After 15 years has come a sequel to Chiyaan Vikram’s Saamy, a trendsetter police story, which hit the marquee on Friday. Each time the national award winner signs a script, he seeks challenging roles and is ready to walk the extra mile to fit into the character he portrays. “Saamy Square is a pucca commercial movie, I have opted to act in it after a very long gap”, is how the prolific actor starts his conversation.
The new punch lines in Saamy Square:
Tamil cinema has changed in the last 15 years. While my dialogue “Naan Police Illa, Porukky” in Saamycreated a sensation, here in its sequel I would say, “Naan Police Illa, Bhoodham”. While I wash my face in beer in part 1, in part 2 I would do the act with ‘more’ (butter milk). Hari sir has made the alterations to suit the changing times.
On why he is choosing commercial scripts now:
I am a jovial person in real life. But I love performing intense roles like in Kasi, Sethu and Pithamagan. To make these offbeat films commercially viable is a big task. When my remuneration increases and the budget of my films goes up, naturally I have to pick commercial genres too. So, I alternate and sign different genres.
When I work with Shankar and Mani Ratnam, I have to take lot of risks. In Hari’s films, I won’t have time to even sit for a minute. He is such a fast filmmaker. I, Ravanan, Pithamagan and Samurai are some of the films where I have toiled really hard.
Love to act in biopics:
I am interested in biographical stories. Seldom are good biopics like Maha Nati are being made. I also had a few offers, but they were not very impressive.
Not keen on direction:
Some of the actors who came to cinema much later than me have tried their hand at indirection. But, I don’t intend to wield megaphone anytime soon, since it is tough and requires a lot of your time. Let’s see in future (smiles).
Want to act with Dhruv:
We have already had offers to come together on board. But, let him complete Varma. I am not averse to the idea. We have a lot of time….
New film in Kamal’s production:
I have not acted alongside Kamal sir. When I was a dubbing artiste, I have given voice for certain scenes in his Kuruthi Punal. Now, I am acting in a film bankrolled by Kamal and directed by Rajesh M Selva. It is yet to be titled. Akshara Haasan is acting in it but not as my pair as misconstrued. And it is not a remake of a Hollywood movie Don’t Breathe.
I play a RAW officer in Gautham Menon’s Dhuruva Natchathiram. Then there’s this film Mahabharath which is made in 37 languages in a Rs 300 crore budget where I sport the central character of Karna.
Having seen your daughter get married, when can we expect you to be a grandpa:
My daughter got married at a young age. My friend and actor Prabhu used to tease me as to when I was going to become a grandpa. If I go tell this to my daughter, she asks, ‘Don’t you have a better job to do? (Laughs).
People’s recognition is more than a national award:
I got national award for Pithamagan. A lot of my friends were upset when I didn’t get one for my unconventional role in the film I. Being a south Indian from Paramakudi, I know I wouldn’t be considered for awards many times. However, when people appreciate my performance in films like Kasi, Anniyan and I, it is more than a national award. “Do you know that I was even awarded an honorary doctorate,” he asks us with a wink.