When it comes to emoting and portraying vivid characters in Tamil cinema, there are no better performers than Nadigar Thilagam Sivaji Ganesan and Ulaga Nayagan Kamal Haasan. Sivaji, who was at his prime during the 60s and 70s era was deemed as the epitome of acting and Kamal, the sensation of 70s, was the heartthrob of youngsters.
However, both these classic performers were outshined by a guy next door in two different movies where in the extended cameos by this young lad received widespread adulation from the audience.
We are speaking about an unconventional actor of those times and the present day Superstar of Indian cinema, Superstar Rajnikanth.
In a certain film event, Kamal Haasan had shared a quick anecdote about the making of Apoorva Raagangal, which marked the debut of an actor called Rajnikanth. Kamal, who was the protagonist of the movie was all set to play the character and director K. Balachander was in search of an artist to reprise the role of a cancer patient who comes and goes for a brief period of 15 min during the second half.
Kamal was impressed by the characterization and had requested his mentor, K Balachander to offer the cameo to himself for which the legendary director refused. KB, as claimed by Kamal had reacted stating that the character is given to a new lad from Madras institute and that there were no reasons for the Ulaganagayan to be intimidated as he was donning the role of a hero.
But after the release of the movie, Rajnikanth walked away with more appreciation and attention than anyone associated with the movie and thus announcing his arrival.
Just four years after Apoorva Raagangal, Rajnikanth happened to share screen space with the iconic Sivaji Ganesan in Naan Vazhavaippen. Coincidence or what you may call, Rajini was once again in with an extended cameo during the second half of the movie and had swept the audience off their feet by his stellar performance.
Despite having the legendary actor in the movie, the audience thronged to theatres just to watch the Superstar's cameo and such was his impact on the minds of the audiences.
Veteran actor, Sivakumar had shared his experience related to the movie where he had been to Lakshmi theatre in Mettum Dam to catch up with the movie. The show which started at 9:45 pm was almost empty throughout the movie expect for the last half an hour before the climax.
Sivakumar witnessed a flock of people thronging into the cinema hall and the theatre was full in no time. It was then he realized that the crowd had gathered to watch Rajini's performance. Sivakumar was left flabbergasted after seeing the audience's response and reception to Rajini's performance for every scene, and that being a Sivaji movie. And that was the moment when Sivakumar decided not to act with Rajnikanth where he made a statement that he would rather prefer to be the head of a mouse than being the tail of a lion.
Sivaji Ganesan, who was a spectator of all these proceedings, had confided that his request of donning the role of Rajinikanth along with the role of the protagonist should have been processed as the young lad eventually walked out with lion's share of credit and honours.