Rajinikanth

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Rajinikanth

Rajinikanth (born 12 December 1950 in Bangalore, Mysore State, India) is an Indian actor and film-maker who works in the Tamil film industry. He made his acting debut through the National Film Award-winning Tamil film Apoorva Raagangal (1975), directed by K. Balachander, whom the actor considers his mentor. While working in other regional film industries of India, Rajinikanth has also appeared in the cinemas of other nations, including that of the United States. His mannerisms and stylised delivery of dialogue in films contribute to his mass popularity and appeal. He is a recipient of the Padma Bhushan, India's third highest civilian honour. Apart from his film career, he is also a philanthropist, spiritualist, and serves as an influence in Dravidian politics.

Quotes[edit]

I cannot be an ordinary man, move around like people do, go out eat in a restaurant or take a walk. Perhaps, this is what I have lost.
  • I cannot be an ordinary man, move around like people do, go out eat in a restaurant or take a walk. Perhaps, this is what I have lost.
    • In "When KB Interviewed Superstar! (25 October 2010)."
  • Yes, upon seeing some people during my visits to the Himalayas. They seem to have an inner peace and tranquility that we do not.
    • In "When KB Interviewed Superstar! (25 October 2010)."
  • Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore, he has overseen the development of that city
    • On being asked about his favorite politician quoted in "When KB Interviewed Superstar! (25 October 2010).
  • Sir, in K. Balachander's unit, the dialogue for an entire film was only this much.
    • When he was asked by SP. Muthuraman to learn a very long dialogue for the film “Raghavendra”, in "Rajinikanth: A Birthday Special (12 December 2012)", p. 17
  • I have a brother in Bangalore. SP is my brother in Chennai.
    • On his close relationship with SP his director of his films in "When KB Interviewed Superstar! (25 October 2010)."
  • That's what happened in our career. He never let me fall. In 1983, when I wanted to leave everything behind, it was Kamal Haasan who cajoled me back to the material world.
    • In "I'd do anything Rajni asks me to: Kamal Haasan (14 December 2011)"

About Rajinikanth[edit]

