Vikram: Cinema is my life

 Vikram: Cinema is my life

The much-awaited music album of Cobra was launched at a star-studded event in a private mall in Chennai. Chiyaan Vikram, who recently had a health scare just hours ahead of the teaser launch of Mani Ratnam’s Ponniyin Selvan, was in attendance for the first time since he got discharged from the hospital.

The event also saw the likes of AR Rahman, director Ajay Gnanamuthu, producer Lalit Kumar, Srinidhi Shetty, Irfan Pathan, Dhruv Vikram and Udhayanidhi Stalin.

In the audio launch, AR Rahman performed all five songs along with his team of musicians.

Ajay Gnanamuthu spoke very fondly about how he got to do a big-budget film like this right after his second film, Imaikka Nodigal. “Lalit Kumar sir approached me just after Imaikka Nodigal and told me that he has the dates of Vikram sir, and if I wanted to do a film together. In fact, he trusted in my ability to direct a big-ticket film and that will always be a special feeling,” says Ajay.

Talking about roping in AR Rahman for the film, Ajay said “When Lalit sir asked me if we could approach Rahman sir for Cobra, I thought he was pranking me. A few days later when I met Rahman sir to narrate the script, I told him that I only wanted to take a photo with him. Rahman sir was impressed with the script and agreed to be part of the film. Each and every song has come out wonderfully, and I can’t wait to see the magic of his background score unfold soon.”

The film stars Irfan Pathan in a pivotal role, and the filmmaker said that the former Indian cricketer was initially apprehensive about being part of the film. “I assured him that he’d do a good job, and we gave him acting and Tamil lessons. He impressed us with picking up the language in quick time.”

Cobra marks KGF actor Srinidhi Shetty’s debut in Tamil, and sharing details about her role, Ajay said, “She plays a very unique character in the film, and she was roped into the film based on her acting potential and calibre.”

Apart from Vikram, Srinidhi, and Irfan, the film has a host of actors including KS Ravikumar, Robo Shankar, Mirnalini Ravi, Anandraj and Meenakshi Govindarajan. Ajay also spoke about his love for the works of KS Ravikumar, and added that while the film does have a host of actors with limited screentime, they definitely have a pivotal role to play in the larger scheme of things.

With Roshan Mathew playing the primary antagonist, Ajay assured that the character sketch was much more stronger than Anurag Kashyap’s role in Imaikka Nodigal. “I always believe in writing strong villains in my films,” says Ajay.

Ajay also reminisced about how his first salary as an assistant director came from Udhayanidhi Stalin, who was backing AR Murugadoss’ 7aum Arivu. In return, when Udhay took the mic, he said that just like Lokesh directed Vikram as a Kamal Haasan fanboy, so has Ajay directed Cobra as a Vikram fan. “I hope this film too follows the success of Vikram, and becomes one of the highlight films for every cast member and crew of this film,” said Udhay.

Actor Vikram, who was definitely the showstopper of the event, took to the stage, and said, “I had a slight chest discomfort and got myself admitted to the hospital. Before I could realise, there were rumours doing the rounds on social media. In some way, I will have to thank them because I could see the amount of love I received from my friends, fans and well-wishers.”

Having missed out on the Ponniyin Selvan audio launch, Vikram said that it was a wonderful coincidence how his relationship with the Cholas and AR Rahman had a two-decade-old flashback. “I did an ad for Chola tea, which had music by a person called Dilip, and cut to all these years later, I am playing a Chola king in Ponniyin Selvan, and that Dilip is now the Oscar-winner AR Rahman. He inspired us to nurture ambitions about getting an Oscar, and he is a living legend who is the pride of the nation.”

Recalling a near-fatal accident he had in his early 20s, Vikram said that doctors had recommended a leg amputation but he fought past it. “I gave it my all to get over it. And now, cinema is my life, and I don’t know anything apart from this. As long as I have the love and support of my fans, nothing wrong can happen to me,” said a confident Vikram, who went on to speak about Cobra. “This is one of the most ocmplex characters I have played in my career. I have seven looks in the film, and I was asked to dub it in seven distinct ways. I am confident that Cobra will be a huge hit.”

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