-shirt and twirling his thick moustache, Prashanth looked every bit an action hero. From "Vaikasi Poranthachu", his first film, to "Thagappansamy", released recently, he has come a long way.

Their rich experience in performing fictitious roles did not help them as `father and son' Thiagarajan (in a typical director's voice): Well, let's talk about the industry, then and now.

Prashanth: Okay. You start.

Thiagarajan: When I entered Kollywood, there were not many facilities. Actors had to struggle to establish themselves. At that time, you were in your school final, aspiring to become a doctor. But, we wanted you to be a handsome doctor ( Prashanth grins). Hence, we put you through a regimen, ranging from martial arts to music and dance.

Prashanth: Was the entry easy for you?

Thiagarajan: Yes. I was into film distribution. My business interests are multiple and one of them was manufacturing cassettes. That's how my contact with filmdom was established. I distributed a lot of films. Director Bharathiraja, my friend, selected me for "Alaigal Oyvathillai". How about you?

Prashanth: Thanks to you, my entry was smooth. I didn't have to struggle much nor was I exposed to the vagaries of the industry.

I stayed afoot for a decade till you came along and took over. I told myself, this is the time for me to step aside so that Prashanth can act as an individual hero. If I carry on now, it will be like baby sitting. (Prashanth laughs).. You were very sensitive and not exposed to film industry. Till then you had led a very protected life.

Thiagarajan: The name and fame we enjoy in the industry today have been earned through sheer hard work. People always tell me that I am extremely lucky to have a son like you. You are very disciplined. Prashanth: It is all because of you and mom, the way you groomed me.

Thiagarajan: In the process, I too learnt many things from you. Right from childhood, you have been very cautious about what you eat. It is thanks to you that I am trim today. You motivated me to exercise and stay fit.

Prashanth: I think the secret behind my success is your experience. You know what to do, when to do it and how to do it. You've always guided me but never ordered me around.

Thiagarajan: I wanted you to learn the tricks of the trade the hard way. Had your first film failed, you had the option of pursuing medicine. But, the film became a super hit.

Prashanth: A big hit, indeed. I remember, you said, to enter a profession at the age of 17 is an achievement. And I had the luxury of choosing between two professions.

Thiagarajan: Any regrets?

Prashanth: Life is never about regrets. But about the best you can make of it. This is what I have learnt from my failures. At present, I am busy with "Pulan Visaranai II," "Petrol" and "Runway" and a historical under your direction.

Thiagarajan: I agree with your views about life. Now you talk like a seasoned actor. Okay, what do you like the most in me?

Prashanth: It's the fact you still find time for us. What else can I yearn for?