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Dasavatharam press meet
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June 17, 2008


Actor Kamal Hassan said that he preferred to take the Oscar Award for any of his films provided it should be American and not Indian. “The love and affection of the people of my country, my fans is more than that,” he declared. He was addressing a media conference at Taj Krishna, Hyderabad, this evening, to share his happiness over the thumping response to the film, which got up to a raking observation that it was entirely a Kamal-show. The actor, accompanied by director KS Ravi Kumar, patiently answered a volley of questions from the media for more than an hour. Clad in black suit, sporting fully-grown beard, Kamal looked energetic and interacted with agility.

Kamal Hassan termed Dasavatam as “Regurgitating of History”. “This is truth. History repeats. The danger is there.” “Satyame Sivam is a failed Dasavataram. Dasavataram is successful Satyame Sivam.” He scoffed at the widespread rumors that he played havoc with Bhagavadgta by stepping on it; and that the film brought disgrace to Hinduism. “Did you find any such offensive matter?” he seemed to question those who troubled the project and dragged to a tedious legal battle. Kamal seemed moved at the response he got at the hall. “I am moved. I don’t know how to congratulate the people of Andhra Pradesh. I came to Hyderabad as a choreographer for an Akkineni Nageswara Rao’s dance number.”

Dasavataram – Two decades of Kamal’s mind
“Everybody asks me how much time it took for conceiving and execution of the project. Everything came into light about the film just at the time when started facing legal hurdles. Now I can say, it took nearly two decades in mind to get the final shape of it what you see on the screen. Even during the ancient times, an artiste was called Bahurupi. This might have prompted me to take to do ten avatars. It is a not great thing on my part. I am confident that any actor with concentration and dream to do so can definitely do the same feat. I am happy that I got a wonderful director and producer. Entho Chinnadi Jeevitham. Inka Chinnadi Yavvanam (the song for which Kamal choreographed). Yes. I wanted to do something worthwhile in between. I hold the satisfaction to that level with Dasavataram.”

He tried to clarify that there was no confusion at all when the story took a nosedive from 12th century to 2004. He said it was the connectivity of human race from generation to generation. “Yes. I feel I am linked to the dynasty of emperor Ashoka. Can’t you deny you have no connection to Seetharamaraju?”

Religious conflict in Dasavataram
Kamal stressed on the religious conflict. “Dasavataram dealt at length over the religious conflicts spread over a period time in centuries. Now we call it Hindu-Muslim conflict. Those days, it was like internal conflicts within the religions. All put together the thought of the divine and its perception always led to tug of wars many a time in history.”

Kamal about Feedback
Dasavataram happens to be the first film in my career which got to the highest levels of hype. I should live up to the expectations. I will surely do it. The film also is the first film to gross the maximum collections. My director (Ravi Kumar) says my range would go up to the levels of a Tom Cruise or Brad Pit in the coming days. (He seemed taking it funny). Some people say I had set a world record by doing ten different roles. But, I don’t take pride in it. What I can and what I wanted to is Dasavataram. All these are good to hear but difficult to digest. While executing the roles, I simply forgot myself. I felt tired only after the shoot packed up each evening. Now I enjoy the risk.

Thanked director Ravi Kumar
I thank director Ravi Kumar. You tell me any politician or anybody who would take Rs. 40 crore and give it double the amount in 2 years? That is Ravi Kumar, and he will soon become No. 1 director in India.

Asin and Mallika Sherawat
“I enjoyed two sets of characterization when dealing with the women roles, particularly Mallika Sherawat and Asin. While that of Mallika Sherawat, it gets finished soon with not much footage. The scene in which a character of mine puts a dot on her forehead comes prominently, which otherwise nothing much. But, Asin is very glamorous all through the film. Her dress changes each time. A south Indian girl, she really rocked. It was for Fletcher to dote on Mallika Sherawat. (he laughs).

Scathing attack against Bush-statement
During his response to the avatar as Prez Bush, Kamal sharply reacted to his statement about Indians as greedy rice eaters. He turned a little bit emotional, saying: “When Bush said Indians are heavy rice eaters, he should know that we are not eating beef heavily. We are not eating hamburgers. In fact, Americans turned rice-eaters; and they are eating more and more rice than us.”

His greed for even powerful roles
“We are experts in greed. Naturally, I expect to be more professional and more powerful in each of my films. Now, my immediate project is Marmayogi. After that, I look forward to do Marudhanayagam, and I hope I will get enough money to make it.”

Photo Gallery (photos by G Narasaiah)
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