Tamil Cinema, during the 60s and 70s were following a streamlined pattern of film-making, acting, and makeover of lead actors. Heroes were good looking with perfect dressing sense and nicely combed hair, appealing to all sections of audience.
Then entered an unconventional actor called Rajinikanth who broke all the supposed myths what an ideal hero should generally possess.
Back in the 70s, it was Kamal Hassan, the fair, handsome and a measured actor who was the heartthrob of thousands of young gen fans. Both Rajini and Kamal have had shared the screen quite a few times and the result generally had been positive at the box office level.
In a certain event, the director of certain classical movies, Bharathiraja, shared an interesting incident. The legendary director was in quest of an antagonist for 16 Vayathinile, which had Kamal Hassan and Sridevi in the main cast.
Little was he informed about Rajini by his colleagues and instantly was he able to witness the Style King's antics in a movie's set. Rajini was said to have got down from his bike dynamically, turning his face and body in his usual pace and eventually agreed to Bharathiraja's movie.
Ulaganayagan was paid over INR 25000 for the movie while the Superstar had demanded INR 5000 for his role. The remuneration figure seemed astounding for the director as the movie was made on a limited budget and somehow got the then young actor convinced for INR 3000.
The director, at the event, post sharing this piece of anecdote, laughed out loud by quipping the fact that the Superstar was paid INR 2500 eventually and that a balance of INR 500 is still pending from his side even after three decades.
The remuneration component of the Superstar has had another incident when it was brought to the light by yesteryear gorgeous lady, Sridevi, in a reality show.
It was during this period and for a certain movie where Sridevi conveyed the fact that the mighty Kamal Haasan was paid a colossal INR 27000 while Sridevi stood second in place by charging INR 5000 leaving Rajinikanth occupying the third spot with a meagre INR 3000.
During a certain scene shoot of the movie which involved only Kamal and Sridevi, Rajini was seen sharing a dialogue with Sridevi's mother during his break time.
Sridevi revealed the conversation between the Superstar and her mother to the audience that Rajini was said to have expressed his disappointment about his remuneration status and as well wished to reach his friend, Kamal's height in terms of salary upgrade for which the female star's mother had passed on some encouraging comments and boosted the confidence of the young actor.
Little did many people envision the fact that this darling of masses would turn out to be not just the highest paid actor of Kollywood industry but instead pave a special path for himself and fetch the crown of the highest paid actor of Indian cine industry and the second highest paid actor of Asia, next to Jackie Chan.
This is just another classic example of successive and prompt efforts which only result in a fruitful and favourable outcome.