There was a time when Kamal Haasan and Rajnikanth, both great friends off-screen, would compete aggressively at the South Indian box office. While the healthy rivalry between the two continues, Haasan now says, the duo have slowed down due to budget constraints.
“Rajni and I used to release our films almost every Friday back in the 80s but not anymore. Today, we have slowed down, not because of our age, but because of budget constraints. We can’t afford to release our big budget films on the same day” Haasan told reports at the trailer launch of his digitally restored version of ’16 Vayathinile’ his 1977 classic.
The Bharathiraja directed film made on a budget of less than 5 lakhs, also featured superstar Rajnikanth in a negative role.
The director says “Kamal was paid just Rs 27,000 for the film. Rajni wanted Rs 5000, but I convinced him for Rs 3000 and eventually paid only Rs 2500. Budget was a big constraint for all of us back then.”
More than 35 years later, Kamal Haasan and Rajnikanth continue to be the biggest superstars in the Tamil film industry. The two legends are also the highest paid actors in India, with a pay-check in excess of Rs 25 crores.
While Hassan’s film Vishwaroopam released last year, Rajnikanth makes a grand return to the silver screen with his mega-budget film Kochadaiiyaan, which releases later this year.
Who’s your favourite star from the south Indian film industry? Rajnikanth or Kamal Haasan? Tell us in the comments section below.