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Mohanlal talks about Jilla and his bond with Vijay [Special Interview]

There is an old world charisma about him. With just days to go for the release of  Jilla, starring Malayalam superstar Mohanlal and Tami...


Mohanlal talks about Jilla and his bond with Vijay
There is an old world charisma about him. With just days to go for the release of Jilla,starring Malayalam superstar Mohanlal and Tamil star Vijay and in the lead, expectations are on the rise.

We caught up with Mohanlal for a chat on the experience of working in the film. Excerpts from an interview..

On his decision to be a part of the Tamil film Jilla…
There are three reasons. The first reason was Vijay. The next was a good production house called Super Good films. The third and most important reason was director Nesan, who, despite my busy schedules in the Malayalam industry, managed to chase me down and narrate his script. I don't believe in just ambling along and wouldn't be a part of any film in which I have to do that. I accepted Jilla because Nesan's script was cute and my character in it was strong. It suited me perfectly.

You play Vijay's dad in the film. Are you not concerned that this role might affect your image as a hero?
I have played a role that is unique to the land of Madurai. It is a role which exemplifies courage and respect. So, I don't think this question will arise in the mind of anybody who watches the film.
It's hard to make a film meet the expectations of the fans of one hero, let alone two.Jilla will have to meet the huge expectations of both your fans in Kerala and Vijay's fans in Tamil Nadu. Will it be able to satisfy both segments?

Vijay does not have fans just here in Tamil Nadu. He has fans in Kerala as well just as I have fans here in Tamil Nadu as well. I am certain Jilla will come across as sweet pongal on the festive day to both groups.

On fans in TN, Kerala…
There is a strong bond between the people of the two states, both at the cultural and emotional levels. The friendship that exists between both linguistic groups is one that has existed for over 2,000 years. This bond of love and friendship that exists between the two states cannot be broken by anyone. This is also the reason why Tamil films do well in Kerala and Malayalam films do well in Tamil Nadu.

Your thoughts on the success of your Malayalam film Drishyam…
I realised that this film would be able to make an impact even when the script was being narrated. I knew that there was no heroism in this film but the character was so well etched out that I did it. The film's Tamil and Telugu version re-make rights have been sold and the Malayalam version itself is doing well in Chennai and suburbs.

On the bond he shares with Vijay…
Vijay has managed to attain stardom status at a young age. But importantly, he hasn't allowed it to get to him. He possesses several good qualities and is punctual, disciplined and hardworking. That is why I believe he has such a big fan base. Initially, both of us would keep to ourselves. But then, as time went by, we started interacting with each other. Our conversations started turning light and humourous. Now, our friendship has reached a stage where I call on him at his residence and he calls on me at mine.

Have you watched Jilla…
I have. In fact, I watched it with my wife, who is an unforgiving critic. She loved it.

On reports that you are releasing the film yourself in Kerala…
It is true. I am releasing the film in around 300 theatres  in the state.
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