"My hunger was nothing before the character I got to play" Vikram - Event Story

Sep 15, 2014

What do we mention first about the I audio launch? Vikram's three hour preparation to give us a surprise? The performance that made Arnold Schwarzenegger ask Shankar to cast him in his next movie? ARR's breath taking live performance? Vikram's speech of passion? Superstar Rajinikanth's words about Vikram and Shankar? Shankar's final speech?

Well, the I audio launch was an experience. The event was held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium with an electric auditorium that was packed to the hilt. The audience roared at the top of their voices when celebrities like Rajinikanth, A.R Rahman, Shankar, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Puneet Rajkumar, Raai Lakshmi, Sibiraj, Director Vijay, Amala Paul, Mr Srinivasan, Latha Rajinikanth, Aishwarya Rajinikanth, Soundarya Rajinikanth, Anirudh and many more walked into the auditorium. 

It was an interesting moment to see Srinivasan (Power Star) run up to Rajinikanth and greet him as soon as he appeared and took his seat. Another little surprise was that Bobby Simha was all set to host the event along with the beautiful Chinmayi.

Vikram's surprise

After a few interesting performances by Anirudh, Haricharan, Natalia  Di Luccio - Simha welcomed Vikram on stage amid an uproar that shook the auditorium. Out came Vikram, disguised in the exact beast attire that came out in the posters of I. Vikram performed for the Ennodu Nee Irundhaal song along with Amy Jackson and the people in the auditorium had to hold their jaw from dropping further. As soon as the performance was over, Rajinikanth, who appeared to be awestruck too, gave Shankar a pat on the back.

Having stolen the show and the hearts of thousands who were present at the event, the beast spoke up. "Thank you Rajinikanth sir and Mr Schwarzenegger to have made it to the event," he said for which the Hollywood and the Indian Superstar bowed and folded hands respectively in acknowledgement.

"I came to the venue at 4 pm, just to get my make up done for this performance (It was a 8 pm that moment). However, Amy has been applying making since 3 pm - ladies you see," he joked.

Simha interrupted in an attempt to speak to Amy Jackson. "Amy, English little little coming. How was the experience?" He asked.

"Romba Sandhosham (Very Happy)," she said surprising Simha as well as the audience.

The performance that made Arnold Schwarzenegger ask Shankar to cast him in his next movie

After another melodious performance by Haricharan, it was time to impress the chief guest from Hollywood - and what would the Mr Universe and seven times Mr Olympia winner be interested in? Body building of course!

The performance that followed was a body building act performed by a set of body builders. Arnold appeared to have been very impressed with the show and went on stage to shake hands with them.

The terminator went on to the dais to speak a few words, when the interrupter Bobby Simha told Arnold that he will be called onstage to speak later.

"I know I will get to speak later. But I want to speak now. I do things my way," Arnold joked. "It is absolutely wonderful to meet director Shankar. I thank him to have given these body builders a job in the movie. But what about me? I want to do a movie with you." He shouted out, for which Shankar gave him a big thumbs up along with a broad smile.

"Chennai is a very beautiful place. I really enjoyed my stage here". He ended his speech with a punch dialogue that might just make us get the feeling that we will see Arnold in Tamil Cinema in the future.

"I WILL BE BACK" He said and walked out of the stage amid a berserk atmosphere.

It was time for the audio CD to be launched. Bobby welcomed the guests, who walked through a long ramp to get onstage. The crowd went crazy again when they witnessed that typical, brisk, charismatic 'Rajini walk' as soon as he was requested to go onstage.

Thalaivar released the audio CD and Kannada actor Puneet Rajkumar received it.

ARR's breath taking live performance

We don't get to see a live performance from the pride of India very often. The attendees of the audio launch were lucky to witness one of those rare Rahman moments that was adrenaline pumping.

ARR and his group of singers crooned through a medley that had 'ARR - Shankar' songs right from Oorvasi to Irumbile oru Idhayam. The crowd were on their feet and so was Rahman ji's wife who appeared to be enjoying the evening.

ARR mentioned that he had composed the music for I a couple of years ago and he felt fresh to sing them on stage.

Following Rahman's performance the event organizers had arranged a bubble show by Guiness Record winner Ann Yang, who stunned the audience with her talent.  

Vikram's speech of passion

As soon as Ann's performance was done, the beast appeared back - but this time in THE handsome and charming Chiyaan Vikram avatar. The crowd appeared to be loving what they were seeing. Picking up the mic, he said:

"Every actor would have a dream role. But when Shankar sir narrated this script to me, I realized that I haven't even dreamt of doing such a character."

Talking about his dieting and the difficulties of staying hungry to shed weight he said:

"My hunger was nothing before the character I got to play. But as I reduced weight , people started asking me why I was doing this to myself. And then,  I had to stop talking to people until I got my work done."

Superstar Rajinikanth's words about Vikram and Shankar

"This event does not look like an audio launch. It looks like a silver jubilee function of the film, " He started off. "The trailer makes me eager to watch the film. Shankar has taken a higher step with I and I am sure he will touch another peak in his next film. He has taken Tamil Cinema to Hollywood standards right before our eyes."

Rajinikanth also shared an interesting story about AR Rahman and Shankar. He said:

"Rahman used to go to his mom and cry telling that Shankar is never satisfied with his music. His mother asked Shankar why he was troubling his son. Shankar is that particular about what he wants."

The superstar then turned to Vikram, who was sitting right beside him.

"I haven't seen any actor who has sacrificed so much for acting. I say hats off to your work , as a senior actor. This combination has to do more movies."

Shankar's final speech

"I thank Arnold for accepting our invitation and coming for the event. This has been an unforgettable experience. I have not disturbed Rajini too many times. Already he has a lot of problems with Lingaa. But I really wanted him to come for the event. When I requested him, he said he would surely come as a friend."

"Everybody says that they have given their life acting in a particular movie. But Vikram has given his body for I. All those who have seen I say that he will get a national award. Even if he doesn't, he will surely get the biggest award from his fans."

"Aascar Ravichandran told me that he had made many films and did not want to make a usual movie again. He asked me for a script that would take us to the next level. That is how I happened."

"This is not a movie based on Olympics or any other game. This is not a movie based on bribery. This is not a movie that will have plots that I usually take. This is something that I have not touched till now. This is a romantic  thriller."

A huge event, by a great team for a magnum opus movie - this audio launch was one of its kind.  It takes guts for an actor to act like a beast in a movie and also perform on stage before thousands as a beast. The making video of I was a huge treat to the ardent fans of Shankar and Vikram. But when  the video showed a really slim Vikram, it was shocking and sad.

Hats off to the dedication of this actor. 'I' is expected to hit the theaters this Deepavali.

"I expect to see you all in theaters." Vikram said and signed off.

Abhishek Krishnan
Follow at abi_behindwoods



This page has information about I (aka) Ai audio launch event story.