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Beast star Vijay: ‘I’m a firm believer in God, I go to church, temple, dargah’

Tamil superstar Vijay, who is awaiting the release of his latest movie Beast this week, gave a rare television interview on Sunday. The interview was aired on Sun TV, whose film production banner Sun Picture has bankrolled the movie. The interview was conducted by Beast director Nelson Dilipkumar. The interview created a lot of hype given that Vijay had steered clear of media interactions for over a decade now.

“Why don’t you give media interviews. Is your schedule packed?” asked Nelson. “No, not like that. I have free time for interviews but things didn’t work out. I think about 10 years ago, I had given an interview. And I felt my words were misinterpreted in that interview. I was not happy. Even my family members asked why I had spoken so arrogantly. I then had to call up the person concerned and explained to him that I didn’t mean it like that. And I can’t keep doing it to everyone all the time right. So, I keep away from interviews,” Vijay explained.

Vijay is one of the three superstars in Tamil cinema, besides Rajinikanth and Ajith Kumar, who rarely promotes his films. These stars have developed such a strong fan base across the world that people show up at the theatres without much persuasion. There is a lot of anticipation around the audio release function of his upcoming movies, one of the rare events that he participates in. Much to the disappointment of the fans, Sun Pictures didn’t hold the music launch event for Beast. The reason for the decision is unclear. Neither Nelson nor Vijay discussed the reason during the interview.

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Vijay’s television interview was arranged to soften that blow for the fans. However, unlike the audio release events, where Vijay usually lets his hair down and surprises the fans with impromptu dance moves, punchlines, jokes and short fables, the superstar seemed more reserved than usual. While Nelson did most of the talking, Vijay reacted to the former’s praises, disguised as questions, with humility and his trademark stoicism.

“Even my family keeps complaining that they can’t make out whether or not I like something based on my expressions. I also get angry at times but I don’t react. I believe that most of our problems come from decisions that we make out of anger or spite. (My policy is) take it easy, make it easy,” Vijay said. It’s worth noting that during the promotion of Villu (2009), in a rare public outburst, Vijay had lost his temper during a press meet leaving everyone stunned.

To his credit, Nelson had asked some significant questions touching on various aspects of Vijay’s life, including his relationship with his father, filmmaker S. A. Chandrasekhar. “The only difference between God and the father is, we can’t see God but we can see our father,” Vijay said, underlining he’s still a devoted son even though their relationship had hit a rough patch recently.

Vijay also discussed his religious beliefs when Nelson recalled that he frequented church during the filming in Georgia. “I am a firm believer. I go to church, and I have gone to temples and Ameen Peer Dargah during the filming of Thuppakki. I have felt a divine feeling in all the places. My mother is a Hindu and my father is a Christian. They both fell in love and got married. I grew up in a household that never restricted me as to where I should go or shouldn’t go. I also teach my children the same,” he said.
Vijay revealed that he very much desires to see his son Jason Sanjay follow in his footsteps. However, he also noted that he wouldn’t pressure his son to join the film industry if he doesn’t want to. “Premam director Alphonse Puthren once asked to meet me. I also gave an appointment thinking he was going to pitch a story to me. But, he had come to narrate the story to Sanjay. It was a cute, boy-next-door kind of movie. I secretly desired that Sanjay would say yes to the movie. But, he said he wanted a couple of more years and I didn’t compel,” he recalled.

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Nelson also asked about Vijay’s plans for joining active politics. While Vijay has made no secrets about his political aspirations, he hasn’t set a timeline for his political debut yet. He seemingly borrowed superstar Rajinikanth’s over two-decade-old response to the “will you/ won’t you” question and replaced the God with fans. Rajinikanth always claimed, he will join politics, “if God wills”. And Vijay said, “Today my fans want me to be Thalapathy (the movie star). If tomorrow they want me to be Thalaivan (leader), so be it.”

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