While the media may be agog with the news that the fans of Mollywood superstar, Mohanlal or Mohanlal himself is upset with the brief appearance in the upcoming thriller TEZZ directed by Priyadarshan, Mohanlal clears the air saying his role was meant to be a cameo in TEZZ and he predominantly did the film for Priyadarshan.
Mohanlal says, ”My role in TEZZ is a very special appearance one. And I primarily did this film for Priyadarshan. This is my 43rd film with him. I always used to poke Priyan that when are we doing a film together in Hindi. Then one day he suddenly called me up for TEZZ. It started as a joke but eventually turned out to be significant though small role. So it was never planned in anyway.”
Interestingly, most of Mohanlal’s films have been remade by Priyadarshan in Hindi. ”Priyan’s style of making Hindi films is quite different. It has to be adjacent to the set-up of Hindi Films as it caters to bigger market. So obviously there are enough modifications from emotional scenes to action scenes, etc. He has become expert in that zone. Most of the films which he has remade are good,” Mohanlal says.
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The south star further praises Priyadarshan’s caliber as a director, ”With every film he is growing. He is thorough with his job. The best thing about Priyadarshan is most of the actors are comfortable working with him. He knows how to extract the kind of performance required from his actors. His approach and knowledge about films is excellent.”
Priyan and Mohanlal share a long-standing relation as both embarked their journey in the film industry together and now that they have worked in several films together, ask about their chemistry and Mohanlal quickly replies, ”There is an unknown chemistry between me and Priyadarshan. Even when we work on Malyalam films he just describes a scene and I understand what he wants from me or what he expects from me. After continually working with the same person it sort of becomes a practice.”
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After playing a cop in several films Mohanlal will be once again seen in a similar kind of role in TEZZ. Ask him about his fascination towards cop roles and Mohanlal says,”Unknowingly, again I am playing a police officer in TEZZ. Though it’s a small role, the placement of it is very critical in the film. This is one of the best films of Priyadarshan. I have partly seen the film; especially the making of the film is brilliant, the action sequences & choreography is just amazing. Quite surprisingly this is my third with Ajay Devgn. All I can say is its mere coincidence.”
Mohanlal made a sporadic appearance in Bollywood with just three films COMPANY (2002), RGV’s AAG and the latest being TEZZ to his credit. ‘COMPANY was a cult film. Nothing better than that came to me. People still remember me for COMPANY. I did have couple of offers but nothing really interested me,’ says Mohanlal.
Mohanlal who has dabbled in both the industries (Hindi and south) feels no difference between the two. ”There’s not much difference in both the industries. Except for language everything (lights, camera, emotions and the various other techniques) is same. How you portray yourself in the film and show your intelligence is totally upto you. I have done films in various languages like Tamil, Telugu, Kannada but I don’t find any difference,” he says
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However, Mohanlal says Hindi films have wider reach than south cinema. ”Hindi films are made for international market. South films have a very small market. Telugu has got a major market in India, Tamil also has a big market, while for Malayalam films the main markets are: Middle East, US, Europe but again it’s a small market for a niche audience. So that is the major difference. That will reflect in every segment of filmmaking. If I am acting in a Malyalam film that is for Kerala audience so we can chose the film which they like. But when you do an international film you have to sacrifice lot of things. There are enough norms to be followed for Hindi films.”
Today when many south actors are turning to Bollywood to make their mark, Mohanlal doesn’t feel the need to prove himself. ”I am not newcomer in the film industry. I am working for last 33 years. What should I come and prove? I am content and happy with my own language. Now if I get very good and irresistible role I will try. I don’t have to prove anything here. The newcomers and younger lot of actors from south are trying their bit in Bollywood as its reach is big. They want to prove their mark,” says the veteran actor.
Starring Ajay Devgn, Anil Kapoor, Kangana Ranaut, Zayed Khan, TEZZ is all set to release on 27th April 2012.