Actor-politician Udhayandhi Stalin is gearing up for the release ofhis next film Psycho, directed by Mysskin. Udhay, who was initially criticized for his acting skills and dance moves, has come a long way and proved his mettle in films like Priyadarshan’s Nimir, Manithan and KannaeKalaimaane. “It was my conscious decision to pick scripts of different genres and that’s how Psycho also happened. I play a visually impaired person in the film,” reveals Udhay in a wide-ranging exclusive to DC.
What’s Psycho all about:
There’s a misconception that I am playing a psychotic person in the film. I am not. I essay a blind person and my confrontation with the psychotic killer forms the crux of the movie. Nithya Menen and Aditi Hydari Rao essay the female leads. A new guy, Raj, plays the psycho. PC Sreeram’s cinematography and Ilayaraja’s music are the biggest strengths. It is an intense flick.
A tough taskmaster, Mysskin is also known for his temperament. Any comments?
Really? I did not experience any such thing. He was very polite with me. As far as Psycho is concerned, it was a challenging role. It is a Mysskin film. He acts out each and every scene. I just aped what he did. All credit goes to MysskinSir.
Actually, I was to debut with a Mysskin film,Yuddham Sei, But, I felt, it was tooserious for my debut and I let go the opportunity. Instead, I opted for a humorous subject,Oru Kal Oru Kannadi.
How did you prepare for your role in Psycho?
I took training for my role. I stayed with a visually impaired person for a few days and watched his body language, how he used a stick, how he walked, how he wentabout selecting his clothes, and other things.
I want to share yet another thing(smiles). Andhadhunwas released around the same time. I was impressed with Ayushman Khurrana’s lens. After scouting around for aages, I managed to buy lenses like that. I even wore them and practiced at home.When I showed him the video, Mysskin said it was good, but asked me to go ahead with what we had planned earlier - wearing black goggles. I was a bit disappointed. But I used those lenses for two days when Sir was not present for the shoot. Those scenes are there in the film (laughs)
On his co-stars:
Nithya Menen plays thepowerful role of Kamala Das. Hers is a bold character and she uses alot of cuss words in the film. In fact, given a choice of both leads, she opted for this role. Most of my scenes are with her. Aditi has worked really hard for her portrayal too.
Is Cinema taking a back seat in his life?
Though I got busy with politics, I try to balance my film commitments. I have Maran’s KannaiNambathey, and one more with MagizhThirumeni. While I was campaigning for my party during the day for the Lok Sabha elections, I was shooting for Psycho at nights.
What about a biopic on your grandfather, Kalaingar Karunanidhi?
Yes, with biopics being the order of the day, many people have approached us, including an online platform. Appa (Stalin)will take a call on the director, cast and crew. I don’t think my thatha’s life and times can be compressed into a film.
Do you miss your grandad?
Yes. He used to watch all my films. I wanted him to watch my courtroom scenes in Manithan. Unfortunately, he could not watch that film. Today, I recall his speeches and the hard work he put in. People shower me with love and affection, addressing me ‘KalaingarPeran’.
On the Government controlling the Nadigar Sangam and Producers Council:
After elections for the associations were over, Vishal, who is our family friend, met my dad one day. That probably became a big issue. Top people in the Government questioned him about his meeting with Dad. The end result was that Governmenttook the Associations under itscontrol. Perhaps they did not like Vishal coming into politics either.
like you criticized Rajini over the anti-CAA rally issue.
Oh no! I just saidin general, ‘please leave rich elderly persons who consider rightful protests for civil rights as violence at home.’ I meant the elderly people in my party