The internet went viral last week with speculation that the first look of Kamal Haasan's Uttam Villan is 'inspired' by a photograph taken by French photographer Eric Lafforgue.
Speaking out on the allegation for the first time Kamal pooh-poohs the plagiarism charge. "Theyyam is more than 1000 year old art. The make-up was done by a good artist who is probably a third-generation practitioner of this art. The lighting might have been similar."
Painting the face for that look was not easy.
Says the actor, "That is not a mask. It is painted on my face. It took 4 hours to paint my face. It is a tradition handed down from many generations. The artist claims he might be the 20th generation artists doing the same thing."
Uttam Villan chronicles the life of a superstar who decides to make a period comedy called Uttam Villan.
Discloses Kamal Haasan, "There is a pun on the word 'villan'. … Vil means 'bow' and villan means 'archer'. We have already an edited length of 18 minutes with 7 scenes in the hard disk. You can expect some stunning performances from all the actors."