Shankar does not want to take
creative liberties with Nanban
role in Nanban
is the remake of 3 idiots. We are just replicating
3 idiots and the director has no intention
to take creative liberties with the movie.
It is imperative to retain the magic of the
movie that made it a huge success in Hindi.
Shankar called me when I was in Kerala. I
wanted a role in this movie and I had earlier
contacted Shankar. But he was travelling abroad
and I couldn’t contact him. So I told
the producers, whom I knew from my earlier
movies, that I want to be a part of this movie.
And when they were finalizing the cast, Shankar
felt that the Madhavan character will suit
me. He contacted me and I took it gladly.
It’s a very satisfying experience to
work for a person like Shankar.
Besides, Madhavan has immortalized the character in
the Hindi version and I have huge responsibility.
My wife tells me that I have got the significant character
in the movie. Another highlight of the movie is that
every character has scope to perform in this movie.
And the narrative of the story starts with my character.
It’s a huge asset for me and my presence will
be throughout the movie. We did homework to fit into
the roles both physically and otherwise. We have tried
our best to improve the movie’s look and feel
and all the credit goes to Shankar.
also one of my favorites. I have seen it many
times. My wife tells me to at least keep up
with Madhavan’s performance if not do
any better. One burden in remakes is that
there are bound to be comparisons with the
original version and the actors. It’s
a challenge to break that mould. I am part
of a remake for the first time and I hope
to do my best. I have Shankar’s total
support and he gives the artist freedom in
terms of improvisation and provides his ideas.
Since he is an actor and mimicry artist, it
is easy for him to show us what he expects
out of the scene. That is a major plus and
it’s enough that we follow him.
My wife tells me to at least keep
up with Madhavan’s
As far as possible, we are not following the Hindi
version step by step and working like we are making
a fresh movie.
There are Vijay, Jiiva, Sathyaraj, Sathyan, Ileana,
S J Surya, Kishore, Uma Padmanabhan, Manobala and
Anuya. Vijay is a fantastic dancer and I was very
conscious about working with him. Because during dance
sequences, it’s good enough that he watches
the movements once. He can very easily replicate them
so we were all anxious about matching his steps. But
he was very helpful and to be very honest, I am not
a good dancer. I found him very supportive and he
motivates his costar. I admired his dance. He has
a great sense of humor and since we knew each other
earlier, it was easy to bond for the character as
The friendship and camaraderie of the three friends
are quintessential for the movie and it should come
across as perfectly natural. Only then the movie
will be enjoyable to watch. Fortunately, Vijay,
Jiiva and I share very good friendship on and off
the shoots. It has been very entertaining and good
time pass and that feeling has got translated on
to the screen.
Since we have played star cricket earlier, I became
friends with Jiiva. Jiiva and I were supposed to
work in Drohi but for some reason he couldn’t
accommodate Drohi. He’s a very lively person
and accommodative. Sathyaraj is an excellent actor
and he is doing a powerful role, which I can tell
you, is entertaining to watch on the sets. He has
good sense of humor and keeps his costars entertained.
Sathyan is doing a very important role and so is
S J Surya; Ileana, who is a top heroine in Telugu
is also very lively. Everyone is doing their roles
perfectly. The team is an excellent team with an
ensemble cast. I can assure you that the movie will
recreate the Hindi original’s magic and will
be a Diwali blast.
Manoj’s cinematography will be
the highlight of the film
was Saravanan’s associate when I was
doing Bambara Kannaale. Today, I am happy
to note that he has become hugely successful
after Eeram and Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya. I
think his selection is very apt for the movie.
The cinematography will be lively. Nanban
unit is a very friendly environment and I
am lucky to work in such a team. Manoj’s
cinematography will be the highlight of the
score will be also another plus in Nanban;
I am working in his music for the first time.
I am a fan of his music and he has retained
his perky music for the movie with good tunes.
The famous line ‘All is well’
will still be the caption and it has come
out very nice. We shot in about 7 locations
such as Dehradun and Chennai. We enjoyed doing
We shot in about 7 locations for
‘all is well' song
It was an enjoyable experience working for Nanban.
There were many memorable moments during the shoots.
I was blessed with a baby girl while shooting for
Nanban. It was the second day of the shoots and I
received this news. I did not know how to ask for
break. It was delicate for me because it was only
the second day of the shoot and sentimentally, people
would not want to cancel the shoots. Shankar is a
very understanding person. I received a call when
I was on the sets. Shankar finished as much as he
could for the day and booked flight tickets and sent
me home. It felt very nice; I could share the happiness
with my wife without my work getting affected. Shankar
ensured that I was with my family to celebrate the
occasion despite knowing that work will be stalled
While shooting in Andamans, we had to travel by
road for about 3 hours. We set out as early as 3
in the morning. We reached the jetty around 5.30
and a motor boat will take us further. It is also
a different experience since the sea would be rough.
Since I am also scared of water, it was totally
unforgettable for me. But I enjoyed thoroughly,
it was more like a picnic.
I want Madhavan’s feedback
after the movie is screened to
important is your role in Nanban?
is a beautiful script and every artist has
equal importance in this movie. There is tremendous
scope for delivering good output for all the
three of us. My role was challenging, something
that I could relate to of a guy who is very
obedient to his parents; this has been the
story for many of my earlier movies. Shankar
could justify this role. I have scope for
transformation in this movie; I could show
age difference. I have only one thing to achieve;
if not beat Madhavan’s performance I
should at least perform as well as him. That
would satisfy me. I want Madhavan’s
feedback after the movie is screened to him.
About your future projects
am also working for Ediri En 3 with Poonam
Bajwa, Prabhu, Jayaprakash and Suman which
recently started. It’s a totally different,
contrasting genre, family cum crime thriller.
We have shot for about 10 days. Since I am
busy with Nanban, there is a break for Ediri.
They are shooting the rest of the portions
without me. I am waiting to get back to Ediri
after finishing Nanban. It’s a challenging
script, inspired by real life events and I
loved listening to the script. The movie’s
camera is handled by Richard Nathan whose
earlier projects include Angaadi Theru, Ko
and Bana Kathadi. Dharan’s music has
come out really well. We shot for a song and
it was a peppy number. In fact, it’s
the fastest number I have done in my career.
I am also waiting to work with a veteran like
I am waiting to work with a
veteran like Prabhu
Other than that, I have Kodai Vidumurai, directed
by Kathir. Kathir and I were supposed to work on another
project, Maanavar Dinam, earlier and it did not take
off. This is a college love story and I have been
looking for a similar project for long. Kathir was
responsible for my cinematic debut. He spotted me
during my modeling days and called me for audition.
I learnt a lot from him and got trained. But I did
not work on that project because of the lack of facial
hair growth. Then I was launched by Sasi, who was
Kathir’s associate. I am looking forward to
working with Kathir after all these years now. His
films will be poetic, songs create huge expectations
and I am hoping this movie will also replicate that
All the three movies that I am working / going
to work are diverse in nature. I have also finalized
a couple of other scripts; a horror, romcom, nativity-based
and semi-action. I seek variety in scripts and I
am conscious about not getting monotonous with scripts.
I am reading good scripts.