A NON STARRY STAR
This multi-faceted Southern superstar is a combo of everything one can ask for. Actor, writer and producer there is nothing this persona hasn’t tried his hands on. Dressed in a brown blazer and blue jeans, this young gentleman lightens up the mood with hi
What was VIP1 about and what are your expectations from VIP2 ?
VIP actually means Vellaillla Pattadhaari in Tamil which means an unemployed graduate. It dealt with the day to day problems and negativity we are surrounded with. It shows how your life can be beautiful if you believe in the basic essence of life which is love and when I say love, it’s not just romance. It’s also love for your mother and for the work you do. Also, he has a bike in this film. If you see the trailer, you will notice the affection he has for his two wheeler. It revolves around us, so I am hoping we get the same kind of love for this film also and definitely the same kind of Box Office numbers for starters and maybe more than that.
Is VIP2 a sequel? What is the message in the movie?
Yes, it is a sequel. It is all about how an engineering student finds it difficult to find a job in his desired field. It’s the journey of a man who chooses to wait till he gets the job. He doesn’t want to do any other job other than the
field he chooses for himself and even after he gets the job, this film deals with how difficult it is to fight against the corporate world and what happens when the simple, humble world of Raghuvarn collides with an emperess’s big corporate world. Both of them have their individual principles, ideologies and morals. Their beliefs are different and obviously, they are not going to get along with each other.
What was the thought behind getting Kajol on board? Was it difficult to convince her for this movie?
Once I finished writing the role of Vasundhara, I was wondering if we could work with somebody like Kajol ma’am. So we were constantly discussing and then one fine day, I thought why not cast her? We were aware that in the last 20 years she hasn’t done any film in any other language so it might be impossible to get her on board. But I said, let’s try, give it a shot and not give up without trying. So now you see how important it is to try. We are very glad that she decided to do the film purely based on the merit of the script. That gave us even more confidence! I don’t think anybody could have pulled off the role of Vasundhara the way she did. I am very happy with the way this film has shaped up and her contribution towards it is amazing.
How was your experience sharing screen space with her? Were you intimidated by her personality?
It was fascinating. I grew up watching Kajol ma’am’s films and sharing the screen space with her has been amazing.
Who has not seen Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge?
I have also seen her movies like Gupt and Fanaa. It was great working with such a talented, seasoned and great performer. It kind of elevated my performance. I am not going to say that I am a very confident actor, but I don’t get intimidated because I have the confidence which is necessary. Also, I have faith in myself that I can do justice to the character that I would play and if somebody is better than me, I will learn quickly and then, try to match them.
You are the writer of this film and this film is directed by your sister-in-law Soundarya. How was the overall experience?
She also happens to be my best friend, and when you work with your best friend it’s fun and communication becomes much easier. She has known me for 15-16 years now and also she knows me as an actor. I have seen her developing her abilities as a filmmaker and also, I know her strengths. It was comparatively much easier and we had great fun on sets especially with Kajol ma’am. Though the writer and director kept fighting and I won’t lie about it, but the actor was very obedient!
If somebody is better than me, I will learn quickly and then, try to match them”.
What is your take on Bollywood accepting actors from South? Has it undergone a lot of changes?
The world has shrunk and exposure is more. Talent can be easily spotted unlike earlier. Earlier if you would remake a film from Tamil or Hindi, nobody would know it’s a remake. Everybody then thought its original. Everything is here, all the knowledge is here. It’s much easier to cross boundaries now.
I do not discuss how to do my films with Rajni Sir but we do discuss films in general”.
Who are the directors you would want to work with in the future? I would like to work with Anand L Rai because he is a sweetheart and meeting people like him has become a rarity these days. He is a great human. I would love to work with Rajkumar Hirani sir. He has inspired me so much with his films. Everytime I watch a Rajkumar Hirani film, I feel life is beautiful and everything is positive. He spreads positivity with his films which is commendable.We have to applaud and appreciate that effort.
You have some of the best dialogues in the films and the way it comes across becomes the best part of the movie. So do you think it will have the same impact if it’s dubbed?
There is someone who dubs for me, I don’t know him but apparently, he does that regularly for my films. He has also done a great job from what I have heard. I am sure he knows the sensibilities of the Hindi speaking audience better than me. Probably, he has also made it better in some way.
What equation do you and Rajnikant Sir share? And when can we see you both sharing the screen space?
We talk like any other family, we share a father and son relationship, I do not discuss how to do my films with him but we do discuss films in general. I have not had the honour or opportunity to share the screen space with him but I hope it happens someday.
How does it feel to work for a Hollywood Film?
It’s completely a different experience, it was totally another world from Tamil to Hindi and now it’s completely a different world from Hindi to English. It was tough, a new world always seems very tough initially. You encounter new languages, culture, method and way of working. You feel like you are all alone, but once you cross that phase it’s actually great fun. I have learnt and experienced a lot. In this journey, I have learnt as an actor, director and technician. It was a great opportunity especially with this role because this character keeps travelling to different countries so I saw a lot of culture, food etc. It was a great journey.
After Raanjahanaa everybody thought that you would be doing more Hindi films but that wasn’t the case. What is the reason behind you being so picky?
Well, I have a very unique way of looking so I have to choose my roles very carefully, I know my strengths but I also know my weaknesses. So I am waiting for that right script to do justice to the film and the Box Office as well. I will be doing something very soon.