Atlee is just one film old. But there is a lot of expectation, riding on his second movie Theri with Vijay, which has the advantage of being the solo major release on the festive occasion today! Atlee speaks to DC about his experiences working with Ilayathalapathy who does a triple role for the first time, and how his cop story is different from others, giving scope to his heroines, about roping in ace Mahendran as the villain, and much more. With umpteen cop stories already out there, how different is this one? “Since it is a big star’s film, I know my responsibility of creating something fresh. Though it is a cop story and has plenty of action, the emotions are solid in my film. The emotional factors contribute in a big way. The cop Vijayakumar played by Vijay is not only an angry young man, but also analytical and judicious in his approach,” he says.
Though Atlee was unwilling to open up about the core theme of Theri, he adds, “I have dealt with an important issue which we are all facing today. When you watch it, you will relate to it.” Apparently, Vijay essays a triple role — Joseph Kuruvilla, a Malayali and father of a small kid played by Nainika; the cop Vijayakumar; and in the third role, he is Dharmeshwar. We also hear that Vijay’s own daughter Divya Sasha appears in a cameo. “It is a surprise,” he smiles.
The Raja Rani director reveals that it was Vijay who did all the stunts by himself. “For his stature, he could have used a body double for his risky action portions. But, I was shocked when he insisted that he wanted to do the action blocks by himself, without a substitute. They have come out well,” he tells us.
About his idea of having two heroines, he says, “My script demanded two leading ladies. I believe in giving a lot of space to heroines in my films. This is no different. While Amy is a teacher, Samantha in the role of a doctor Mithra, has portrayed an emotional character.” Talking about ace director Mahendran who will be seen as a baddie, Atlee quips, “Mahendran sir is like a child on the sets. Him being a veteran, I was tense for my first shot with him. But he was really at ease and said, ‘please tell me how to perform this shot’!”