Gautham Vasudev Menon who has turned producer for a Tamil-Telugu film, is quite candid about what influences his choices and decisions. Currently promoting Tamilselvanum Thaniyar Anjalum with Jai in the lead, with the Telugu version having Nithin, Gautham says when director Premsai narrated the script to him, he initially planned to produce it only in Tamil. "Later we decided to explore the subject to Telugu as well as I love both Tamil and Telugu languages. We narrated the story to every other actor, but somehow Nithin picked it up and accepted. Now the Telugu film became a bigger project for me than the Tamil in terms of the market and business," says Gautam.
The film is a remake of a 2012 Hollywood film, Premium Rush and was shot simultaneously with two heroes. Yami Gautam is the female lead for both the versions. "The Telugu version completed long back and we had issues for the Tamil film and we sorted out it now. We wanted to release both the films at the same time," says Gautam, explaining the delay in the release. Though the film shot both in Telugu and Tamil with different cast, they made few changes. "Actor Jai is known for his comedy and we have Santanam too, so Tamilselvanum Thaniyar Anjalum has more comic scenes. For the Telugu version we toned down the comedy and have added a few romantic scenes," explains Gautam.
As a producer, Gautham says he gave a free hand to his director. "I know how irritating it is when a producer interferes in everything. So I gave Prem free hand. Moreover, Nithin is a producer’s son and he knows how to control the budget," says Gautham.
Bi-lingual formats are something Gauthan is comfortable with. He is presently directing a bi-lingual with Simbhu for Tamil and Chaitanya in Telugu — both actors he’s worked with before. "Both are in touch with me and I have a good rapport with them," says Gautham, explaining his choice.
Talking about his films, he says he always starts with an ‘80-per cent’ bound script. "I write till 80 per cent of the script as I have to start shooting with dialogues and scenes, but I don’t write the climax. I decide the climax after most of the film shot. I check the body language of the actor and factor in many other aspects and then I will write the climax. Though I have an idea about the climax, it always changes when shooting starts," he says.
If he doesn’t reveal the climax, how do senior actors agree to do his films? "I prefer to work with only these actors who are willing to do that and have faith in me," he says. Have any of his actors tried to suggest how the film should end? "So far thankfully nothing like that happened. But whenever something like that happens, the project never takes off. It gets shelved!"