Ajith says needs more freedom in cine-sphere [Interview]

Reticent and taciturn he may be, but when Ajith chooses to speak he says it like it is. In this exclusive he talks on twitter wars, need for more freedom in the cine sphere and more.
Ajith Shalini
Celebrated as the Thala of K'town, Ajith's appeal lies in his simplicity. While most stars pride themselves on titles and fan bases, he went ahead and disbanded his fans association and denounced his title as Ultimate Star.

At a time when most of the big stars in the industry come with package deals like titles, tags and their individual fans associations, the dashing and suave Ajith is like a rare whiff of fresh air.

Unassuming in his looks and his character, there is a lot to this man that rarely comes across in all that is written about him. A talented actor, a passionate photographer and an avid racer, there are dimensions to Ajith, apart from films. His salt-andpepper look, which has become a permanent feature in both his films and personal appearances, post the release of Mankatha, has only added to his looks -with some even hailing him to be the Indian version of George Clooney!

His films, needless to say, speak for themselves, for no other actor can boast of the kind of opening that his recent films have had at the BO. Ajith recently shed his tag of Ultimate Star and disbanded his fans association, urging them to concentrate on their personal lives. He might be a man of few words, but when he does choose to speak, he makes sure that everyone listens such is the impact.


Ajith is a star who has been known to take risks ­ be it working with upcoming or debut directors or even refusing to use a body double when it comes to stunts. At a time when there is such a large sum of money being invested in him and with so much fan expectation riding on him, does he think it advisable to go that extra mile when it comes to taking risks?

“I am just an actor doing my job,” he retorts humbly and adds, “Besides, I am not the only actor today who indulges in stunt sequences without a body dou le. Almost every actor (both male and female) is risking his or her life, while filming action sequences.

At the same time, we also sincerely acknowledge the fact that our stunt doubles do perform a major part of the action sequences. We actors work with professionals. Our respective producers and directors would never let us participate in risky stunts without proper safety measures in place. In spite of which accidents do happen. I am a fatalist. If an accident is destined to happen.... nothing can stop it!”

When it comes to working with newcomers ­ from a host of actors in Mankatha to relatively new directors like ‘Sirutthai Shiva’ and ‘Chakri Toleti’ to ace and proven directors like Venkat Prabhu and Vishnuvardhan, Ajith certainly seems to have pulled off a balancing act with the precision of a tightrope walker. Ask him about making himself available to a plethora of talent, he remarks, “Who am I to give anybody a chance? It is all God's will. If I had not accepted to work with them, someone else would have. In simple terms, their time had arrived and I happened to be there. It is as simple as that.”

ajith photography

Ask the king of openings if Kollywood will ever see a day when regional films will cross the 100 crore mark and he takes a diplomatic stand, “I am not an industry pundit to comment on this issue,” he states simply.

Ajith says that a director recently remarked that “filmmaking has become an arduous task these days. A villain has to oppose a hero in the film. Yet, the villain shouldn't be shown as belonging to any caste or religion and also to any professions such as advocate, doctor or a cop. If shown the concerned group will go up in arms.” Clearly upset at this trend he says, “With new political parties being formed almost every other day in India, what else do you expect? We are all aware that these demonstrations and agitations are staged to gain political mileage. Unfortunately, with media giving such activities prominence on front pages or channels covering these events as `breaking news' things are only going to get worse. And since media too is dependent on selling, nothing much can be done. What we lack as a nation today is discipline in every sphere. The honest truth is that discipline among the people is as important as good leader ship.”

ajith george clooney
With films these days being made on a larger scale and being excessively promoted on social media, the entire trend of reviewing films itself has changed. The fate of films are now being tweeted about on the first day, after the first show ­ some just after special previews even. “The trend is defi nitely inevitable,“ says Ajith. “Ours is a democrat ic country . Everyone has a right to post their views on any issue, be it politics, sports or entertainment.

But what is very important is that the “credibility” of those people, who post their views or comments must be looked into seriously,” he adds. His fans, however, have in the past, indulged in various Twitter wars ­ some even going to the extent of making malicious comments. Ask him what needs to be done to curb this menace (with respect to his fans) for a healthy atmosphere to prevail and he says, “Responsible individuals with a good upbringing will definitely not indulge in cheap activities like posting malicious comments.”

Photo: ★ Latest Thala pic Shooting Spot Dubai #Thala53 ★
Continuing in the same vein, we ask him about his reactions when people spoof him in their films.

“The best way to deal with such issues is to maintain a dignified silence,” he says, adding, “Even children in our country know that the easiest way to seek public attention is to target celebrities, sportspersons and politicians. So, silence is the way to deal with it.”

Recently, the actor, who has been known as ‘Thala’ and ‘Ultimate Star’ among his fans and even the industry folk, appealed for the disbanding of all his fan associations and even dropped his `title'. “I don't want to comment on actors trying to hog the limelight using self-appointed titles and promotions,” he says. “To each his own.”

While the film industry has grown over the years to accommodate plenty of new talent, Ajith has always remained constant, be it in terms of doing films that he believes in or delivering hits.

Describing himself as `a drop in the ocean' of the film industry, he credits his being able to sustain a successful career in K'town to the Almighty. “I guess there is someone up there, who decides these things,” he states simply, pointing to the sky.

Ajith married the gorgeous Shalini, who gave up her acting career post marriage. She has always been a pillar of support to him and is often seen dining with him and their daughter Anoushka. She recently won awards for her badminton and is an avid sports lover.

“Photography helps me de-stress amidst the chaos and hectic schedules which are part and parcel of a film actor's life. It started a decade back, when I was shooting for my film ‘Dheena’. My cinematographer Aravind Kamalanathan lent me his Nikon F2 camera and ever since, I've been hooked on photography. I make it a point to carry my camera while traveling for shoots. I love to capture candid shots of unusual sights that I may spot. Reality offers us such wealth that we must cut some of it out immediately to preserve and cherish. I consider photography to be a poetic experience and expression.

Photo: Wish you all a happy & colourful Holi :)
“Rapists deserve capital punishment, it is for the respective governments to decide. That aside, I think it is extremely scary to see the newspapers every morning and to read of children and women being sexually abused and murdered. It makes me wonder if we have lost it as a race. Human Rights bodies should protect human beings and not the animals in the garb of humans.”


·         The actor owns two high-end professional cameras, a Nikon D2X and a Nikon D700 and a few good lenses with all the accessories.
·         Ajith has gone with the name Siva in seven films.
·         Ajith loves to cook and is known to make penne pasta very well. He even cooked for ome of his co-stars recently. His biriyani, friends say, is out of this world.
·         Not one to posture himself for publicity, he is seldom seen at networking events, be it cine related or otherwise.
·         When Ajith was spotted with a Ducati in Dubai, many thought he will add to his extensive collection of bikes.
·         Ajith has an enviable collection of miniature model aircrafts.


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