Ajith and First time directors
Ajith and First time directors
Ajith is one of the few heroes who continued to encourage young talent and most of his films were with rank or relative newcomers. The projects not only showed the Thala in a new perspective but also gave the much needed launch pad for young directors who have gone on to become the best in Tamil film industry now.
'Ullasam' - J. D . Jerry
When superstar Amitabh Bachan wanted to make his foray into South Indian cinema production he chose 'Ullasam' and booked Ajith to do the lead role with Vikram also cast later. The film marked the big screen debut of popular ad film makers J.D. Jerry who though made only one film after that are still the top ranked in the advertising industry.
'Kadhal Mannan' - Saran
K. Balachander's protege Saran approached Ajith, the hottest hero of Kollywood for his debut movie 'Kadhal Mannan' and the star immediately agreed obviously attracted by the role of a race car driver and thrilling love story. The film became a smash hit and Saran had a great run in Kollywood, directing Kamal, Madhavan and Arya among others in subsequent films apart from two more 'Attakasam' and 'Asal' with Ajith himself.
'Uyirodu Uyiraga' - Sushma Ahuja
At a time when women filmmakers were totally non existent, Ajith gave the opportunity to Sushma Ahuja to make an emotional love story starring her daughter Richa Ahuja as the heroine. Though the film had a lukewarm response at the box office people find it to be a neat family friendly film in its television run.
'Thodarum' - Ramesh Khanna
Though Ramesh Khanna had directed a film with Pandiarajan as hero in 1989, the film failed miserably and when he wanted to make a comeback Ajith agreed for a role as a family man that did not do justice to his mass hero image.
'Vaali' - S.J. Surya
Ajith had already attained his peak in 1999 after a string of hits like 'Kadhal Kottai' and 'Amarkalam' when he boldly agreed to take on a negative role in 'Vaali'. While many thought it was a bad career decision, S.J. Surya proved the naysayers wrong by delivering a monster hit on debut and today he is a much respected director and actor in South Indian cinema.
'Nee Varuvaai Yena ' - Rajakumaran
One again Ajith did the unthinkable for new comer Rajakumaran by making a guest appearance which helped the director woo the mature audience as well as the younger crowd making it a super hit.
'Mugavaree' - V.Z. Durai
Durai had no prior experience as an assistant director but his story impressed Ajith and he agreed to do the film which was critically acclaimed and also a commercial success. The director later worked with Vikram, Simbu, Shaam and others.
'Dheena' - A.R. Murugadoss
A diminutive looking A.R. Murugadoss had narrated the story of Dheena to Ajith while working as an assistant in 'Vaali'. Keeping that in mind the Thala as he became known after the film voluntarily gave the director a chance and now he is one of the biggest helmers in Indian cinema.
'Citizen' - Saravana Subbaiah
Saravana Subbaiah narrated the story of 'Citizen' to Ajith in which he required to don nine roles and the rising star put his faith in the debutante and agreed to do the film which paid off and is remembered as one of Thala's best performances.
'Red' - Singam Puli
Popular comedian and screenwriter Singam Puli approached Ajith for an action script and he later revealed that he himself was not confident of getting the hero. But Ajith wanting to encourage him signed the film and though it was an average grosser it was well liked by Ajith fans for his special mannerism saying "Adhu..."
'Kreedam' - Vijay
Ajith once again spotted the talent in a youngster Vijay who not only gave him a decent hit but grew in stature to direct Vijay, Vikram, Arya, Jayam Ravi and others in later years.