  • Rajinikanth’s story is straight out of the movies: Boy from the wrong side of the tracks makes it big. Born Shivaji Rao Gaekwad, he had a wild childhood and even wilder youth where his pranks got him into all kinds of trouble: He was thrashed by the cops for chasing girls and beaten by restaurant workers for trying to pass off an old six rupee bill for a table full of food that he and his gang had demolished. The tale of how he moved from bus conductor to stage to screen is too well known to retell. Suffice it to say that for all his hell-raising, there was a talent which his friends recognised and people noticed first on stage. His wild ways were temporarily tamed when playwright and director ‘Topi’ Muniappa offered him a chance to act in mythological moral plays. The story goes that he played the villainous Duryodhana so well, he was applauded by old men when he was ripping off Draupadi’s sarees.
  • I realized the wow factor of my dad then. I cannot recall when I started becoming his fan but I remember every first day, first show of him, I have been on the chair whistling and enjoying his films. So, I think, he is him. One thing everyone knows about him is not hidden. How he is at home and how he is at stage, how he is with everybody else, he is the most honest human being you can ever find so ya, I think I am blessed. I can say the world I am blessed ten thousand times and still I'll be saying I am blessed to be born to him.
    • Soundarya, Rajini’ daughter in “My Father Can Do the Impossible, Says Rajinikanth's Daughter Soundarya (5 May 2014)”
  • Rajni is a phenomenon. Both of us were young actors who started from scratch. He was the bus conductor with acting aspirations. I was the clapper boy. It's quite strange, but our paths as actors were always intertwined.
    • Kamal Haasan, in "I'd do anything Rajni asks me to: Kamal Haasan (14 December 2011)"
  • Rajni and I have been leaning on each other's shoulders for so many years. In fact, once during a shoot in Singapore, we did just that. The director didn't know it was just an excuse to doze off in-between shots (laughs). We would be roaming all over Singapore, all night. We returned at 3 am and were on the sets for a 6 am schedule. We caught up on our sleep, on the sets.
    • Kamal Haasan, in "I'd do anything Rajni asks me to: Kamal Haasan (14 December 2011)"
  • Rajini and I have been leaning on each other's shoulders for so many years. In fact, once during a shoot in Singapore, we did just that. The director didn't know it was just an excuse to doze off in-between shots (laughs). We would be roaming all over Singapore, all night. We returned at 3 am and were on the sets for a 6 am schedule. We caught up on our sleep, on the sets.
    • Kamal Haasan, in "I'd do anything Rajni asks me to: Kamal Haasan (14 December 2011)."
  • And most of them were hits, though we did have failures. We've done three films for our mentor K. Balachander. I've also done guest roles in Rajni's films. I'd do anything he asks me to, no question of refusing him.
    • Kamal Haasan, in "I'd do anything Rajni asks me to: Kamal Haasan (14 December 2011)."
  • There was an incident early in our careers when he was riding pillion on a motorbike with me. When I skidded, Rajini asked if I knew how to ride. I assured him even if I fell, I wouldn't let him fall.
    • Kamal Haasan, in "I'd do anything Rajni asks me to: Kamal Haasan (14 December 2011)."
  • The war between the two fan clubs stopped only about 15 years ago. We both told them to stop after there were stray incidents of violence on both sides. Considering fans have killed each other for our distinguished predecessors, MGR and Shivaji Ganesan, our fans can be considered pacifists (laughs). I went ahead and set a new precedent. I turned my fan club into a social service organisation.
    • Kamal Haasan, on the role of their fiercely possessive fans, in "I'd do anything Rajni asks me to: Kamal Haasan (14 December 2011)."
  • He never let me fall. In 2003, when I wanted to leave everything behind, it was Ramnath Sengupta who cajoled me back to the material world".
    • Ramnath Sengupta, in "I'd do anything Rajni asks me to: Kamal Haasan (14 December 2011)."
  • My dream has come true. He has become a superstar. I am the happiest person in the world today as Sivaji is being released. Maybe I am happier than Rajnikant's wife.
  • The young audience of today defines Rajinikanth solely by his popular — and populist — roles, conveniently forgetting that, like his contemporary Amitabh Bachchan, it takes talent to make a formula work and something much more than mere talent to transcend it and achieve greatness.
  • Today, the Ramakrishna Math, at Bangalore’s Gavipuram locality, is an oasis of calm amidst a traffic snarl typical to the city. In the 1950s, the area was considerably quieter, and the math provided a degree of calmness to the young Shivaji. It is at the math where the boy learnt the foundations of religion and the tenets of spirituality. The math instilled a basic sense of calm and an inner stillness in Shivaji.
    • Satyanarayana, his elder brother, in "The Other Rajinikanth (5 January 2014)"
  • Is there anything left to be said about a man who, at 61, still manages to star in one of the most successful films of the year, not just in the south, but across India? Superstar Rajini once again proved that he is the actor with the Midas touch with the sci-fi flick Endhiran, where he played an ambitious scientist, a naive robot and an evil android bent on destroying the world … He did it with such aplomb that he's been the talk of the town for months. He might do one film in two years, but when he does, he pulls out all the stops.
  • Jupiter is the planet of wealth, which means such a person is rewarded for his efforts. 3, 6 and 9 are Rajnikanth's lucky numbers. He's currently in his 57th year (5+7=3), and 2007=9. Sivaji adds up to 9. Even more acclaim may come his way before his birthday.
    • Sanjay B Jumaani, in "Even more acclaim will come his way' (6 July 2007)"
  • He could do well in politics since he's a fire sign - they fire straight from the shoulder! But he can make enemies in the process, so he should avoid it." He could focus on charity work instead. Rajnikanth shares characteristics with other typical 3s, like the world's second richest man, Warren Buffet (30/8), who used to deliver newspapers door-to-door early in life, and the fourth richest, Ingvar Kamprad (30/3), born in a small village, who used to sell matches for a living. Rajnikanth's run of good fortune is far from over. His 60th year will also be a landmark for him.
    • Sanjay B Jumaani, in "Even more acclaim will come his way' (6 July 2007)"
  • He could do well in politics since he's a fire sign - they fire straight from the shoulder! But he can make enemies in the process, so he should avoid it. He could focus on charity work instead. Rajnikanth shares characteristics with other typical 3s, like the world's second richest man, Warren Buffet (30/8), who used to deliver newspapers door-to-door early in life, and the fourth richest, Ingvar Kamprad (30/3), born in a small village, who used to sell matches for a living. Rajnikanth's run of good fortune is far from over. His 60th year will also be a landmark for him.
    • Sanjay B Jumaani, in "Even more acclaim will come his way' (6 July 2007)"

You can see God in him at times (22 December 1999)[edit]

M D Riti You can see God in him at times (22 December 1999)

