The glittering world of cinema has lured several youngsters to the tinsel town in Chennai. But most often they are left loitering around the city with no means for living.
Superstar Rajinikanth too has shared a similar story with his fans. Rajinikanth opened up about the troubles he had to face in his initial years in the cineworld during the audio launch of his upcoming film ‘Darbar’.
The incident dates back to 1977, two weeks after the release of '16 Vayathinile'. This movie paved way for the actor’s entry into several movies.
"That's when a producer approached me for one of his movies. I am not saying who the hero was. I was called for an important role in the movie. I agreed to work on the movie for Rs 6,000 and sought an advance amount of Rs 1,000. The producer left after assuring me that he would give the advance amount the next day. But I did not get any money the next day.
“When I asked, I was assured that I would be given Rs 1,000 before getting ready for the character at the AVM Studio. Next day, they sent a car to reach the location. I reached the AVM Studio in the morning itself and asked about the advance money. But I was told that the producer did not tell them anything about the money. I then said that I would apply the make-up only after I get the money.
"Sometime later, the film's producer came to the studio in a white ambassador car. I was still waiting, without wearing the make-up. I wanted the thousand rupees first.
“The producer, who was appraised of the situation, came towards me. He asked, ‘What is this... Have you become such a big hero? You are only four films old. Now itself you are saying you would not act without first getting money. There is no role or money for you. Get out of the film set.’
“Then I asked him, ‘But sir, didn't you tell me that you would give Rs 1,000 before applying the make-up. I only asked for that. If there's no role, so be it. But I should be dropped back from where I was picked up.’ And when I walked towards the car, the producer stopped me.
“He asked, ‘Who would give the taxi fare? There is no car for you. Get out...’ and I was thrown out,” the actor recollected.
Rajinikanth said that he had no money on him then and walked his way out of the AVM Studio, humiliated.
"As I was walking along the Kodambakkam lane, I saw that the street was lined with the posters of '16 vayathinile' and along with my dialogue 'Ithu eppadi irraku'. Passers-by, even those in the bus, recognised me and were staring at me,” the actor said.
But Rajinikanth said that he had only one thought in his mind.
"Will return to the same AVM Studio, from where I was humiliated and thrown out, in a foreign car. I would return in style with one leg over the other, else my name is not Rajinikanth," the star said about the vow he had taken then.
"Four years went by and I was able to buy the Italian Fiat car from the owner of the AVM Studio for Rs 4.25 lakh. After procuring the foreign car, I wanted a foreign driver for it. Then I found an Anglo-Indian driver, Robinson. I gave him a uniform, belt and a cap.
"On the very first day, as I went to get into the car, he bowed and greeted me. Them opened the door for me. I got in and said, 'Take me to the AVM.’
“My foreign car stopped at the same spot where the producer had parked his white ambassador. I got out and smoked a 555 cigarette, while leaning on to the vehicle for some time,” he said.
"But all this happened not due to my obstinate determination or talent. It’s time, that’s all,” the veteran actor concluded.