With Nadigar Sangam divided into two groups with the Nasser versus Bhagyaraj battle lines clearly drawn in the impending elections, actor Vijay Sethupathi sees the situation as normal. He says if there's a sangam, there would be differences of opinion too and rivalry for posts is common.
No sangam functions without conflicts,” he remarked.
In a freewheeling conversation with DC, Sethupathi talks about his upcoming flick Sindhubaad, (a film with a theme seemingly inspired by the Ramayana), launching his teenage son Surya in a lead role, learning life lessons is more important than academics, on Anjali’s mind-blowing performance, gender equality and how success or failures does not affect him.
I was not Arun’s first choice, although he had Surya in mind:
After we did two films Pannayaarum Padminiyum and Dharmadurai, we became very close. Arun is like family to me. He never had me in mind for the lead protagonist role in Sindhubaad. He had approached many actors in vain and finally I told him we would work together.
But in the case of my son Surya, it was different. Arun had already decided to bring Surya on board after watching him in Naanum Rowdy Thaan for the character arc he had designed. However, I was very clear and told him to rethink, after all Surya is a child and even my wife was apprehensive. Also, we don’t know how mature he is to handle the results after the film’s release. We coaxed him a lot and convinced him.
I still told Arun to have an alternative for Surya. However, while in the shoot, it was I who used to yell at him whenever he is childish and goofs up. Arun would never raise his voice at him. Poor guy, I was even harsh at times.
Won’t his studies take a backseat:
I have taught him life lessons, which are more important than what he learns from books. But yes, academics is also imperative.
Don’t call me a seasoned actor:
Each time I go in front of the camera, I almost die. With each film, I have to think and analyse as to what best I can give for this script so that audiences would enjoy it. That way my responsibilities are mounting. I have to invest myself into the character and film, which would give the best output. So, please don’t call me a seasoned actor, I am trying to be one (laughs).
What’s Sindhubaad all about:
It is about a beautiful emotional connect between husband and wife. When the wife is abducted by the villain gang and taken away abroad, how the husband saves her from their clutches after undergoing struggles forms the rest. There are lots of interesting anecdotes in this film. If I reveal them now, it will become sensational and when we are facing several issues like water crisis, I don’t like this to occupy the space.
Anjali is the central character around whom the film revolves:
I essay the role of a person who is short of hearing. Anjali’s character has to speak loudly in the film. Even otherwise, Anjali is a person who speaks loudly in real life. So, she fitted her role like a T. She is the fulcrum around whom the story revolves. I can’t think of anyone else other than Anjali for this character.
On Yuvan Shankar Raja’s music:
I am a great fan of Ilayaraja Raja sir’s music. Similarly, Yuvan’s music is very close to my heart. I have a special liking for his music. Sindhubaad music is no different.
We hear your little daughter is also donning grease paint:
Hmmm…. I guess it is part of the parenting exercise and giving gender equality. When my son is already in the film field, why not my daughter? Of course, she plays a small role in Sangathamizhan, one among many kids who appear in the scene.
Success and failure don’t affect me: Have I given big failures? I do agree some of my films were average grossers. However, I treat both success and failures equally. There is lot of reasons for that. I don’t take them to my heart. I don’t think it is a big issue.