Vasanth: Vivekh didn't grow to be a talented artist, he was one from the beginning
The director reminisced on the experience of working with Vivekh, and added that his loss is shocking and saddening
Director Vasanth, while expressing his grief over the demise of veteran actor Vivekh, said that the late actor was not an amateur who grew up to be a talented artist, but was talented from the beginning.
He said this while reminiscing about working with Vivekh in K Balachander's Manadhil Urudhi Vendum. The film marked Vivekh's debut, and Vasanth worked as an associate to Balachander. "Vivekh's talent was evident right from the first shot. Everybody appreciated his performance. He didn't even have an ounce of camera fear. In fact, he wasn't even intimidated by Balachander sir. This quality made the director like him a lot as many actors feared him and would not perform confidently. This was also the reason why he was a part of many Balachander sir's films after that. Confidence is very important for comedians, and Vivekh had that right from the start."
Vasanth's journey with the actor continued when Vivekh acted in the filmmaker's Keladi Kanmani, Nerukku Ner, and Ei Nee Romba Azhaga Irukka.
Vasanth added that he had wanted to see more films like Vellai Pookkal from Vivekh. "After watching Vellai Pookkal, I called and spoke with him. He acted brilliantly in that film. My only disappointment is that, unlike Nagesh, who did films like Ethir Neechal (1968), Vivekh did not do many films as the protagonist. He was yet to give his best in a lead role and he was supposed to do many more films. In retrospect, I think that didn't happen because cinema now isn't the same as it was during Ethir Neechal days."
The director reveals that he wanted to make a film with Vivekh as the protagonist. The project, however, did not materialise.
Vivekh's rise as a comedian was not easy initially, says Vasanth. He points out that cinema was ruled by Goundamani, Senthil, and Janagaraj. "In fact, Janagaraj was at his peak then. For Keladi Kanmani, I initially roped in Vivekh only for a small cameo role, because those days, cinema couldn't function without Janagaraj. After that, Vivekh peaked, especially during the Saamy days."
Speaking about the late actor's talent, the director said Vivekh held a special place in Tamil cinema for the variety of roles he played. "Not just his comedy, but even with his acting, he could bring such wide varieties of expressions. His voice was a big strength as well. Adding to all this, his friendly, kind nature elevated him to a pedestal."
Vasanth adds that he is still reeling from the shock of Vivekh's demise. "59 is not an age to die. Moreover, Vivekh was supposed to do a lot of social activities. This is a terrible loss and words cannot comfort anyone. It's saddening that we are witnessing so many such losses in recent times. I wish that these terrible times would change soon."