Udhay Karthik, a fervent actor in the Tamil film industry, has embarked on an exhilarating cinematic journey that consistently mesmerises audiences. From his memorable cameo in ‘Pachaikili Muthucharam’ to his compelling roles across diverse films, Karthik has persistently showcased his boundless versatility and unwavering dedication to the art of acting. His latest success, ‘Dinosaurs,’ not only sent shockwaves through the industry. Here’s Udhay in conversation with Team Provoke.
How has life changed for you after the success of ‘Dinosaurs’?
Following the remarkable success of “Dinosaurs,” I feel elated and grateful. The extraordinary reviews and warm reception from the audience have been incredibly rewarding. I’m sincerely thankful to my producer and director for this incredible journey.
Your family has a cinema-based background. Did you always want to be in the cinema field, or did you have other ambitions?
Actually, my family initially wanted me to pursue a more conventional path. They insisted I become an engineer, but my passion lay in tennis. I even represented Tamil Nadu in under-16 tennis. I wanted to join Loyola and pursue tennis professionally. However, my parents insisted on engineering, and I later went to the UK for my MBA. Acting wasn’t part of the plan initially, but I had a desire to explore the world of cinema. During my MBA break in India, I met Gautham Menon, and that connection led to my foray into acting.
Your story seems reminiscent of a Gautham Menon movie. Did he draw inspiration from your experiences for ‘Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa’?
It’s quite an interesting story. Initially, Surya Sir wanted to play the protagonist role in the movie “Chennaiyil Oru Mazhai Kaalam,” and I was among the four actors chosen, with Trisha in a lead role. We started filming that project, but after 20 days of shooting, the movie couldn’t be finished, and it eventually evolved into “Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa.”
Did you ever imagine you could have been part of that iconic film?
Certainly, I believed we would complete the film. About 20 days of shooting had been done, but filmmaking involves countless moving parts, and if everything doesn’t align perfectly, opportunities can slip away.
Being from a cinema family, did you face any criticism related to nepotism when you entered the industry?
I’ve been fortunate to come from a family with a cinema background, but it wasn’t a shortcut to success. In fact, it brought its own set of challenges. People assumed opportunities would come easily, but it was quite the opposite. If I were an ordinary person, I might have interacted with more people and had an easier entry into the film industry. For me, it was a challenging journey to prove myself.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of coming from a family entrenched in the cinema industry?
Growing up in a cinema-oriented family was a plus in many ways. My aunt was an international artist, and my sister had acted in numerous films. We were pampered as kids, and my aunt, Sridevi, used to take us to her film shootings. But when it came to our careers, my family wanted us to pursue proper professions. While they didn’t oppose cinema, they were concerned about the hardships it might entail.
We heard that you used to be afraid of crackers. Is that true? With Diwali around the corner, would you like to recall your Diwali celebrations?
I’m not actually afraid of crackers. I was quite a cracker enthusiast in my childhood, and I used to experiment with various types of crackers. Thankfully, nothing ever went wrong. Our Diwali celebrations were quite unique; we would celebrate for three days. This tradition came from my grandfather’s side as he was from Sivakasi, and we would get crackers delivered in a lorry straight from the factory. Back when I was in the sixth grade, I had 11 dogs – 7 Dalmatians and 4 Lhasa Apsos. I stopped using crackers because they used to get scared by the loud noises. So, I refrained from using them for about 10 to 15 years.
You were supposed to work on Director H Vinoth’s ‘Sathuranga Vettai.’ What happened there?
H Vinoth Sir narrated the story of “Sathuranga Vettai” to me, and I loved it. Unfortunately, during that time, I couldn’t connect him with a producer. There was a delay, but eventually, the film was produced with a different crew.
Can you share some experiences with Sridevi Ma’am?
Sridevi was a perfectionist in everything she did, whether it was taking care of her family or her work. My sister and I spent a lot of time with her. Her daughters, Jhanvi and Khushi, are humble, funny, and down-to-earth, despite their Bollywood status.
What’s your favourite type of food?
I’m a seafood enthusiast due to my sports background. I engage in sports regularly, be it tennis, football, or cricket, and that necessitates a healthy diet. I avoid sugar, oil, maida (refined flour), and rice.