Abi Hassan: Kamal Haasan sir was crazy over Vikram sir's style and character in Kadaram Kondan
The young actor is making his Tamil debut through the Rajesh M Selva directorial, which is hitting the screens this week
Nassar made his entry into Tamil cinema with Kalyana Agathigal (1985), playing the role of an abusive husband. 34 years on, his youngest son Abi Hassan is also making his Tamil debut as a husband, but a doting one, in this week's release, Kadaram Kondan. Abi was initially anxious to tell his father about his ambitions to become an actor. "Appa was initially shocked. But when I joined BOFTA after finishing school, he realised I was serious. After that, I worked as an assistant to Atlee sir in Mersal. It was a lovely experience. I feel aspiring actors should work as an assistant director to get to know a lot of things regarding filmmaking," says Abhi, who adds that he was on the verge of letting his dream go when he struggled for a year to find the right script.
But then, he got a call from Raaj Kamal Films International. "Ennaku thooki vaari potuduchu. I immediately went to the office and heard the script. The same day, I auditioned for the role. I also met Kamal sir, who said that the audition did not mean that I was on board and that I would have to attend workshops if I bagged the role. I did bag it and attended workshops headed by Pooja Kumar madam. Right before the shoot, I also had a one-day workshop with appa."
Abi understands that people might assume he got the role just because of the friendship Nassar shares with Kamal Haasan. "Not to mention that amma is also a part of Kamal sir's party (smiles). But that was not what happened. There were, in fact, many actors across the country who were shortlisted for the role," adds the actor, who plays a doctor in the film. "The story is completely set in Malaysia. I can't reveal more than that at this juncture. It's a character people can connect with and pity. Akshara plays my pair in the film and what the couple goes through is something the audience will feel for. The trailer might be action-packed, but that's not all the film offers."
The actor was initially apprehensive of sharing the screen with Vikram. "I am a newbie when compared to the cast and crew of Kadaram Kondan. I knew that Vikram sir would pull off his scenes in a single take, so I was keen on getting my lines right. But he truly is one of the sweetest people I have ever met in my life. On the very first day, he said I can call him anna or uncle. I stuck to anna because, from the way he carries himself, one just can't call him uncle," laughs Abi, who was equally impressed with Vikram's working style. "We would go to the spot earlier and rehearse there. He helped me and other actors with our lines and the time we spent on it has translated on to the scenes. No other artiste would sit and do this with an upcoming actor."
Abi cannot hide his excitement when talking about Kamal Haasan's reaction to the finished film. "After watching the film, Kamal sir called up Vikram sir and others to say he loved it. He was crazy over Vikram sir's style and character. I have never seen Kamal sir like that and it was an exciting experience," concludes the young actor, who is already listening to new scripts.