Kamal Haasan is quite the all-rounder in cinema. The Nammavar who started out as a child artiste has dabbled in almost all fields that are involved in filmmaking. His versatile acting skills are legendary. He was written, produced and directed films. Besides writing lyrics, the actor has also sung and choregraphed several songs. In a conversation with The Indian Express, the veteran actor confessed to having a lot more to learn and explore even after six decades in cinema.
“So many things. I would love to be a cinematographer. Then, there is one skill I haven’t mastered yet. While making a movie, one should have the cool head of a viewer — it is a fantastic equipoise which can help one make smart decisions. A viewer calls a film bad if she/he does not like it. But if she/he likes it, then she/he comes back and spends Rs 500 more on the ticket. That kind of clarity is required when you invest Rs 50 crore in a film. That’s an art I have still not learnt and I am about to leave the industry,” he said.
The actor also confesses that writing helped him prolong his acting career and multiply his onscreen talents. “Writing gave me more control over the career of Kamal Haasan. Otherwise, there is no vehicle for the actor in me to promulgate my talent. The filmmaker and writer (in me) prolonged my career by at least 20 years,” he admitted.
He further called himself a reluctant actor, confessing that his original ambition was to direct films. “I’m a reluctant actor. When I was 18, I was asked to assist a friend in writing. He gave me so much space, and when his film was released, he gave me the writer’s credit. After that, I wrote many screenplays, sometimes I was given the credit and sometimes not. While working with K Balachander, I was part of every department. I have given story ideas and conducted rehearsals like a first assistant director. Later on, I took to writing original scripts such as Thevar Magan (1992), which was made into Virasat (1997).”