Actor Sarathkumar opens up to DC on a range of issues like his daughter Varalaxmi, the Nadigar Sangam, actors aiming for Chief Ministership, and the story bank initiative.
Actor and long-time politician Sarathkumar, who was on a sabbatical from Tamil films, is back with a bang. He is teaming up with his wife Radikaa after a gap of 21 years for the Mani Ratnam production VaanamKottatum and also plays a crucial role in the latter’s magnum opus Ponniyin Selvan.
Here he is, in an exclusive conversation with DC:
On his ties with cinema and politics: Today, the world is all about communication. If you plan well, it is enough to spend 15 days on politics. However, politics is not my job. Cinema is my first priority. I am in politics to serve the people. I need money to run my political party. For that, I have to earn through cinema.
On actors entering politics: Without playing ODIs, T-20s or test matches, some people claim they can straightaway become Captain of the Indian cricket team. Without any background or experience, how can you be a captain? The same thing is applicable to actors who want to jump into politics and aim for the Chief Minister’s chair (smiles).
On the state of TN politics: A leader should support those who rule the state efficiently. I am one such leader. There’s no vacuum in Tamil Nadu politics. As far as I am concerned, after PuratchiThalaivi Amma's death, Edappadi Palanisamy is an able administrator who is controlling the state very well.
On the story bank initiative: With the advent of various mediums there is need for more content. Venkatesh, Cheran, Ilavarasan and I are developing a bank of stories invarious genres.
On Radikaa accepting roles like the comedy gangster in Market Raja MBBS: She is an artiste. She would have listened to the story and liked it. But when it transformed into a movie it might have been different. I haven’t watched this film yet. So, I can’t comment.
On future Offerings: VaanamKottatum is a story which is very relevant to today’s society. Others are Na Na with Sasikumar, RendavadhuAattam and PirandhalParasakthi of Radaan Production, where Radikaa, Varalaxmi and I share screen space. When director Om Vijay narrated the story to Varu, it was she who suggested that Appa and Aunty would be apt for the roles.
On Ponniyin Selvan: There’s a non-disclosure agreement. I can't say anything about it.
On censorship of web series: I do agree that censorship should be uniform for all mediums. The impact of watching something at home is much higher than watching it in theatres, as even children are exposed to content. However, in the present context, we cannot make a clear distinction between what is moral and immoral.
On the Nadigar Sangam: It is unfortunate that a Special Officer has been appointed to manage the Nadigar Sangam’s affairs. I feel it is solely because there’s no unity among members.
On Varalaxmi: As an actor-dad, I have not done anything for the growth of her career. When she faced problems with Poda Podi I should have intervened and helped her. But, I didn’t. I sincerely apologize to Varu for that. Had I guided her on which films to take up, she would have become a big star by now. However, with her own grit and willpower, she has shone in various roles and established herself. I am in awe of her.