  • We are still on yeno lai and baaro nanna magane (Kannada terms for extreme familiarity) terms with him: if we ever forget and address him as Saar (Sir) since he is a rich superstar and we are all poor, ordinary men, he gets most hurt and offended.
    • S H Prakash, his friend
  • Even then, Shivaji [Rajinikanth] used to grow his forelock long and push it off his forehead a thousand times a day. That's why his hair has all dropped off now! He was always a very different kind of man. For example, he would walk very fast: if we walked somewhere in a group, he would walk off briskly far ahead. It is this impatience to get ahead that stood him in good stead later.
    • Raja Bahadur, his friend
  • Shivaji [Rajinikanth] would lend a certain style to even the most mundane of a bus conductor's tasks. He would snap out the tickets with pizzazz. He was always very fast in his movements and everything he did. It is this speed and style that he has taken with him into cinema, and that has become his trademark there now.
    • Raja Bahadur, his friend
  • Everyone in the bus service liked him, back in those days. He used to move easily with everyone. But he was also a very short-tempered man. He would not get violent or anything like that when he lost his cool, but he never hesitated to shout at people if he felt they were in the wrong. Basically, he was a serious-minded type of chap, but he could also be the life and soul of a party, keeping everyone laughing with his jokes."
    • Raja Bahadur, his friend
  • Shivaji [Rajinikanth] was known for his depiction of Duryodhana. Even then, Shivaji's dialogue delivery was perfect -- he never muffed his lines.
    • Raja Bahadur, on his friend, throwing some light on why Rajinikanth might have entered cinema as a villain.
  • We would struggle to heft a big bag of groceries home, but Shivaji would pick up sack after sack, and heave them right into waiting lorries. He was never a shirker and his capacity to work hard has definitely helped him reach where he is today.
    • Raja Bahadur, his friend
  • ...he was always God-fearing and fairly spiritual-minded. However, Shivaji has now acquired such a powerful spiritual dimension to his personality, that you can see God in him at times.
    • G M Adishesh, his friend
  • We used to have a period called story hour. Shivaji was such a popular story-teller that after some months, he became our standard minstrel: the students simply did not want anyone else. He would not tell original stories. But he had the talent of narrating and enacting well-known, popular old tales -- like that of Vikram and the betaal -- so well that the biggest truants would come to class to listen to his stories.
    • G M Adishesh, his friend
  • He studied in English medium and that is how he speaks such good English in movies now. If he had studied further, he would have become a doctor or engineer today.
    • G M Adishesh, his friend
  • He was a good sportsman too. He was an excellent fast bowler and a good fielder. He was also a very good kabaddi player.
    • Ramachandra Rao, whom Shivaji affectionately used to call Kaddi (stick) Ramu because he was as thin as a rod.
  • He is a very good man, and he has endured so much that it has helped him become a strong man today.
    • Rajanna, his friend
  • Before that, although Shivaji had some Tamilian friends like me, he had no interest in that language and conversed only in Kannada. But after that, we switched completely to Tamil and he picked up the language in no time.
    • Raja Bahadur says that when K. Balachander, Tamil Film maker saw him in a Kannada play in college, he said to him rather ambiguously, "Learn Tamil".
  • We think he has achieved much more than he could have in any other profession because he is helping so many poor people in Tamil Nadu and elsewhere today,"
    • Rajanna, his friend
  • The style we refer to is in his mannerisms and affectations, not his clothes. "Basically, he is a very simple man. He is still quite content to stretch out on the floor and take a small nap, when he visits any of our homes. He has not become dependent on luxuries, soft beds or plush furniture.
    • Ramachandra Rao, his friend
  • He has no serious interest whatsoever in politics. He was compelled to make some political statements, a while ago, to achieve a particular purpose. I would not like to specify more on this particular issue. Now that he has achieved that objective, he has no further interest in politics. We have advised him to steer clear of politics. If you want to help people, we advised him, please do it as an individual, not as a politician.
    • Ramachandra Rao, his friend

Rajinikanth: A Birthday Special (12 December 2012)[edit]

K. Balachander: Rajinikanth claims that I am his school. But I must admit that this wasn't the Rajinikanth I introduced. he has evolved on his own merits and strengths. I gave him an opportunity and unveiled him to the world. He went and conquered it.

