Interview of Nadigar Thilagam Shivaji Ganesan by Actress Jayalalitha - A Flashback

The famous legend Actor Nadigar Thilagam Sivaji Ganesan has given an interview in 1967 for a cinema article named Bommai. He was interviewed by Tamil actress J.Jayalalithaa the late Chief Minister of Tamilnadu and leading film actress in the mid-1960s.

Let us see the conversation below!!!

Jayalalithaa : You have been referred by Sivaji in front of your name.May I know the reason for that??


Sivaji : That everyone knows

Jayalalithaa : I don't know the reason.So...

Sivaji : Then ok !!I will tell.There was drama play of Sathrapathy Sivaji conducted in 7th Suyamariythai Maanadu.Periyar was the chief guest of that function.I was praised by him for acting well in the character of Sivaji.So that name was awarded to me by him.From that day onwards I was called as Sivaji Ganesan.

Jayalalithaa : You would have read the classic stories of Laila - Majnu ,Romeo - Juliet.Do you believe that those type of lovers would have really existed???

Sivaji : Love means it should be like this mentioned in these stories.We should not love and leave that person after some days.Love should be till the last.These dramas show us that even after death love should exist.These type of dramas and cinemas are not only to read and see.

Jayalalithaa :Do you believe that you can find those type of lovers nowadays???

Sivaji : I did not fall in love still.Now you are a single person.You will fall in love soon.Then you only should answer this!!!

Jayalalithaa : If a person don't have any other ways and if he get a situation like only suicide is the option he has in his hands,What will you tell about his suicide???

Sivaji : Suicide is done only by fearful people.And also it is a big mistake.

Jayalalithaa : I said like there are no ways for him.Let us take another example a lady is there..She is left alone by her husband..She doesn't have education also.What will she do???

Sivaji : Either she can clean vessels, or carry luggage,or do any useful work and make her living. Do all uneducated people die everyday???

Jayalalithaa : You started your career in acting from your childhood days...Right...Have you ever thought that you will become a leading actor or hero in the future at that time??

Sivaji : No I have not even dream't of becoming an actor in my future.Only my passion for acting made me to get on to stages.I was not at a state to think of my future at that time.I really don't know whether I will get food for my day,or where to go.In this state how will I get time to think of my future??


Jayalalithaa : Do you think actors can participate in politics??If yes will you be able to manage both on same paces???

Sivaji : Politics is different and Acting is different.An actor should give importance only to acting.If I am in a political party ,that party will definitely not want me to be only in politics.But since a person is in a political party he will have to perform certain duties and the party also has all rights to expect some duties to be done by him.For an example If I get two months holidays to take rest.I can use one month for rest and the other month I can work for my party.But party will not compel me to do it.I can go and come at any time.So we shouldn't put knots for Political part and acting.That is different,this is different.

Jayalalithaa : Do you think Tamil movies has improved now???Or it has gone down???

Sivaji : It has improved in all fields for sure.But some movies try to reduce the interest that people show on watching Tamil movies.Among hundred films we can find twenty five films like this.These films bring us down a little.

Jayalalithaa : How???

Sivaji : Because you people started wearing half pants and came to act..

Jayalalithaa : Producers ask us to wear that..

Sivaji : Producers are using weakness of the people.You can be little arrogant.

Jayalalithaa : If we are arrogant they will tell no to us.What will the new heroines do???How can they oppose??

Sivaji : Its wrong.They can tell like they will not wear half pants.Producers did not accept that.If people comes to know about this they are going to scold producers only no..

Jayalalithaa : Highly talented people sometimes have to face these type of challenges in their career.Same as a great actor which role was very challenging for you???

Sivaji : Good qusetion.I acted in Kappalottiya Tamilan movie.That was the most challenging role in my career. Because many people have seen that real Kappalottiya Tamilan and they are along with us.Acting as a character of a story is easy.But to act like a person, whom we have met in our real life also until the recent days he was a legend ,is highly difficult.All should accept that acting first.There should be no differences seen.If I am acting like Periyar, all should tell like It is as if seeing Periyar itself.Then only my acting will be successful.That is what I did in Kappalottiya Tamilan.After seeing my acting in the movie,Periyavar V.O.C 's son said like it was as if he saw his dad on the screen.I consider this as a big success.

Jayalalithaa : We used to hear stories,read novels.We used to think Wow will I not get this type of characters to act? Like that have you expected any character and acted as such???

Sivaji : Kattabomman character was like that.I have seen this Kattabomman story as a street play.This story was the main inspiration for me to leave my house and move into acting.

Jayalalithaa : Now a new problem has raised its head whether to allow kiss scenes in movies or not???What do you tell for that??

Sivaji : Its Shameless!!!They shouldn't show kiss scenes at all.They should act like only giving kisses.It should be hidden then only it becomes an art.If they show the same then that is not art.So my kind request is not to show kiss scenes on screen.

Jayalalithaa : How much fans do you have???Have you been fan for anyone??

Sivaji : Yes!!Even now also I am a fan.I am a fan of P.R.Bandhulu while he was acting.I am a fan of Hindi Film Actress Nargis and also a fan of Charles Boyer

Jayalalithaa : I hope you like Latha's songs very much???

Sivaji : She is my sister no....How will I be without liking her???Not only that I heard a news recently that when taken an International survey worldwide regarding the list of songs telecasted,Latha's songs were telecasted more than twenty hours per day among all.No female singer in this world would have got such a pride.This pride goes only for my sister.

Jayalalithaa : How often you go to cinemas while you were acting in serials??

Sivaji : Not only at that time now also!!!!Without me seeing any films, movies will not run in Madras City.Even yesterday night I went for a boring movie and came.

Jayalalithaa : On those days, tell me a movie which you like to see often??

Sivaji : Rudolph Valentino's movie The Sheik

Jayalalithaa : Each individual will have some unforgettable incidents in their life.Do you have any experience like that???

Sivaji : It happened during an Asia African award function which took place in Egypt's capital Cairo.They were announcing results for the film awards.I was sitting behind.All people there thought me as a technician.All people who came there were legends and also they were seven feet tall.Many popular people from different countries were present at the spot.Also judges were present.They announced 'Kattabomman'as the best film and also they said the person who acted in this movie is the best actor.They called my name.I stood in my place.I am not a flexible person in my life.Even if a tiger chases me in the middle of the forest i will stand still without moving away from my place.But on that day in Cairo made me flat. Actress Pathmini who was sitting by me side hold'ed me or else I would have fallen down.I forgot myself and showed my emotions only on that day.

Thus ended the interview!!!!

Credits - Ananda Vikadan

Author - Renukka

Cash  - 50 Rs

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