Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Ash is the hero: Vikram

Vikram, who makes his debut alongside Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in the three versions of Raavan in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu (the dubbed version), got to share the most daunting experiences in the jungles of Kerala including dancing high above water-level on very slippery rocks.

Says Vikram, “Yes, it was quite an experience. I’m a good fighter, but not quite the dancer. I’ve always felt that Madhuri Dixit was the best dancer ever. But then, I saw how Aishwarya held her own in Devdas. I thought it was fantastic. So, while shooting for Raavan, I just forgot my own steps and kept staring. Every hero from the south wants to work with her at some point in his career. I got my opportunity finally. It’s wonderful that I’m making my Hindi debut with her. It’s strange how every Miss World and Miss Universe enters movies. But who has had the lingering impact of Aishwarya? She has some kind of an enduring aura. Over the years, she has really evolved as an actor.”

Vikram says Aishwarya is a hero in Raavan. “There are three main characters, Abhishek, Aishwarya and me. I’ve done a lot of tortuous sequences in the past. But this one takes the cake and the ache. And Aishwarya suffered all the wounds, pain, fever and insect bites heroically in the forest. For all the dangerous scenes, she hardly ever used a dupe. She was totally up to the task, though she fell ill quite a few times.”

Playing Aishwarya’s noble husband in the Hindi version and then the dark outlaw who kidnaps her in Tamil was not easy for Vikram. “And we had to do it in two consecutive shots,” he explains, “It was very exciting for me. When you see Raavan in two languages, you wouldn’t recognise me as the same person in both. I had to change my body language and look completely. Even in Anniyan, I tried various looks. It comes from my drama background in school.”

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