‘I worked at a petrol station, a drug store’

Gunachitra, villain actor Jayaprakash, who is well-known to Tamil cinema fans today, says that once upon a time, he used to work at all available places like petrol stations and drug stores.

His native place is Sirkazhi. When friends and family thought that he would not pass the school final exam, somehow he managed to get through.

“At the age of 19, I worked in a drug store in town. The reason is that by working in the shop, we will learn the tricks of the trade and hope that we too can open a drug store in the future.

“Then I left for Chennai. Since my sister was there, I went with confidence. I got an opportunity to work at a petrol station in Chennai for some time. Later I ran my own petrol station. I also made films.

“When economic growth was slow, some friends advised me to venture into film production. I became a filmmaker with some courage. I got married at the age of 25. Wife is Anglo Indian. One of the two sons is doing well in the automobile industry. Another son is trying for a chance in cinema.

“It’s true in my case that a good film gives ten more film opportunities. My first film was ‘Mayakkanadi’. Then many early films like ‘Basanga’ and ‘Nadodigal’ made me famous. There were good characters in the films that came after that.

“During the production of our film ‘Polkekasam’, director Cheran sir took care of me. He was the first to see that I could act well,” says Jayaprakash.

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