A milestone in Tamil cinema is how ‘Dasavatharam’ or 10 avatars is remembered, even 13 years since it hit the screens in 2008.
And, the man donning those 10 avatars was none other than one of Indian cinema’s most versatile and talented actors, Kamal Haasan. Fondly dubbed “Ulaganayagan” or Universal Hero by his fans, the film’s creators dug into the archives to recreate the magic behind one of his most famous and demanding roles.
“It was a script which was declined by many directors who said they didn't understand it, and quite unexpectedly Mr Ravikumar jumped at it,” recalls Haasan.
“Any producer would have found it ridiculous that the director and I went to the US for 21 days to do make up tests for all the looks, but we did it. Mr Michael Westmore bent over backwards and did a stupendous job during the trial,” he reveals.
While the producer was enthusiastic to immediately release all of the 10 looks to the media right away, the had to stop him by telling him that people would not find a need to go to a cabaret or a striptease if the advertising posters had images from the final climax and there is nothing further to entice them.
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“We wanted to make a masterpiece and we didn't look at money or fame, just our contribution to the art of cinema. We had various stunt directors supporting us which can be seen in various styles portrayed through the film,” said the multi-talented Haasan, who is not only an actor but also a dancer, filmmaker, singer and lyricist.
“Going back on the memories now, ‘Dasavatharam’ was a masterclass for me on every technical aspect. There were many masters to teach and learn from and cinema was the ultimate master and very forgiving when we failed in some parts, definitely more forgiving than the audience who made it a hit,” he added.
While he started his career with films, he has gone on to act across a over the years and won several awards.