Popular Tamil character artiste Napoleon, best known for playing sickle-wielding, dhoti-clad and mustache-twirling characters over the years, has landed a pivotal role in a Hollywood film Devil’s Night: Dawn of the Nain Rouge, directed by Sam Logan Khalegi, who has an Emmy nomination to his credit.
Talking about how he landed the project, he told reporters in Chennai on Monday that he’s thrilled about his Hollywood debut.
“One of the producers of the film, Tel Ganesh, is from my native, Trichy. We both know each other for a long time since we both run Software companies in the US. One day, he told me he’s going to produce a Hollywood film and he insisted that I should act in it. I told him I’m not sure because I cannot speak English and also have some film commitments in Tamil. But he was hell-bent on having me on board and agreed to shoot whenever I was free.”
In the film, Napoleon plays a museum curator and he thoroughly enjoyed playing the character, the actor says.
"The film is based on a true story and I shot for my scenes last October. We’re planning to release the film in Tamil as well as I want my fans to watch the film. We’ll make slight changes to the Tamil version and we have to shoot a few scenes for the same," he said.
The film also stars popular rapper Eminem’s brother Nathan Mathers in an important role.
Born as Kumaresan Duraiswamy, filmmaker Bharathiraja rechristened him as Napoleon. Recalling the incident when the director changed his name, he said: “I played a 60-year-old in my first film Pudhu Nellu Pudhu Naathu. A week before the film’s release, Bharathiraja sir said he’d like to change my name. I had suggested a few names but he wasn’t happy with any of them and chose Napoleon, but I wasn’t happy with the name. My friends mocked my new name but I told them that I don’t have to change it when I act in Hollywood someday. Today, I’ve made my Hollywood debut and I smile when I recall this day.”
Napoleon said he wants to continue doing more films in Hollywood.
“Ganesh and I are already discussing doing another project. I have worked in Telugu, Malayalam and other languages as well. I don’t want to restrict myself to one industry. I was nervous about speaking in English in Hollywood, but I realized it’s not as difficult as I thought,” he added.