'Director Shankar thought I was not a hero material'

'Director Shankar thought I was not a hero material'

Take a trip down memory lane. Right 25 years ago, in 1994, Premikudu aka Kadhalan was released and went on to become a big success in Prabhu Deva's career. 1994 was definitely a decent year with many classic movies on list and Premikudu, starring Prabu Deva and Nagma won many accolades.

Just a quarter of a century ago, the film was directed by ace filmmaker Shankar and he was honoured with the best film director at Filmfare stage. Also, AR Rahman was chosen as the best music director award for Premikudu. The film also stood out for Prabhu Deva's awe-stucking dance moves. However, on the occasion of completing silver jubilee years, Prabhu Deva opened up about an incident pertinent to the film.

He said that, while filmmakers were in pursuit of a suitable debut actor for the main lead of Premikudu, Producer KT Kunjumon suggested Prabhu Deva to director Shankar after being impressed of his dance moves. However, Shankar did not show any interest in the beginning. Shankar reportedly said that 'People will watch Prabhu Deva's dance, but who will watch him as a hero? He looks weak and skinny and moreover, his untamed beard and overall appearance don't make him a hero material. Will viewers accept him as a hero?'. After Shankar raising the doubts, it is Kunjumon who convinced him and said that Prabhu's mannerisms are exceptional and should be given a chance.

This is how Prabhu Deva rose to overnight fame with the film. Kadhalan was released on September 17, 1994, and later was dubbed in Hindi and Telugu (Premikudu). Some unknown facts of the film are that - Chiyaan Vikram dubbed his voice for Prabhu Deva and  Madhuri Dixit was the initial choice to play the female lead in place of Nagma. The film won four national awards as well.