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Thinking BIG

"I have always had regrets about not being able to make a mark on the big screen."


THOSE WHO follow Tamil TV serials closely could not have possibly missed this man. For many, he is the dignified "Anwar" of Annamalai, while for some others, he is the innocent "Ramani" of Manaivi.

Then, there are those who still fondly remember him as "Prasad" of Chithi.

Never mind his suave looks, Vijay Adiraj is very much down-to-earth. In town to host the TVS Centra's lucky draw contest, the TV personality spent some time talking about his first passion and how he managed to carve a place for himself in a highly competitive field.

"When people call me the `Superstar' of the small screen, I can't but help laughing. I am into television with a vengeance. I enjoy working here and it is not easy to get such a sobriquet in the small screen because there are so many talented artistes," he avers.

Despite his small screen successes, it still rankles Vijay that he did not get a big break in cinema. "Though I acted in a few movies, I have always had regrets about not being able to make a mark on the big screen. Luck plays an important role in cinema," he says with a smile.

Has not TV opened new vistas for artistes? "Yes. But, tell me one actor who is on TV after aspiring to make it here. All of us are into television by default, not by choice."

But, he is quick to add, "Thanks to the following that serials have, I have got all this adulation. So, I do not miss cinema. I just want to be there."

How has his tryst with the small screen been? "The biggest advantage with TV is that since you have time, you can get under the skin of the character. In the small screen, work is a lot more hectic. Here, time is money. A film is the result of a three-month shooting while making serials is akin to producing five movies a week. Also, we have to be a lot more responsible because, unlike cinema, we come to your homes uninvited."

Too many serials, and there is the risk of being typecast.

How does he avoid that? "I try my best not to play stereotypical roles. You have to be careful while choosing roles. Each of my characters is different. The way I dress, the body language - everything is different. A lot of thinking goes into it. You have to do your homework properly," Vijay remarks.

He says playing the `sophisticated investigator' in Thadayam was a nice experience.

"For the first time, I worked with kids. They were very spontaneous and I had to catch up with them."

Vijay also hosts a musical show Raagamaalika on Jaya TV.

Seeing him hum a few songs, you tend to think he has a musical background.

Ask him, and he bursts into laughter. "I was in fact scared of anchoring the programme. I don't know anything about music. Though I had anchored Neengal ketta paadal, a phone-in programme, this was totally different. I don't speak anything technical in Raagamaalika. I am there as a good rasika," he says humbly.

But, the programme has been a learning experience, he adds.

Ask him if he would associate himself with the characters he played in TV and he says, "I would identify myself a little with every role. However, I would like to play all kinds of roles," he says.

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