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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Tamil heroes refused to act in a film penned by 'Tamil Champion'

Chennai, July 5: Prominent young stars of Kollywood turned down the offer for a lead role in the film ‘Neeyindri Naanillai’ for which story and screenplay are penned by Chief minister M.Karunanidhi. Film director Ilavenil admits that the production team approached leading stars in the industry only to be told that they don’t have dates. “They are afraid of being stigmatized if they act in a movie scripted by chief minister,” the director told this journalist.
Chief minister M.Karunanidhi has been working on at least two film scripts currently. Fuelled by the moderate success of Uliyin Osai, his earlier film, at the box office, Mr Karunanidhi has embarked on two ambitious projects. One is Ponnar Sankar, a historical story in which actor Prashanth plays a dual role. Other story which will be filmed soon is ‘Neeyindri Naanillai’, a romantic story that is based on few characters from his novel Suruli Malai written in the 1950s.
The lead role of a forest officer is played by Telugu hero Uday Kiran. The female lead – a local woman - is played by award-winning Meera Jasmine. Another female role is played by actor Karthika. “We discussed the story with the chief minister quite early. But the search for a prominent actor to play the lead role took a while as many actors including Srikanth refused to act as the film would bring them a stigma,” said director Ilavenil, the favourite of the chief minister. He directed Uliyin Osai earlier.
“Many actors here are afraid of being sidelined in the industry if Ms Jayalalithaa returns to power next time,” said the director. However, agents of some of the actors approached by the production team (Nandini Arts) have a different take on the issue. “Many actors don’t want to get entangled in this project as they are not sure of how much control they will have over their role. They are also worried if the film will do well in the box office given the track record of the recent films penned by the chief minister,” said an agent of an actor who was contacted to play the lead role in the film.

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