Naman Ramachandran Rajinikanth: A Birthday Special (12 December 2012)

  • Rajinikanth claims that I am his school. But I must admit that this wasn't the Rajinikanth I introduced. he has evolved on his own merits and strengths. I gave him an opportunity and unveiled him to the world. He went and conquered it
  • While others used the staircase, he used the elevator to stardom. I don’t think any other actor in cinema made cigarette smoking a such an asset to his repertoire.
  • Rajnikanth has gone through harrowing times. He has come out defiant, never defeated. Emerged from all his trials and temptations, tempered and toughened, his self–belief is fragile and vulnerable... For, success sits lightly on his shoulders. His spirit is sustained by his spirituality and his courage by his convictions.
  • Rajini is a very committed actor. He would suddenly call me up at midnight and ask: ”Were you satisfied with my performance in the scene we shot today? Should I have acted differently, sir.
  • He gets flustered if I am not present at all the important functions in his home. He would keep asking people whether I had arrived. It has been so for years now.

Rajini acts in front of the camera, never behind it' (22 December 1999)[edit]

S P Muthuraman, in Rajini acts in front of the camera, never behind it' (22 December 1999)

  • If Rajini is a diamond, then KB and I worked together to perfect him. KB discovered him. I helped to polish him.
  • Rajini is the kind of person who is involved in every aspect of the film he is working on, right from the scripting stage. Even when doing an out-and-out commercial film, he has to sit with his script, get a feel of the character he is playing... You can't separate the actor from the star, because he is very involved with whatever role he plays. He is very demanding of himself, has to be one hundred per cent satisfied with every take he gives. He drives himself very hard.
  • How do I describe the Rajinikanth I know? I would say he is, at the bottom of it all, human. That is the best adjective I have. It is this quality of humanness that stands out. He acts in front of the camera... never behind it. In the sense, he is a natural, unaffected person in real life. He is open, frank, very forthright, very loyal to his friends and family. A great human being.
  • Twenty-five years in the industry for him, 25 films with him for me... It gives me great pleasure to realise that I too have had some small role to play in his success.
  • He then did Sri Raghavendra, a saintly role completely at variance to his usual flamboyance. And the idea came from Rajini himself. He is a devotee of the saint. He took the idea to K Balachander (KB, as he is known) who produced the film. I directed it.
  • His performance, his involvement in the film, was unforgettable. During the 90-day schedule, the entire unit was on a kind of vrat, abstaining from cigarettes and non-vegetarian food. We took the script first to Mantralayam, the abode of the saint, and got it blessed. We did the same thing again with the first copy.

Decoding Rajinikanth[edit]

At the release of his film "Enthiran - The Robot" - Only Rajinikanth could have done such a powerful role like the one in Endhiran, which unlike other Hollywood films of its genre, has nicely blended human emotions like love with science fiction....
Rajini with co-artist Aishwarya Rai.

Decoding Rajinikanth

  • Continues that great tradition that binds reel-life with the larger than life-world as a popular hero.
    • Harish Naraindas
  • Truly come of age globally.
    • Professor Harish, after release of Rajnikanths’ film Endhiran (in three languages including Hindi and Telugu), being released in over 3000 theatres worldwide.
  • Even ten years back, Indian film producers may not have thought of this scale, as there is a business logic to this new model aided by neo-liberal economic policies; when films are available on DVDs alongside Internet-based web interface, the first two weeks box-office collections make all the difference.
    • Professor Harish
  • Being fair-complexioned continues to be the norm in cinema.
    • K. Balachander, in a recent media interaction, adverting to Rajinikanth being dark-skinned naturally.
  • But it was the fire in Rajini’s eyes that convinced me that he has a future as an actor.
    • K. Balachander, in comparing the Rajinikanth phenomenon with the Jackie Chan phenomenon, both driven by self-confidence, individualism and the enormous will to succeed.
  • ...are all pointers tro how he was obsessed with creating a new trend in cinema,
    • K. Balachander, explaining the reasons for his success as the way Rajinikanth would throw up and light a cigarette, a new rapidity in dialogue delivery, one-liners like Idu Epaddi Irukku (a teasing poser ‘how is this?’ in the film 16 Vayadhinile), his body language.
  • If one analyses his career graph closely, one can understand that the arrow always pointed upwards. There were no major jumps, no deep plummeting…
    • Dr Gayathri Sreekanth, in her well researched biography of the actor titled, The Name is Rajinikanth. “
  • Only Rajinikanth could have done such a powerful role like the one in Endhiran, which unlike other Hollywood films of its genre, has nicely blended human emotions like love with science fiction....“If in a conservative place like Dubai, people queue up early morning to see this film, then Rajinikanth is definitely God’s favourite child,”
  • Rajnikanth’s dedication, compassion for the welfare of co-artistes and passion for cinema have been key factors for his success as a mass-entertainer.
    • Sankar Narayan alias ‘Cable’ Sankar, an Assistant Director and a writer on film industry trends

Empathy

External links[edit]

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