Dhanush
Interviewer : Jyothsna Bhavanishankar | Coordination : Venkatesh | Camera : Balaji | Text : Jyothsna Bhavanishankar
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DHANUSH INTERVIEW
Dhanush’s caliber as a performer is growing at a phenomenal rate in every film of his and the recently released Vetrimaaran’s Aadukalam is only a testimony to this fact. Basking in the plaudits that he has been receiving for his performance in the film, Dhanush spoke to senior editor Jyothsna Bhavanishankar on Aadukalam, his passion, his sons and many more.
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Failures have taught me

You have given continuous hits. How do you feel about it?

It 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.

Teaming with Vetrimaaran again

I 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 with him.



I have much faith in Vetrimaaran




Vetrimaaran is bold, candid and

speaks his heart out

Working with Vetrimaaran

Vetrimaaran 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.

Challenges in Aadukalam

The 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

Rooster fights in Aadukalam

It 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 world.

Stunt sequences in Aadukalam

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 stand out.

How do you feel to be competing with Vijay for the fifth time?

It 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

with Vijay


What are your strengths as a performer?

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 or not.

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.



Direction is my passion and

ambition

In the industry, where do you see yourself after a certain period?

I 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.

Your film with Selvaraghavan was first called Idu Maalai Nerathu Mayakkam, then Maruvan and then Irandam Ulagam. Are the scripts different?

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 other projects?

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.

How are your sons and why have they not been shown to the media?

My 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

was raised


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.

Tags : Dhanush, Aadukalam, Vengai, Vetrimaaran, Erandam Ulagam
 
 
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