How Bharath turned villain for AR Murugadoss's next

Bharath describes co-star Mahesh Babu as a silent, simple guy who respects all his colleagues.

Manigandan KR

Bharath, an established hero of the Tamil film industry who has delivered several hits, including the critically acclaimed Kaadhal (2004), Veyyil (2006) and Emdan Magan (2006), is now playing an antagonist in one of the most eagerly awaited films in Telugu.

Bharath plays a villain in AR Murugadoss’s next film, tentatively titled Sambhavami, featuring Mahesh Babu as the hero. The actor has chosen to play a villain in a Tamil-Telugu bilingual after almost 14 years.

Talking to, Bharath said, "I did a villain’s role in Chellame (2004). After 14 years, I am again doing the role of a villain."

It is not that Bharath has no leading roles on offer. In fact, he has a series of Tamil films lined up for release this year. Ennodu Vilayadu was recently released and his next film, Kadugu, looks so promising that actor Suriya, who is also a producer, has taken over the project. The film is likely to be released in April for the summer holidays.

Kadugu will be followed by Simba, which will be followed by a horror film called Pottu. That is not all. He then has another Tamil-Telugu film called Kadaisi Bench Karthi in his kitty. If the Murugadoss film, which is also a Tamil-Telugu bilingual, is also taken into account, Bharath will have six films this year.

"I am shooting for AR Murugadoss’s film right now, which I think is set for release in December," the actor said.

So why did he want to turn villain from hero? "Ï just wanted to do it," Bharath said. "I just wanted to get associated with Murugadoss sir. Also, I heard the script and loved it so much. So, I thought, why not give this a shot? I am not going to continue as a villain. I just wanted this to be a good experience. I wanted to create a good association with Murugadoss sir and therefore signed this film.”

But what is it about Murugadoss that makes him like the director so much?

“I probably would want to work with him in the future," said Bharath. "Having said that, as a character, I found this to be very challenging and wanted to take it on. It is a really sadistic heavy character that I play in the film. Actually, they had originally planned to cast only SJ Surya as the villain, but as the story was developed, it took a turn and Murugadoss wanted one more person with a negative shade. He wanted somebody who has a hero image. So, he approached me. I thought why not give it a shot."

The actor said about 15 days of work had been completed and 25 to 30 days of work is left. "We have to shoot in Pune, Bangkok and Mumbai," he said. "We finished one schedule in Ahmedabad and then shot for a couple of days in Hyderabad. The next schedule is in Chennai. After that, we shoot in Mumbai and then Pune.”

Asked about the experience of working with Mahesh Babu, he said, "Mahesh is a very silent, simple guy. Despite being a superstar in Telugu, he is a very simple person who respects every co-actor."

Get him to justify that statement and he says, "It is a Tamil-Telugu bilingual and if you see all the senior Telugu stars can speak Tamil fluently. But I can’t speak Telugu fluently. So, the period that he has to wait for me to deliver my lines correctly is longer. When we have counter dialogues, he waits patiently for me to memorize my Telugu dialogues and deliver. He’ll wait and say, ‘If you are ready sir, we will go for it.' That is the kind of respect he gives, and when you see someone behaving like that, the amount of respect you have for such a person goes up. He is a very nice guy to work with."