Interviewer : Annadurai & Inian | Camera : Xavier | Text : Prathap | Video Editor : Jesi
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Vivek needs no introduction to Tamil cinema audience. His films in addition to providing the comic relief will have thought provoking messages. He has recently been bestowed with the responsibility of planting 10 lakh saplings by the former President of India Abdul Kalam. Vivek takes times off from his busy schedule and talks to on various topics

About Pasumai Kalam

I was the one who named the scheme Pasumai Kalam. Although I named it, our former President Abdul Kalam is the brain behind it. Once when I met him, he asked me to propagate in my movies the necessity of planting trees. And he also asked me why I would not go ahead and plant trees myself. I wasn’t sure I could do it but I took it up on myself with the help of my fan clubs. Support started pouring in immediately from social welfare organizations and we received good press coverage for the scheme. Because of the publicity, many people came forward and joined us.

We have so far planted 7.25

lakh saplings

After Trichy, the movement has spread to Coimbatore, Chennai suburbs and city, Salem, Cuddalore and students from universities like Annamalai and Anna University participated in this. We have so far planted 7.25 lakh saplings. We have time till December and I am confident that our target of 10 lakh saplings will be met with easily. This target could easily be crossed as well. We want our former President to do the honors of planting the 10th lakh sapling. We requested his date on the January 26th Republic day. If it works out, the event will be held in a Tsunami affected village in Cuddalore.

I am being loved by media and

general public

I found that I am being loved by media and general public after I took this project up. This was something I could not even achieve even after 500 movies. Good thoughts will transform into good deeds. Great journeys start with a single step. I understood meanings of all these great sayings. I am very happy that our former President’s wish is being fulfilled by me.

What are the benefits of planting tree saplings? Is the message being conveyed properly?

Rather than promoting the benefits of planting trees, we should make people understand the ill effects of deforestation. Global warming is haunting us, we are experiencing Tsunamis and Japan is slowly sinking. We are going through acute water shortages. We had plenty of water resources before but they are depleting. So now we have to dig deeper and deeper to find fresh water. We are turning irrigation land into concrete jungle and we are further sucking up water resources to meet the demand. And that is one of the reasons for earth quakes and tremors. Like Mankatha Ajith, mother earth is asking us ‘Evlo Naal Daan Naanum Nallavanaave Irukkaradhu.’ So what is the remedy to all this? The only answer is planting trees to invite more rains to increase our water resources. Only if there are rains, will there be agriculture. Only if there is agriculture, will a country be self-sustained.

Like Mankatha Ajith, mother

earth is asking us ‘Evlo Naal

Daan Naanum Nallavanaave


Are you making efforts to spread this message using your movies?

It is easy to spread this message using my movies but the movie’s story should fall in sync with the message. Only then I can use this message in my movies. But I will try and promote this in my movies if opportunities are available.

It’s a late recognition for


About Balachander’s Dadasaheb Phalke award

It’s a late recognition for Balachander. He’s had a phenomenal career and he is also instrumental in taking Tamil films to Hindi, after Sridhar. His movies have thrown lights upon many socially relevant issues and he has given many talents to the industry. He is a giant in stage plays, movies and teleserials. He is a boon to the Indian film industry. I am thankful to the Indian government and God almighty for conferring Balachander with the award.

Are there any memorable dialogues in your film career?

I have so far done 500 movies and every movie is special in one way or other. So whatever people loved is memorable to me.

These days your movies do not have messages to convey. Why is this?

I’m not a preacher and do not want to overdo on the message part. I am an entertainer and I can’t take over the movie with my messages since it’s produced by someone else. Entertainment is the main thing and if I get a chance to deliver a message, I will.

I’m not a preacher

Why do all the comedians resort to double meaning dialogues?

Aren’t double meaning dialogues a part of our literature? Even Thirukkural has a separate section for lust. There is a good mix of audience who watch every movie and movies are directed at them. They enjoy watching it. It’s all about how you take it.

How do you compare the movies during the time you came to the industry and now? Has the quality improved?

I am not anybody to assess the quality of movies. Technology has redefined the way movies are created and there is nothing to rate as good or bad.

Who is your favorite comedy actor?

It’s a tough task to establish yourself as an actor here. You have to have a unique style. I came to the industry in 1987 but Vadivelu came 4 years after me and he is more popular than me. I had to wait till 1996, 9 years, to establish myself. Fans are the ones who decide this.

Have you found any difficulties in trying out new things in the industry?

I am a comedian and I am comfortable with comedy. But today fans are an improved lot and there is scope for experimenting.

You don’t expect a villain to

rape or give a punch

How do you make everyone laugh in film events?

Well, that is my job. Audience expects that I crack a joke or two when I am in front of the mike and I have to fulfill their expectations. You don’t expect a villain to rape or give a punch in events but comedians are expected to make people laugh off-screen too. That’s the power of comedians. And this image does not come in a day or two. For making them happy, the fans applaud in return. This is something of a God’s gift to make people happy.

In the latest line up of actors, who do you like the most?

Well this is a tricky question. Everybody has their own style. So it’s hard to tell. There is only one MGR, one Sivaji, one Rajini and one Kamal. Like I said, taste of audience is changing.

About comedy in Vedi

There is indeed a Vedi in the movie’s comedy. It’ll be totally different from what you have seen. I have to thank Prabhudeva for that. He offered me this role and told me that I would be perfect for this. I even have a song in the movie. I play a gym instructor with a six-pack like Surya and Vishal and how did I get a six pack? That is for you to see in the movie.

I have a six-pack like Surya and


About your future projects

That list is very dicey since the production and release of movies is not in our hands. My job is only to act in a movie and wait for the release.

Please ask this question to


You have been in Rajini movies but not in Kamal movies so far. Why is that?

Please ask this question to Kamal. I acted in Rajini movies because the stories needed me and Rajini wanted me. I am ready to be in a Kamal’s movie.

What are your comments about the issues that crop up every now and then in film industry?

Life is full of ups and downs and it is common in any field. Cinema is not immune to it. And cinema is designed to entertain people. So when we live for you and invest money to make movies, you simply go watch pirated CDs. Please go to theatres and watch movies. Otherwise the industry will be destroyed. So when you buy a pirated CD next time, please think of the crores that go into making the movie and the people behind it. It is like helping somebody in robbery. Don’t do it.

What do you think about actors in politics?

I am not associated with any political party. So this question is not correct. I am clear that I do not need politics in my life. And when I need it, I will quit cinema.

I do not need politics in my life

What do you think of the population explosion and the present day issues? Where will it lead us to?

I do not think it will lead us anywhere. People will become more responsible towards the society. Roads are being built, infrastructure is getting better.

Tags : Vivek, Vadivelu, Vishal, Mankatha, Vedi
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