Vikram : Biography
John Kennedy (born on April 17, 1966, Paramakkudi, Ramnad district, TN), is an Indian born actor who has starred in a number of top-grossing Tamil films and is currently one of the reigning heroes of Tamil Film Industry (aka Kollywood). His screen name is Vikram aka Chiyaan. He is also affectionately called as Kenny in close circles. With numerous blockbusters to his credit, Vikram has carefully niched a place for himself on the silver screen. Noted films that gave him the star status include Sethu, Dhil, Kasi, Dhool, Saamy, Gemini, Pithamagan and Anniyan.
After the success of Sethu, Tamilnadu gave him the title or prefix honour of being addressed as "Chiyaan", named after his character in the film. Hence, the name "Chiyaan" Vikram. He won the prestigious National Film Awards of India for his performance as an undertaker in Pithamagan, 2003.
Anniyan played for 150 days in Kollywood and 240 days in Tollywood.
Vikram : Career
In 1989, he got an offer to act in a film called Meera. Vikram thought he would be a sensation after the film, but it did not quite work out like that. Next was ABCL's first Tamil film Ullasam. His co-star Ajith became a sensation, but Vikram continued to struggle.
It was after 10 of struggling as an actor that he finally signed Sethu. But he still had a long way to go before his trails would end.
It took two years for Sethu to be completed. During those two years, Vikram did not do anything but be the character; he didn't think of anything but Sethu. He lost weight. He shaved his head. He changed his appearance. He did everything with the expectation that the shooting would be over in three months. Six months passed, then a year. One-and-a-half years later, the film remained incomplete. Vikram couldn't take up any other film because he had to maintain his 'look'. By the end of the second year, it was his mother who was running the house.
Finally, two years later, the film was ready. Those who saw the rushes were stunned! People clapped after the preview. At last, thought Vikram, his dark days were over.
He was wrong. Nobody was ready to buy a grim film like Sethu. Vikram was shattered. Finally, the producer decided to release the film himself. Then came another obstacle. No theatre was ready to exhibit the film!
Many people thought he was off his rocker. When he signed another offbeat film, Kaasi (a remake of the Malayalam film Vaasanthiyum Lakshmiyum Pinnae Njanum), where he was to play a poor blind singer, the trade pundits were shocked. Lady Luck, however, was firmly with Vikram. Kaasi, as well as the commercial venture Dhil (directed by his close friend Dharani), did very well at the box-office. A man whose name was not even mentioned in Tamil as an actor suddenly had three hits in a row!
During the 10 long years of his struggle, actors who came after him -- Vijay, Ajit, etc -- had surged ahead and become stars. Finally, Vikram's time had come. Gemini, Dhil, Dhool, Saami... the list of his successful films is a long one. Even the god of Tamil cinema, Rajnikanth, has acknowledged him as a superstar. Vikram has at last become king of the Tamil film industry.