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

Stardust (English) - - COURT MORTIAL -

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.

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