With Arjun Reddy’s Tamil remake Varma heading to Tiruvannamalai for its last shooting schedule, budding actor from Namma Chennai Akash Premkumar who plays the role of Dhruv’s best friend in the movie speaks exclusively to DC and spills the beans on his character ‘Ashok’, his inspiration in the field of cinema, the experience of working under National Award winner director Bala, his web series and more.
Q Tell us a little bit about your early life. What made you venture into acting?
I did my schooling from PSBB Nungambakkam and DAV Gopalapuram, post which like many others I decided to do an engineering degree from SRM Kattankulathur. During college, a lot of my friends were into short films and eventually I got the chance to act in a few and direct some short films too. This is when I realised I could venture out into mainstream acting.
Q Did you always want to be an actor or did you have another career idea when you were young?
Cinema in Tamil Nadu has always been more than only entertainment. People have an emotional connect to stars and the feeling of loving someone for their work and without expecting anything is beautiful. Only after I finished college I got the confidence pursue what I desired, I joined Behindwoods as a content writer and reviewer to support my acting career. My dad thought I would become a doctor like him, and used to think the same too till cinema happened to me.
Q Who is your inspiration/ who do you look up to as an actor?
A lot of actors inspire me. In terms of cinema, it has been Vijay, Vikram sir, Vijay Sethupathi and Jayam Ravi. I like their films and they are my favourites.
Q You play the role of Shiva essayed in the original movie, the hero’s best friend. Can you tell us a little bit about his character?
Firstly, the character is called ‘Ashok’ in the Tamil remake. He is that best friend you would kill to have. He is always by your side no matter what and he will be with you at your best and your worst situations.
Q Can you spill the beans a bit on your upcoming projects?
Right now I am concentrating on Varma. Apart from that, Venkat Prabhu sir’s RK Nagar is ready for release and I have also played an important role in director Guhan Seniappan’s upcoming web series starring Bobby Simha, Parvatii Nair, Gayathrie and others. It is titled Bawa Lodge and is being produced by Dream Warrior Pictures production house.
Q What should the tamil audiences expect from the movie as it is a remake?
Arjun Reddy was a film youngsters loved. Varma will be a movie that all audiences would enjoy thanks to Bala sir’s expertise. It will have fresh elements mixed with intense feeling that will cater to all audiences.
Q What genre of movies do you want to associate yourself with in the future?
I guess it is too early to think on those lines. I am taking it one step at a time and when Varma releases we will see how people react to my character and acting. I have a lot of favourite directors and some of the new age directors have brought an amazing flavour to Tamil cinema. I would want to work again under my mentors Venkat Prabhu sir and Bala sir and also many others.
Q Is there anything else you would like to say to your friends and those who follow your work?
I am grateful to my friends and family for constantly being supportive and for pointing out areas where I could improve. Without a set of close friends and a good family I would not even be here.
Q You have quite a few short films, a web series and a couple of movies. Which of these roles are you most proud of?
I cannot really say I’m proud yet as my biggest character so far is what I am pursuing at the moment. However, I enjoyed acting in short films Enakkul Kalaignan, Angry Birds, Edhai Thedi Naan Sendren and Yaadhum Neeye. It is all part of the journey and I hope it is a good beginning to something amazing.
Q How is the experience of working under Bala sir? Which of his movies do you like the best?
To work under a legendary director like Bala sir at this young age is a dream come true. When I met him during my audition, all I wanted was to somehow get a role in his film. Surprisingly, it happened to be a crucial character. In his sets, there is always something new to look forward to everyday. My favourite films of Bala sir are Sethu and Paradesi.