Failures have taught me
have given continuous hits. How do you feel
has been a long journey. I am in the industry
for the last 10 years and in this period I
have learnt what not to do. It took me a decade
to understand my strengths, weaknesses and
what the audience expects from me. My failures
have taught me a lot. Success makes me nervous
as after every success, I am anxious about
how I am going to maintain it.
with Vetrimaaran again
know Vetrimaaran for the past 7 years from
the time I started working with Balu Mahendra
sir. His Polladhavan saw many hurdles before
its release. I have much faith in Vetrimaaran
and as a filmmaker Aadukalam has brought out
his true potential. He is one of my close
friends and it was a pleasure to have worked
I have much faith in Vetrimaaran
Vetrimaaran is bold, candid and
speaks his heart out
is bold, candid and speaks his heart out.
He would not make politically correct statements
just to get things done. This may sometimes
color him as rude or arrogant. But he is very
honest and his working style is very fast.
Vetrimaaran can work at a stretch for 48 hours.
He breathes his work. He is a fantastic director
and a nice human being.
biggest challenge in Aadukalam was to appear
as one of the faces of Madurai. Barring me
and Kishore, rest of the artistes are raw
and are Madurai natives. Hence not to appear
as a star among these people was the biggest
challenge. The Madurai accent was difficult
and to speak the tongue in a proper manner
in the presence of native speakers without
any inhibition was definitely not easy. It
took me some time and then I got used to it.
The biggest challenge in
Aadukalam was to appear as
one of the faces of Madurai
Homework for Aadukalam
I did my homework catering to the script. However,
you can get the slang and the body language only if
you stay there. It cannot be taught or learnt. Vikram,
an associate director coached me on these features
along with Vetrimaaran.
It was said that you had a tough time with Tapsee
while shooting. Can you elaborate?
I would not call it tough. Tapsee is a very fine human
being. She is a software engineer and is quick to
grasp things. I am a Leo and would not let another
Leo (Tapsee is a Leo) down. As she is from north India,
she does not know Tamil. That was her problem which
is very natural. If you were to leave me in the Hindi
film industry and ask me to speak Hindi, I would also
find it difficult. That apart, working with her was
just like working with any other heroine.
Cockerel fight is a different
world by itself
fights in Aadukalam
is not legal to picturize rooster fights and
hence we have used only graphics. Cockerel
fight is a different world by itself. Even
one year of research will not suffice to understand
it thoroughly. I can cite the most basic aspect.
There is a method to lift and hold the rooster
in a particular fashion. It will be quiet
only when held that way. There are many other
factors like this and it is amazing to see
the dedication and the importance being given
to preparing these roosters. People who are
involved (in this) give the same amount of
devotion and time to these roosters that we
give to our children. They are totally oblivious
to their household or the happenings of the
Rajashekhar choreographed the stunt sequences with
the inputs of Vetrimaaran. The action scenes would
be very natural. A particular fight scene had to be
canned in a single shot and we also completed it.
However, unexpectedly, a dummy brick bounced and fell
in front of the camera and we could not can it in
one shot. The major plus point of Aadukalam is that
it has portrayed a slice of life as such and stunt
sequences also followed this norm and they do not
What are your
strengths as a performer?
do you feel to be competing with Vijay for
the fifth time?
is an honor to be competing with Vijay and
from the bottom of my heart, I pray for both
our films. Vijay sir is a good friend of mine.
The word competition is not necessary. A movie
is made to entertain people and to make profits
for the producer. There are no other reasons
besides this. Nobody is going to gain when
two films or two artistes are competing.
It is an honor to be competing
As a performer, I think my strength lies in knowing
my plus and minus, mostly minuses. Only when I do
intense homework, will I know about the expressions
and body languages that are suitable to me. Choosing
the right kind of appropriate expressions and practicing
them in real life renders a natural feel when I stand
in front of the camera. On the other hand, when I
think and bring out an expression, it would appear
contrived. As a performer, there are two things I
do. Firstly, I listen to my director just like a school
student and secondly the home work I do to decide
on my reactions and mannerisms.
Do you consider
these aspects while choosing your scripts?
Obviously yes! I look for a gripping screen play,
characterization of the protagonist and the extent
to which I can relate to the script. I will be acting
it out in my mind when I am hearing the narration
and would decide on whether it would be apt for me
You forayed into
the industry with romance-based films but now the
focus is shifting to comedy and action. Is it deliberate?
This trend has been a time-tested one. An actor’s
growth follows this path - from a new face to a lead
character to a hero and then a star. When he starts
his career, it would be with romance as anyone can
do romantic characters as they are easy to accept.
Slowly the curve will include action and comedy. Hence
this is not my exclusive graph and it has been like
this for ages.
Your film with
Selvaraghavan was first called Idu Maalai Nerathu
Mayakkam, then Maruvan and then Irandam Ulagam. Are
the scripts different?
Direction is my passion and
the industry, where do you see yourself after
a certain period?
am not able to pinpoint and say but direction
is my passion and ambition. It is quite natural
as my dad and brother are directors and direction
runs in my blood. Acting is God given which
I am doing right now. I don’t know when
I will take the plunge into direction and
how things will proceed. Perhaps I would want
to be like Clint Eastwood after 20-30 years.
Script is the same but I still don’t know the
title of the film. Talks are on and the first half
of the film is completed. We are trying to live up
to the expectations that would be generated by the
Selvaraghavan-Dhanush combination as much as possible
and are working hard towards achieving it.
What are your
Right now, it is Vengai and Selva’s project.
I have done five films now and 2010 has been hectic.
At a point of time I was working in two films a day
and it was not easy at all. Now it is only two films.
Do you wish to
work specifically with any director?
I only look for scripts no matter who the director
is. The director who impresses me with a script is
THE director for me. I only want to feature in good
scripts. That’s about it.
are your sons and why have they not been shown
to the media?
two boys Yatra and Linga are fine. Yatra is
four years old and is turning out to be much
disciplined and mature for his age. When I
was his age, I did not even know English alphabets
but he speaks to me fluently in the language.
Barring English speaking skills, his looks,
behavior and eating habits are just like mine.
Linga is five months old and he does what
babies of his age do - eating and sleeping.
I want to raise my kids the way I
I am not showing them to the media because I want
them to live a simple and normal life like how I did.
Yatra walks to his school, goes for grocery and vegetable
shopping and goes to beach. More than anything, I
am impressed that he walks to his school. If his face
is known, then he cannot do these simple things. I
want to raise my kids the way I was raised. These
are the only reasons apart from safety factor.
There is also a time for everything. It took around
16 years for a camera flash to capture me. It took
three super hits to change from that one camera to
ten cameras. It takes hard work to reach a particular
position. Just because he happens to be my son, he
does not deserve this. Warranting attention due to
the sheer qualification of being my son is not right.
He needs to work and get that attention. That’s
what would add to both our glories.