April 3, 2009, Y. Sunita Chowdhary
Read what Prakash Raj has to say on himself in his own words:
On being late to sets: "It is better to be misunderstood than to please people. If people who work with me say that I play hide and seek why do they repeat me? Why am I in Mahesh's nine films out of his ten. Why don't you judge me with my work? How I go about it is not important. I don't go by the rules. I put my foot down, I don't take mediocrity. There are certain locations where I can come only at 12 in the morning. I don't go by the rules. I have other things other than acting/cinema. It is not cinema which is life.
I need to read newspapers, talk to my daughters. I don't want to push myself, abuse myself for 18 hrs a day. There is something more to life. Being popular means every person needs me, I respect it, understand it but I don't want to push myself…. I need to re invent myself. People say he comes only for 5 days, they don't see where I travel from, from where I'm going I'm tired, there are people saying all kinds of things but it's not true.
On being labeled unprofessional: Am I unprofessional? Am I not delivering, are my films being delayed because I'm not coming to the sets on time. I can't do two things at time. "Dialogue timing lo cheppadam, set ki time raavatam." They know how I have been functioning for the past 12 yrs, it's not something new, why crib about it? It's not new right.
On being banned: Ban? It happens, I wouldn't blame them, or I wouldn't blame myself. I have been banned six times and I'm back to work now. It's common for people to throw stones at trees laden with fruit. Both of us are wrong sometimes, they have rubbed me on wrong times and I did the same. Council banned me"
On taking advances: I take advances and I give back advances when I don't like it. Because people should know from my side, when I say I have no time/dates. They say..."Ledhandi meeru teesukondi. Take how much ever you want. Adjust chesukuntaam. I say no. They say again meeru lekapothe teeyamandi. Then they say three days and when I say no, they get desperate. When I tell them I have no dates, they compel me to agree to it and when the times and I'm really busy they start bargaining for it."
On friends: My behavior on the professional front is the reaction to the pressures/needs it demands from me and I am an intense guy and I am a human being. I feel hungry, dream like people and have friends like others have. But why should anyone know anyone, let them be where they are, give them space yaar. Why peep into their lives? You meet people in the process, you make some friends, and you don't live with them do you? You work with them and you go, you relate to them at that moment. You never know why you react at certain moment because you are not a part of that.
I don't get into peoples personal lives. I love to give them when they give it to me. Between any relationships it is based on respect. I don't teach my children. I live by example. My daughters both of them are wonderful, had a son who passed away in an accident. I let them be, I would like to be a good man. I look arrogant selfish, because I put my foot down, but I know after a point of time it is their lives. My daughters are demanding. I love them and I am a good father."
We are related to others by but again we are individual in our own right, our preferences, and values. Even with our mother we are bound only by an umbilical cord and the connection ends there. I feel honestly any person will have few friends. Just because you know certain people for many years they don't become your friend. You know he's a friend when he is omnipresent. That is what you should be as an omnipresent as a parent, as a writer. Only when you are omnipresent your presence makes a difference.
"I read, I question a lot. People say you get hurt. I stand by certain values ethics, I don't take bulls hit. I want them to behave. If someone can't act well as good as me, I'm okay with it, if someone is not acting just because he is not focused then I say get lost. If someone can't lift 10 kgs, I would carry my weight and his but if he is lazy then he doesn't want to do it, then move. You have to value life, its one life. I don't understand if they are lazy. Lazy is arrogance."
On being able to do things differently: The emotion is purely because of theatre background, I know my craft well. I am able to do it differently because the scripts are different. I surrender to scripts. Because actor is not cinema. Cinema is a painting, actor is just another color in the paint. I will do what they want, the only difference between others and me, is I add my experience. A little bit of it while I emote."
On Monotony: I haven't seen many of my films. I accepted films which are not my calibre. It's not that I need to do only such films. About Kancheepuram, the director said this script has been lying with me for the past 12 years, I wanted Mohan Lal, now at this point of time, if I want someone to do it, then it is you. If you still don't do this film I will, later only till I find a better actor. When I listened to the script I felt so proud … all my work till date, I have created impression into a film maker that he can trust me with this film. Someone offering me a script like kancheepuram tells me where I stand as an actor. How they see me as an actor.
On acting: I want to live, acting is a vehicle, and it's not my life, its just I'm good at it. It gives me an identity; it helps me perceive things in life other than cinema like architecture, cooking, travel. I don't know what boredom is, I think the busiest man on earth is someone who has little more time. I've done 200 plus films but I've seen 40 odd films. Never see my films on theatre or on the monitor. Very rarely certain works I see. My job is done once I finish my part because I am one of those blessed actors who get his pay packet before I go to the first day of the shoot. The joy is in traveling not reaching destinations. I have no set goals, by the time I've reached the horizon I see one more. It's very easy to live because I'm being me."