Tamil actor Abbas on quitting films, working as a mechanic and driving taxis in New Zealand: ‘I was financially destitute, unable to afford basic necessities’

Abbas, whose last film appearance was in 2015, said that he eventually quit films because he was bored and because he was not enjoying the work he was doing.

abbas, abbas actor, abbas actor movies, tamil cinema, tamil cinema news, tamil film newsAbbas made his silver screen debut with Kathir’s Kadhal Desam. (Photo: Abbas/Facebook)

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Actor Abbas, once admired as a romantic hero in Tamil cinema, has been away from the film industry for nearly eight years. He chose to retreat from the limelight and settled in New Zealand with his family. Abbas experienced a rapid journey in the film world, rising to heartthrob status before facing a subsequent decline. Within just nine years of her debut, she moved from leading roles in beloved Tamil films to taking on supporting characters.

The actor, who rarely gives interviews, recently opened up about a variety of things, including his struggle with suicidal thoughts as a teenager and why he chose to distance himself from the film industry for the time being.

Describing himself as an extremely private person, explaining his prolonged absence from social media, Abbas said, “However, I made an exception during the Covid period. While living in New Zealand, I used Zoom calls to connect with fans. My goal is to help those in need, especially those struggling with suicidal thoughts.”

“I could empathize with those feelings because I, too, have experienced them firsthand. When I was a teenager, I went through a turbulent period where I contemplated taking my own life after failing 10th grade. My then-boyfriend’s departure intensified those thoughts. However, something profound happened that changed me. While standing on the side of the road, thinking about stepping in front of a speeding car, I noticed a passing motorist and I realized: if I act on my impulses, that person’s life will also be greatly affected. Even in my darkest moments, I find myself considering the welfare of other individuals.

“When I was young, I never had much interest in academics. I strongly believe that it is unfair to judge or assess a person based solely on their academic achievements, as people may possess alternative talents and strengths. It is very important for us to recognize and nurture those talents. In general, men often struggle to open up and tend to keep their emotions suppressed, enduring silent suffering. I want to address these issues. by connecting with my fans, encouraging them to share their feelings and experiences,” he added.

Explaining his decision to quit the film industry, Abbas said: “Following my initial achievements, some of my films faced failure, leaving me financially unable to pay even the major needs like rent or cigarettes. At first, my pride stopped me from looking for alternative work. However, I immediately approached producer RB Choudary, asking for a job. He offered me an opportunity to be a part of the film Pooveli. However, eventually I left films because I was bored. I was not enjoying my work. I remember advising my friends, who had come to watch my Bollywood debut film Ansh: The Deadly Part not to waste of their time as I think. Bakavas.”

Sharing that he faced bankruptcy on four separate occasions, Abbas mentioned, “To support my family, I worked as a bicycle mechanic and drove taxis in New Zealand.”

Regarding his decision to return to the spotlight, Abbas expressed, “I am usually a private person and rarely give interviews. While I was living abroad, I gave several interviews to several media outlets, but unfortunately, my words were often misrepresented. I often receive calls from fans asking about my potential comeback or expressing concerns about my well-being. Some even mentioned hearing rumors of my visit to a mental hospital or my passing. Now that I am back in India, it is best to address these matters and clear up any misunderstandings.”

Abbas further revealed that he never aspired to be an actor in the beginning. However, following the release of Kadhalar Desam, he experienced a remarkable transformation into an overnight heartthrob. Reflecting on this sudden change, he shared, “One night, I attended the premiere of the film as an ordinary guy, but the very next day, I couldn’t even venture outside my house. I can’t imagine why people showered me with so much love. I was only 19 at the time and took up the film as a casual effort to earn some extra cash.”

Abbas appeared in several blockbuster films such as Padayappa (1999), Kandukondain Kandukondain (2000), Hey Ram (2000), Aanandham (2001) and Minnale (2001).

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First published on: 18-07-2023 at 13:27 IST

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