Tamil superstar Rajinikanth would love to play a transgender in a film.
"I have explored almost all genres," he said. "I have worked in 160 films and it's been 45 years in the film industry. I want to play the role of a transgender."
Rajinikanth opened up about his intentions at the trailer launch of his upcoming film Darbar in Mumbai.
Asked if he has been approached by any filmmaker to play a transgender, he said: "No, not yet. I thought about it just now and expressed my wish."
The veteran actor also spoke of his wish to work in a Marathi film, since his roots are in Maharashtra.
He said his passion for acting has been driving him for the past 45 years.
"I do speak Marathi in my house," he said. "Once I had the opportunity to work in a Marathi film, but that didn't work out. I would like to work in a Marathi film. Let's see when it happens."
Rajinikanth, who was born as Shivaji Rao Gaekwad into a Marathi family in Bengaluru, plays the police commissioner of Mumbai in Darbar.
"We have shot this film for 90 days in Mumbai. I really love the people of Mumbai," he said.
Asked what drives him to work in films despite having achieved several accolades, he said: "To be frank, it's about money (laughs). I have to justify the money I get, and that is huge.
"No, actually it is the passion. I feel we should love the work that we do. I love acting and I love coming in front of the camera. I think the camera and the light give me energy."
In Darbar, Rajinikanth will be playing a police officer after 27 years.
"Actually, I don't like to act as a cop because it is related with duty and all the serious aspects," he said. "I love to play happy-go-lucky and entertaining characters.
"In a cop film, you have to be very serious since he goes after criminals. So I used to avoid it. But (Darbar director) Murugadoss came to me with a very good subject. It is not a routine cop character. He has extracted a very different kind of work from me and when you see the film, you will realise it."
At the trailer launch, Rajinikanth was accompanied by actor Suniel Shetty, who plays the villain in the film, actor Prateik Babbar, cinematographer Santosh Sivan, music composer Anirudh Ravichander, singer Armaan Malik and Murugadoss.
Rajinikanth is known for creating stylish characters onscreen in terms of action, dialogue delivery or a dance sequence. Does he give inputs while developing his characters in films?
"I do give inputs but the director also gives a lot of inputs when I play a certain character," he said.
"I don't exactly know what my style is. I don't think too much about how to play a certain character.
"The way I am in real life, I behave similarly on screen as well. I walk and talk fast in real life and that's what I do onscreen as well. I feel that's a bit different, therefore people appreciate it."
The 69-year-old enjoys global popularity. But who does he look up to in his life?
"I have said this many times. It is Amitabh Bachchan," said Rajinikanth. "He is my inspiration. He inspires me not only in front of the camera but off screen too."
Asked what his fond memories of working with Big B are, he replied: "There are many moments. He loves me. A few years back in Chennai, he told me, 'after turning 60, you should be careful of three things: Do exercise regularly, be busy and do whatever you want without bothering about what people say. The third thing he told me is, 'don't enter politics'."
"I have followed his first two advices but the third thing, I couldn't follow because of the circumstances. So, I have learnt so many things from him. People say I do comedy and other characters very well but I have learnt it from Amitji."
Rajinikanth announced his entry into politics on Dec 31, 2017 and confirmed his party's intention to contest all the 234 seats in the 2021 Tamil Nadu assembly elections.
Darbar is an action thriller written and directed by Murugadoss. The film features Rajinikanth, Nayanthara, Prateik, Jatin Sarna, Dalip Tahil and Suniel in important roles.
It is scheduled for a worldwide release in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi on Jan 10, coinciding with the south Indian harvest festival Thai Pongal.
Indo-Asian News Service