1. How do you prepare yourself before every movie – both mentally and physically?
Generally when we hear about the character, we will know what kind of build it needs, how the overall outer appearance should be. There will also be a sketch from the director’s side. Physically, I don’t think much preparation is required. In Sigai, it was kind of a woman role. There was a part where I had to put on weight. Threading my facial hair or beard or grooming myself for the role was necessary.
Mentally, we get the picture of the character, when we hear the script and understand it in a certain way. The director would have written certain things in a certain way. That’s why there are script reading classes and workshops which take place to have more clarity about the characters and storyline.
For every film, the first two days are important for me to understand and find the balance between what I am thinking about the character and if it is in sync with the director. It is a process; we tend to talk more about the character or the film to get his personal picture about the character and vision in the movie.
2. We can notice that every role you choose is very peculiar and out of the comfort zone. How do you manage to choose such scripts?
You see, at certain times, people tell me that this script works out for me and it is nice. I mean, If I hear something like that, I would call them up and ask “Is something interesting going on”? If you are ok, and if you think that I will fit in your imagination of the character, I would like to hear the script.” That’s how Pariyerum Perumal happened. And if I like a certain character or film or a script, I just keep a track on what is happening. Because I like to do this kind of role. I’m not looking for everything to be deep, but something interesting. Because, Suzhal is nothing like a deep story. Like Sakkarai, it is also written so well. As a character, it was wonderful to play such roles.
3. As an actor, what are the challenges you have faced in movies?
There are challenges until the release of the film. We like the character or the film, but certain producers or other people might not have that kind of a connection with the movie. Our judgement might have been wrong. Even after it goes for production, the person should understand. For example, when I was doing Thalaikoothal, I was so happy when Sashi sir accepted to produce the film, because he understands how or what is good for the film. So, that is good in a way for releases.
4. Do you have a special interest in cooking? Are you a good cook?
I would call myself a very bad cook. Yet, I love food. I like to try different cuisines, that’s what foodies do. As far as Cookd TV, I am an Investor as I felt it was a very good idea. The main motive is to make cooking easy, so that everyone can cook. Even their app has step-by-step instructions on how to cook a particular dish. Even a person like me could follow those and cook well. All we require is patience.
5. Pariyerum Perumal was a turning point in your life. How was your perspective of life before & after the movie?
My perspective has always been the same. That role didn’t have anything to change my perspective. Because, I have never gone through such a thing. If I have a good relationship with that person, I get along with them for who they are. If we are on the same page and sync well, then we are good.
But Pariyerum Perumal did make me realise that it is still happening in a few places. Just because I never went through, it made me feel that it is not happening anywhere. But when it does happen to someone in real life, it is hard. Apart from what I saw and believed, we think that this will come to an end or change. But it takes time to completely stop.
6. In your career, who is the biggest inspiration?
In my life, I would say that my biggest inspiration is my dad. In my career, I’m not sure if this is considered an inspiration, but I love the way how Fahadh Faasil and Vijay Sethupathi act. They can do any role and are capable of pulling any kind of character and they don’t have an image typecast that they have to pull off in a certain way.
7. A role you wish to perform in your acting career and a genre you never want to try again in your life?
There is nothing like I never want to try again. Usually, I’m afraid of ghosts, horror movies or those kind. But I want to try even those and have always wanted to do a good horror story. (Chuckles). I don’t know when it will happen. But if you ask me, I definitely want to do something like a non-innocent role, like that of an antagonist, instead of a protagonist. It should be a ruthless character, larger than life, something like a gangster.
8. Have you taken a role that you regret accepting, and why you think so?
No, I’m not sure. I have always wanted to do business. As I have come to movies, I was not able to pursue that. I have always thought of living abroad for a year or so to gain various experiences. I always thrive for new experiences in life. I have always been looking forward to that, but it did not turn out that way. That is the only thing that I regret.
As for movies, it is not like I regret doing it or anything of that sort. Every movie and the roles associated with them were a lesson for me. I may not take up a few roles which I have done in the past, if you ask me now. It is just like that. In the past, for certain things, which I thought I could try or certain roles have not turned out as I thought they would. Even now we tend to make bad decisions in a different way. It is fine as long as I don’t repeat the same mistakes and keep learning from them.
9. Since your childhood, have you dreamed of becoming an actor?
I have never thought about these. It is not like I have watched many movies in my life. I just happen to have seen two or three FDFS before my acting career began. I mean, it is a very exciting and interesting work to do, because, everyday, everything is new. We meet new people, new situations, new characters and I happen to love all this work. This is the only thing because of which I have stayed back in this field.
I started my career because of my father. It was for him and just because he asked me to try it. That is how it all began. I mean, if I am doing something, I will try it to the end and if it fails, I am fine with that. That is how things started and that is how it is going right now.
10. Which movie has been your favourite amongst all the movies you have acted in?
Story wise, I would say Pariyerum Perumal was my favourite for sure. I loved the complete process of Suzhal. I’m not sure, Thalaikoothal may become one soon. I am waiting to see the different side or how the unique storyline turns out.
Acting wise, I think it is doubtlessly Suzhal. Because, we have tried something new in that movie. It has a graphical mannerism in it.
11. Tell us something about your childhood memories – anything special or something that groomed you to be the person you are now?
I have stayed in a hostel for a very long time. I joined school very late during my first standard and everyone else was there from LKG, so I was bullied for a few years. Now when I think about it, I feel it was not a very big deal, but during that time, It was like a trauma where everyone around is always opposing you and there is no one to stand with you. That kind of stuff troubled me for a very long time. That is one main thing that led me to become who I am now. Even in the hardships, even if there is no one, now I have the courage and mindset that I can handle things. I prepared myself and set my mind like “Whatever happens, life goes on.”