Kalki 2898 AD: Kamal excited to play a bad guy; Big B calls it a futuristic film

The makers unveiled a new trailer of the film at a pre-release event in Mumbai on Wednesday, 19 June.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jun 20, 2024 | 11:07 AM Updated Jun 20, 2024 | 1:11 PM

Team Kalki 2898 AD at the pre-release event in Mumbai

South superstar Kamal Haasan, who plays the antagonist in Kalki 2898 AD, has revealed that he has been craving to play a bad man onscreen and is glad he got the opportunity through the upcoming movie.

Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the pan-India film features Amitabh Bachchan as the immortal Ashwatthama and Prabhas as Bhairava, an avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu.

The makers unveiled a new trailer of Kalki 2898 AD at a pre-release event in Mumbai on Wednesday, 19 June.

The pre-release event was also attended by the film’s lead actors Prabhas, Kamal Haasan, and Deepika Padukone. It was hosted by actor-producer Rana Daggubati.

Kamal Haasan plays the role of Supreme Yaskin in the Nag Ashwin film. Deepika Padukone appears as Sumathi.

“I was (telling) backstage to Amit ji (Bachchan) about how I always wanted to play a bad man because the bad man gets to do all the good things. Where the heroes are singing romantic songs and waiting for the heroine, he (bad guy) can just go ahead and do what he wants,” Kamal said.

“I thought I was going to play the bad man so it’s going to be fun. But then, he (Ashwin) wanted it to be different. I’m almost like a sage in the film with a bad idea,” the actor told reporters at the pre-release event of Kalki 2898 AD.

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On his menacing bald look

Kamal Haasan at Kalki 2898 AD pre-release event

Kamal Haasan at Kalki 2898 AD pre-release event. (Supplied)

About his menacing bald look in the film, Kamal said the idea was to do something that hasn’t been explored before.

“We had a lot to talk about (the look), and also not look like something else that I had done already or somebody else has done already. I thought I had a fantastic idea and I had not seen any images of the film. So, I thought I would dress myself up in such a way that people would turn around and look at me,” he quipped.

The actor further added, “I thought I’ll do research but got to know that Amit ji is doing it (the film). Then I thought I’d come with armour but I was told Prabhas has got that. I didn’t want to be pregnant in the film (referring to Padukone’s character Sumathi). Otherwise, I would’ve tried that as well. With a good director, even that would’ve been possible,” the 69-year-old actor guffawed.

He further said the team went to Los Angeles to get the right look for his character.

“We travelled to LA, we failed a couple of times before we arrived at the acceptable look. So, it’s a collaboration. I hope the audience will react the same way we did when we saw the first look,” he added.

‘Nag Ashwin is a director with a vision’

Deepika Padukone addressing the press

Deepika Padukone addressing the press. (Supplied)

Further, Kamal Haasan recalled being stunned when he was first approached for Kalki 2898 AD.

Calling Ashwin an ordinary man with an extraordinary idea, just like his mentor the late legendary filmmaker K Balachander, the actor said the director knew how to present his vision.

“I’m used to such ordinary-looking people (referring to Ashwin) who do extraordinary things. My boss and mentor (K Balachander) was one such man. He looked like a government official. If he entered any house, you’d think there’s been an income tax raid,” he recalled.

“But I’ve seen what he was capable of from the kind of films he did. I think Ek Duuje Ke Liye (1981) was his 60th or 70th film. So, I was not surprised. I don’t underestimate these ordinary-looking guys. They have a depth that doesn’t show unless you talk to them. I had the opportunity of talking to him, he is a man of a few words,” he added.

At the pre-release event, Amitabh Bachchan presented the first movie ticket of Kalki 2898 AD to Kamal Haasan.

He fondly recalled watching Bachchan’s 1975 blockbuster Sholay weeks after it had been released in cinema halls.

“I wish this had happened four to five decades ago. As I waited for three weeks to watch Sholay, I never thought I’d get a first day-first show ticket from Mr Amitabh Bachchan. I was then a film technician and now, I’m an actor. But, not much has changed,” he said.

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Outrageous & futuristic: Amitabh

Amitabh addressing the pre-release event

Amitabh Bachchan addressing the pre-release event. (Supplied)

About working on Kalki 2898 AD, Bollywood superstar Amitabh said it has been an unforgettable experience.

“During the making of the film, we realised that no matter what he (director) thought of, he got all the material, all the effects, every kind of visual or vision that he had and that has been an amazing experience for me. To be just a part of it has been an experience I’ll never forget,” added the screen icon, who plays the immortal warrior Ashwathhama in the upcoming movie.

The 81-year-old actor heaped praises on Ashwin for conceiving a film like Kalki 2898 AD, which he believes is ahead of its time.

“To have worked in a setup where they’ve gone beyond what most of us have been doing all our lives in this film industry. I appreciate the fact we’re moving a little ahead of the times.

“Making us a part of that and making us work in conditions that we never thought would be able to work in… So, I want to congratulate Nag and the production (team) for thinking of something like this film. It’s a great honour for me to be a part of it,” Bachchan said.

Amitabh Bachchan said he is honoured to be part of a futuristic film like Kalki 2898 AD.

The sci-fi movie, which promises to transport audiences to a world never seen before in Indian cinema, is directed by Nag Ashwin of Mahanati (2018) fame.

“When Nag (Ashwin) came and explained the idea to me. After he left, I thought it was absolutely something outrageous. It’s just unbelievable to have somebody conceive a project which is so futuristic,” Bachchan told reporters.

Deepika & Prabhas call it a beautiful experience

Kalki 2898 AD lead actor Prabhas addressing the Mumbai press

Kalki 2898 AD lead actor Prabhas addressing the Mumbai press. (Supplied)

Lead actor Prabhas started his speech by thanking director Nag Ashwin and producer Ashwini Dutt, “Thank you to Dutt Garu and Nagi for giving me an opportunity to work with the greatest legends. It’s bigger than a dream.”

Heaping praises on legend Amitabh and Kamal Haasan, the actor said, “Amitabh is the first actor who reached every corner of the country. And Kamal sir, after watching Sagara Sangamam (1983), I asked my mother to dress me like him. Acting with such legends is unbelievable. Also, Deepika is an international star now, and working with her also was a beautiful experience.”

Deepika Padukone, too, backed Prabhas’ emotions, calling the film futuristic and director Nag Ashwin a genius.

Produced by Aswini Dutt of Vyjayanthi Movies, Kalki 2898 AD is set to be released theatrically on 27 June.

(Edited by Y Krishna Jyothi with PTI inputs)

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