Kerala film industry happy with ‘Mundakkal Sekharan’ Napoleon as minister

May 28th, 2009 - 1:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Thiruvananthapuram, May 28 (IANS) The Kerala film industry is excited to have one of its own in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s cabinet. D. Napoleon, who became a household name by playing the villanous Mundakkal Sekharan in two popular Malayalam films, has been chosen to be a minister of state.
“We all like Napolean because of his friendly nature and down to earth attitude. I wish him all the best in his new role,” Malayalam superstar Mammootty, who acted with the actor-turned-politician in the Tamil film “Ethurum Puthiram”, told IANS.

As Mundakkal Sekharan in the smash hit “Devasuram” in 1993 and its sequel “Ravanprabhu” in 2001, the Tamil actor won several fans in Kerala.

Speaking to IANS on phone from New Delhi just before being sworn in Thursday, Napoleon said he was grateful to the Malayalee audience for their affection.

“I remember the shooting of both these films with a lot of happiness. It was a great experience for me to work in the Kerala film industry especially because of Mammootty sir and Mohanlal sir. I have worked in 10 Malayalam films. Now I am in a new role but Kerala can consider me the seventh minister from the state,” he said.

Napoleon, 45, won as a DMK candidate from Tamil Nadu’s Perambalur parliamentary constituency.

Veteran Malayalam character artiste Innocent, who acted alongside Napoleon in both “Devasuram” and “Ravanprabhu”, said the Tamil politician was very down to earth.

“He is a very down to earth person. I hope that as a minister he will be able to look into the problems facing the Malayalam film industry,” said Innocent, who is also the president of the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes.

Suresh Kumar, office bearer of the Malayalam Producer’s Association, said filmmakers were looking forward to getting help from Napoleon for the bifurcation of the Cine Welfare Board that is right now clubbed with other small scale industries.

“Every time a film is censored, a sum of Rs.10,000 is deposited with the board and this is used for the welfare of those in these industries. The benefit does not come back to the industry in full. If the bifurcation takes place, all welfare activities would increase,” said Kumar, who is also a member of the central advisory committee of the Cine Welfare Board.

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