Chennai: Sri Lankan cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan requested Monday Tamil actor Vijay Sethupathi to opt out of his biopic 800. The request from Muttiah Muralitharan came considering opposition that the actor was facing. Vijay Setupathi responded by saying ‘thanks’. It is being seen as a hint that he is dropping out of the film.
The actor has been under tremendous pressure from some quarters to withdraw from the biopic project. “I don’t like an outstanding artist from Tamil Nadu to be affected because of me. I request him (Setupathi) to step aside since he should not face unnecessary hurdles in his career in future. He is a very good actor,” Muralitharan said in a statement.
Tagging the cricketer’s statement on his twitter handle, Sethupathi said ‘Nandri (Thanks)…Vankkam’. The cryptic message is perceived as the actor’s indication that he was opting out of the project.
Muralitharan said obstacles were nothing new and he was not tired of those. He added all his achievements became a reality only after overcoming them.
The legendary sportsman said he agreed to a biopic on him as it would give enthusiasm and determination to future generations. He said young cricketers could have been inspired by the biopic.
Muralitharan however, expressed confidence that hurdles would be overcome. He said the producers have assured him that an announcement could be expected soon. He was indicating that another actor shall be picked to reprise his career. The world’s highest Test wicket-taker thanked those who stood by him and the Tamil people in this regard.
The ruling AIADMK had said Setupathi should reconsider his decision to be a part of the movie. The actor’s proposal to play the lead role also became a matter of heated debate in the social media. Parties, including the MDMK, PMK and veteran Tamil filmmaker Bharathirajaa were among those who had urged the actor to disassociate from the biopic.
They had alleged that Muralitharan was a betrayer of the Tamil people. He had supported the then Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa during the 2009 civil war.
The cricketer responded saying he never supported the killings of innocent people and would never do that. Muralitharan expressed anguish over him being accused as against the Tamils. He asserted that it was for political reasons and out of ignorance.