When young director Mu Maran narrated the script of his first film to actor Arulnithi, the latter was awestruck. “I usually visualise a script as the director narrates, and also manage to largely predict the twists. But, here, I just could not keep up with the breathtaking pace of his script. My guesses were all wrong, and I ended up merely listening. I had some doubts, which we ironed out over a three-hour journey from Kodambakkam to ECR and back. I’m so proud of what he’s achieved with the film. He silently ironed out the wrinkles to ensure the film lived up to the expectation,” says Arulnithi, sounding relaxed even a day before the release of Iravukku Aayiram Kangal, his 10th film.
The film, which narrates the incidents of a single night, has an ensemble cast comprising Ajmal, Mahima Nambiar, Chaya Singh, Suja Varunee, John Vijay and Anandraj, among others. “There was so much happening on the sets, because each actor has a role to play. All I had to do was to ensure that my performance was at least on a par with them. Anandraj Sir has been acting long before I was even born,” he says.
Of his 10 films, Arulnithi has worked with six new directors and they’ve given him a name and commercial success. “Let’s put it this way. We gel well together, and they are able to extract good work from me, because of how experienced directors have shaped me. I did not know anything about acting; Pandiraj taught me everything in Vamsam. They have all made me more receptive to the needs of a director. ”
Iravukku… was ready for release, but the team waited for the strike to be called off. And midway through the shoot, producer Dillibabu signed on Arulnithi for director Karu Palaniappan’s Pugazhendhi Enum Naan.
“I wait, hopefully, for these movies. They fall in different genres and I got a chance to be part of good teams.”