made his acting debut with K Balachander's Apoorva Ragangal in 1975. Recalling his old times, he said, "It was a very small character in Apoorva Ragangal. While signing the film itself, Balachander sir told me that it's only a trial. It was Moondru Moodichu which was a proper introduction. I played an anti-hero character. Even KB sir never thought I'd become a hero. He identified and wanted to mold me into a good character artist. Producer Kalaignanam offered me a proposal to play the hero. Then the picture clicked and the hero brand took off. From that day onwards, by God's grace, it still continues."
He also said that he owes his life to K Balachander. "He completely changed my life. I came to Chennai and joined the film institute to become an actor, but I never thought I will become a hero. Even when I was in the film institute I was in the Kannada batch. I didn't even know Tamil back then. Balachander sir noticed me and said, 'You learn Tamil, then you see where I'm taking you.' He had so much confidence in me. He identified and he showed what I am to me," he concluded.