Kamal Haasan on north vs south cinema debate: ‘For me, Taj Mahal is mine and Madurai temple is yours’

Many actors have weighed in on the north vs south cinema debate. While Kangana Ranaut feels south Indian films work better because they are “deeply rooted in their culture,” akshay kumar has said he doesn’t like when people make this distinction between north and south cinema. For him, it is one film industry. Now, it’s superstar Kamal Hassan who has shared his two cents on the matter.

“I am an Indian, what are you? For me, the Taj Mahal is mine and the Madurai temple is yours. Kanyakumari is as much yours as Kashmir is mine,” said Haasan while promoting his upcoming film Vikram Hitlist in the national capital.

Written and directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj, Vikram Hitlist is a multi-starrer action drama. Besides Kamal Haasan, the film also stars Vijay Sethupathi and Fahadh Faasil in the lead roles. Actor suriya has a key cameo role in the movie. Though the movie’s title is borrowed from Haasan’s 1986 actioner Vikram, the two films have nothing in common. But the title does have a nostalgia factor for the superstar.

Throwing light on the film’s title, Kamal Haasan shared with indianexpress.com, “There is a lot of nostalgia for me here because many years ago when I told this story idea, late Mr Sujatha liked it, but the director was skeptical and apprehensive about the modernity of the theme. But I was very fond of that story, and in my mind, it was called Hitlist.”

“So, while we were talking about the new film, I asked the director what was his favorite film of mine, and he said Vikram and Sathyaa. I asked him what would you like to call your film and he said he would like to call it ‘Vikram’. So, it was named Vikram Hitlist,” Haasan shared. The actor also revealed that although director Lokesh Kanagaraj had brought his own story to him, he was convinced with the story that Haasan had narrated. Kanagaraj told Haasan, “I will stick with your story and will make this film.”

After the film was completed, Kamal Haasan was mighty impressed with Lokesh Kanagaraj’s style of filmmaking. The actor said, “He (Lokesh) picked something up himself, and it was extraordinary. It is all his talent from him.”

On several occasions, the 67-year-old actor has called his 232rd film Vikram Hitlist a pan-India film. But for him, pan-Indian films are not a thing of today. He said, “Pan-Indian films have always been there. V Shantaram ji did pan-India films. Padosan is a pan-Indian film. What do you call Mughal-E-Azam? It is a pan-Indian film for me. So, it’s nothing new. Our country is unique. Unlike America, we speak different languages, and we are united. This is the beauty of this country, and we will always be making pan India films.”

While promoting the film, Haasan discussed many things but refused to talk about his character. The actor only teased his fans of him by telling them that he plays the titular role in the movie. However, Haasan did share how much he enjoyed making the movie with his co-stars Fahad Faasil and Vijay Sethupathi. He described his experience of working with them as “a good meal which is best shared”. The actor added, “My guru K Balachander told me how to enjoy sharing screen space and not to steal the show. So, I thoroughly enjoyed working with both of them. Both of them were my admirers, so it felt like a compliment.”

The trailer of Vikram Hitlist is packed with some breathtaking action sequences featuring Kamal Haasan. Though doing action in his movies is nothing new for him, Haasan, who has had many accidents while filming action sequences, shared how it is safer to perform stunts now with advanced technology and good technicians behind the camera.

“Dangers are reduced. Earlier I literally had to jump from one car to another while they were moving. Now you do not have to do that. Now, there are very good techniques which make you come out scratch-free from an action scene. I have broken my nose many times earlier while shooting action scenes, and I have fallen flat on my face. So many things have gone wrong. I have got 36 fractures in my body, and most of them came from films. But now I enjoy safe filmmaking,” Haasan told reporters.

Kamal Haasan’s Vikram Hitlist will hit screens on June 3.


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