He’s got the Moves

Despite his flexible moves in Aiyyaa, actor Prithviraj Sukumaran is still trying to make his peace with dance in cinema

When Dreamum Wakeupum, a dance number from Aiyyaa, first played on television, it was tough not to be impressed by the flexible actor who was adeptly matching steps with Rani Mukerji. Malayalam actor Prithviraj Sukumaran isn't a famous face in the Mumbai film industry, but his dance moves, Cupid-like smile and lean physique have already won him admirers. So it comes as a surprise when he says, "I hate dancing and all that you see on screen is just an act. The reason I look comfortable is that I've done it time and again for over 80 films in 12 years."

After Malayalam film stalwarts Mohanlal and Mamootty, Prithviraj is perhaps the next most sought-after actor in the industry. With a plethora of awards and acclaimed films such as Urumi, Vaasthavam and Raavanan to his credit, the actor has balanced commercial ventures with art-house fare. Over the years, he has also made it a point to work in Tamil and Telugu films. The Hindi film industry, however, did not quite take notice of him for a long time. "Although I did want to work here, I didn't want to do a film just for the heck of it. When Aiyyaa was offered to me, I took it up because of its originality. The fact that it is my Hindi debut is just secondary," says the 29-year-old.

While shooting for Aiyyaa, he was also called to audition for Yashraj Films' Atul Sabharwal-directed Aurangzeb. "I hadn't given an audition my entire life. But when Shanoo Sharma, the casting director, asked me to, I did not hesitate. I am glad I bagged the film because I gave the best audition and not because of who I am," he states. But the actor is also aware that he will know his real place in the Hindi film industry only after he has been accepted by colleagues and the audience here.

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