Kumararaja has put me in a
is a brilliant director. He has put me in
a quandary now. Directors who see me now find
it difficult to believe it’s the same
person who they saw in AK. They of course,
appreciate me and Kumararaja has elevated
me to a much higher level. Now I am perplexed
as to whether I should stay in the same league
or should I wait or should I try for something
else if things don’t materialize.
work is such that he would not compromise
easily. He would extract even from a trained
artist what he exactly seeks. He is also very
cool and friendly and does not terrorize to
get things done. At the same time, he is keen
about his work. AK team itself was lively
and everyone would wait for the shoot to commence
after the break. Kumararaja does not take
things lightly and at the same time, we would
not even realize that we have put in so much
of effort. That was his specialty.
Kumararaja would not
Jackie Shroff is a like a baby
was Jackie Shroff to work with?
first day shoot was with Jackie Shroff and
I was a bit apprehensive because he is such
an established artist. I have seen many films
of his. Jackie is a like a baby in the sets
and is very down-to-earth. He did his work
and I did mine.
learnt a lot from Vasanth. There are some
issues when you share screen space with a
child artist. In a frame, when a child and
an adult are seen, it is natural that the
child will be the cynosure and same is the
case in a man-animal combination. Hence in
such frames, we should go along with the flow
and if we try to outsmart, it would not appeal.
I learnt a lot from Vasanth
Any tough scene
We have to be careful while
working with the child artist
is also from Madurai and he did not have any
problem with the slang. It was fun working
with Vasanth and I never felt as though I
was working. Once he is out of the frame,
he would be playing and when called, he would
deliver, like a toy operated by a key. Despite
being in theatre for nine years, I would prepare
for my shots by writing in small notes etc,
but Vasanth would just come in and perform
nonchalantly with ease. We have to be careful
while working with the child artist. Vasanth
is a good actor and I hope that he also becomes
Yes, the scene where Kodukapuli and I would be searching
inside a small room in a mansion in Triplicane for
the chit with the phone numbers. The camera was like
a candid camera and we would not know where it was
placed or its movements. We needed to keep on talking
and searching for the paper. This scene was difficult
where improvisation was needed and dialogues were
added. This sequence was challenging and interesting
to me. That apart, as we shot in real locations, people
thought that a small boy was being chased by someone
and they started talking about it which I found interesting.
How do you feel
about the media appreciation?
I am very happy about the appreciation that I get
from media. But more than that, when my friends from
Koothupattarai lauded my work, my joy knew no bounds
because as fellow actors, they know the merits and
demerits. They said that they only saw Kaalaiyan and
not Somu. But all credits should go to Thyagarajan
Kumararaja who structured the character. The popular
Tamil weekly Ananda Vikatan had also praised my work.
When I went to the theatre, I heard comments like-
Who is this guy? Where have they caught hold of him?
I am happy but unfortunately, nobody is able to recognize
me. I think I should put a name board as Kaalaiyan
and stand! In other ways, it is an accolade for my
work and I feel good.
you have signed
Yes, people have asked me, talks are on but I have
not signed any film till now. Thyagarajan Kumararaja
has also asked me for his next project. It is a good
sign that the director that I have worked wants to
work with me. Let’s see.