1. What made you decide to enter the acting profession?
From my schooling, I was attracted to the media. I loved watching films and wanted to get into the field of cinema in any stream. Later, in college we used to discuss cinema and were directing short films. I acted in a short film back then. That’s where the journey of acting started.
2. What are your short-term goals for your acting career?
I’m not sure about the goals; rather I wanted to be a good actor. If a director writes a story with different roles and performance based unique characters, then they should have that confidence in me that I can pull it off better than anyone else.
3. What do you hope to achieve in the long-term as an actor?
Every actor has a dream of doing lead roles. Even if I do a lead role, the story should create an impact among the audience. I cannot do commercial scripts but instead would like to focus on different characters and interesting scripts for a long term career. Adding to it, I also want to stand out as a good performer.
4. What is your greatest strength as an actor?
One of the greatest strengths for an actor is self-confidence. I love to be a director’s actor. When a director is designing the character, he knows it well how to shape his actors. My duty as an actor is to work on the character and analyse it with real life. Also, we should have the orientation on how to take it to the audience and justify the character. Another greatest strength is to get engaged with the character with a good performance and then automatically the audience will start loving the character.
5. Kuthiraivaal is a different genre of movie. Can you please share some interesting facts about the movie?Kuthiraivaal is definitely a good film for me. It was a great experience doing that film. I was very curious and interested in working with this script. After listening to the script, it made me very eager about how this is going to be presented to the audience. If you have dreams, and sometimes they are more realistic, it is possible that we wouldn’t notice or think about them. I’m always attracted to dreams. This is one such movie that has been very different to work with from the beginning. The entire script was very interesting. As an actor, this helped me in learning so many things and that’s why I took up this script as a challenge. Moreover everyone on the sets was very sweet and easy to work with. I wanted to work on this script as soon as I heard it and I’m so happy to I did that.
6. Have you taken any formal acting classes?
I’ve not taken any formal classes for acting but I’ve been to workshops and theater plays/stage plays and love watching them. Most of Ranjith sir’s films have rehearsals before shooting, and workshops before shooting. We had seven days of rehearsal for Kuthiraivaal, which was a proper theater workshop. There is not much acting in those workshops. These workshops are basically to understand the theme of the movie and familiarise with the characters.
7. What acting role have you found the most challenging and why?
Every role is challenging. Even if we reach heights, there’s so much to learn. I faced a little bit of struggle acting in Natchathiram Nagargiradhu, that released recently. I had to come out of my zone and look innocent for the character. Usually people say that I look rugged. In this I had to act like a 25-year old, who comes from a village and studied in a boarding school. The body language, English speaking skills and everything should be easy to relatable and believable. I found it a bit difficult and tried to give my best. I also did one movie named Madhayaanai Kuttam, that was my first film and it was based on a boy coming from a rural village. Even there, I had to adapt to the character of a village boy. There was so much learning and exposure as I was out of Chennai for the first time.
8. What is the most important for an actor? Talent or Training?
The most important thing for an actor is choosing the right character. In the initial stages we won’t have that opportunity to choose rather to give our best. Even if it’s for a few scenes in the film, we have to use the screen space. Training is definitely important but both are essential and time has to work out for the opportunity. It’s like setting up everything together at the right time.
9. Your characters are much spoken among the critics and your audience, how do you choose a script?
I can say that I’m lucky to get good characters. Initially Madhayaanai Kuttam, Mugamoodi, Nandha Lalla, Attakathi, Madras had space for me to show who I am and I have to thank the directors as they thought that I would do this character and believed in me. I’m not that big on choosing the scripts. If directors approach me for roles and if I really like it, I would go ahead with the project. Madras is my life changing movie. I should thank Ranjith sir for giving me that prominent role. Luckily it was loved by the audience too. So, right now I’m not at that stage where I pick and choose my characters. If something interesting comes my way, I’m ready to take it up, but if I don’t find something interesting, then I would rather wait.
10. Can you please share some of your memorable moments in your acting career?
Every moment is memorable in my acting career. I’m the person who loves to be on the sets to get into my character. I’ll be always curious to know about the scenes that are going to be shot for the day. Every single process for the film I do as an actor is memorable for me. To be very specific, I can say “Madhayanaai Kuttam” was literally unforgettable as it was a different genre and character for me. I collected lots of memories in my acting career and am still collecting them.
11. What has been the best compliment you have received so far?
The best compliment I received was from Rajinikhanth sir for Kabali. I met him for the photoshoot for Kabali. At that time he mentioned Anbu, a character from Madras movie and appreciated my role. I think that’s the best compliment I’ve ever got. Getting compliments from the person I love the most was so special. Also, I’ll wait to get credits from Ranjith sir as he rarely appreciates. His expectation level is so high, so to satisfy that and to get a good name is difficult with him. It makes me happy to get credits from all the directors that I’ve worked with.
12. In Natchathiram Nagargiradhu, you have a circle for yourself after a certain period and you start accepting people as they are. Have you been in such a situation in real-life?
I think Arjun is the real-time character that I came across. Everyone would’ve been Arjun at some point in life. There’s a dialogue in that movie which says “Political correction does not come in a day, it’s a process”. So, yes I’ve also been Arjun in real life. In my initial love stages, I’ve gave a few restrictions to my wife on the way she should dress up. Days passed by, as we travelled together and got more exposure, met people like Ranjith sir and read a lot of books. That helped changing our perspectives towards many things. I can now connect to the character easily and have totally changed and have become more open and mature.
13. What was your workout regime for Sarpatta Parambarai?
Vetrichelvan character from Sarpatta Parambarai is very close to me. One of my original names is the same as the character. My grandfather won the Chairman position in my native when I was born. So, he named me that. Arya calls us and takes us for boxing practice, gymming and cycling. Thanks to Arya sir for that. We worked out very sincerely for the movie, we learnt boxing and it was a great process. There is a guy named Bharath from Brad life gym. He took care of my diet and workout too. He was the main reason for my transformation and I thank him for that.
14. Please share your experience working with PA. Ranjith?
My journey with Ranjith sir has a journey that is tough to describe in words. I love him the most. He is like my brother and means the world to me. He loves everyone around him so much. He doesn’t only love the people he knows personally, but gives respect and connects with the strangers as well. He treats everyone equally with full love and full heart. My experience with him has been very amazing and is still continuing to be. I hope we continue with this same love in future also. I’ve learnt so much from him on how to handle people and handle any situation keeping in mind everyone’s position. Also, how to talk if there’s a fight between two people. He taught me not to be selfish in life. He also gave me a lot of learning in politics. I want to thank him for all that he has given me.