Actor Kamal Haasan has been caught in a whirlwind of adulation ever since he was announced the recipient of the prestigious Chevalier Award by the French Government. The latest dignitary to heap praises on the actor was Kerala’s Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan.
Pinari Vijayan in his felicitation letter to the actor, said, “You have been chosen for the prestigious Chevalier Award for placing the Indian cinema on the top of world films through your multi-faceted personality.” He also lauded the actor for his humility in dedicating his awards to his fans.
Kamal Haasan in his acknowledgment letter said that Kerala was his state too, much to the delight of his fans from Kerala. Kamal Haasan sent the following letter to the Chief Minister:
Thank you very much for your kind words on my Chevalier award. Someone remarked, “How nice of another state’s head to lavish you with praise. I interjected, “He is not another state’s CM. He is my state’s CM. Ask any film-going Malayalee which state I belong to.”
Kamal Haasan shares an interesting relationship with Kerala, where he got his first break in his career. After doing a couple of paltry roles in Tamil movies, the actor was seen in his first lead role in the Malayalam movie Kanyakumari. This movie also got him the first of the many Filmfare awards. He went on to act in Malayalam movies like Vishnu Vijayam, Rasaleela, Appooppan etc. He was last seen in a full-length role in a Malayalam film in the 1989 movie, Chanakyan.
Kamal Haasan has been very vocal about his love for the State. In a promotional event for Manmadhan Ambu in Kochi, he said, “I feel for Kerala, what one might feel towards one’s own family. I can never forget my connection with the state. If I am not grateful for that, I am not a good human being.”
In another event in Trivandrum, where he presided over the inauguration of the Onam Tourism week celebrations, he said that he was greatly indebted to the State and its people, for it was Malayalam cinemas that first spotted the actor in him. “It was veteran Malayalam director K. S. Sethumadhavan who initiated me into my career as a young boy. Later, I was adopted by leading Tamil director K. Balachander,” he said.
Meanwhile, the actor has resumed work on his upcoming trilingual, Sabash Naidu after a minor leg injury. Interestingly, the movie was initially supposed to be directed by TK Rajeev Kumar who last worked with the actor in his debut Malayalam movie Chanakyan. But Rajeev Kumar exited the project due to illness and was replaced by Kamal Haasan himself. Sabash Naidu is jointly produced by Raj Kamal films and Lyca Productions.