Amitash Pradhan may well be known as the ‘villain who broke stereotypes’. His character – Arun Subramanian in Velaiyilla Pattathari – is quite unorthodox. He doesn’t get his hands dirty for one, has a host of henchmen to do his bidding, and hates ‘local guys’ for good measure.
Amitash Pradhan had always wanted to become an actor. Since the age of three, to be precise. As a child, he remembers watching movies with his mother. “I used to tell her that I would become another SRK someday,” he grins. And not surprisingly, he tells us that he grew up on a healthy dose of Shah Rukh Khan and Rajinikanth movies. But it was only a few years ago that he became a “major Dhanush fan”. When the blockbuster, Thiruvilayaadal Aarambam, hit screens in 2006. So, when Amitash got the opportunity to star alongside the national award winning actor, he jumped at the chance. “I was super excited,” he says, “to be working on my first movie with Dhanush. It was a great honour.” [quote align=’right’]”I wanted Arun to be a perfect mix of Daniel Craig’s James Bond and Javier Bardem’s Silva. Hopefully I have done it right.”[/quote].
The meeting with Dhanush happened at a friend’s wedding. “It was one of the best moments of my life. I met him there and he asked me to act in his movie,” Amitash smiles, “I was on cloud nine for days after that.”
But the break didn’t come easily. Armed with a degree in Electronic Media from Anna University, the actor remembers sending “more than 200 e-mails to producers and directors” asking for a chance to be on screen. He then waited for a year, “but nothing materialized. I never gave up hope though,” he declares.
Amitash was considered “an unusual choice” for the role of a villain. But the actor says that’s exactly what the director intended. He didn’t want someone who was the “typical Tamil movie villain material”. “He wanted to put a spin on all the stereotypes about baddies. Arun is a super-rich spoilt brat. He would never get rough with his enemies because he would always have some henchmen to take care of all that,” explains Amitash, “I wanted him to be a perfect mix of Daniel Craig’s James Bond and Javier Bardem’s Silva. Hopefully I have done it right.” [quote align=’right’]”I knew a few of my lines would cause offence. Especially the part where I say I hate local guys. I thought I’d get beaten up for sure.”[/quote]
Arun Subramanian must have been spot on, for he managed to rouse the audience with his dialogues. They were nothing short of outraged, and he was rewarded. Amitash was watching the movie at Vettri to gauge the response – he had quite a few controversial lines on screen and was understandably nervous. “I knew some of the lines I had would cause offence. Especially the part where I say I hate local guys.” The theatre had erupted in protest. “I thought I would get beaten up for sure,” he laughs.
But thankfully, things didn’t get that extreme. For when the film ended, Amitash was mobbed by fans who wanted to congratulate him. He spent what felt like hours “shaking hands and getting patted on the back”. It felt wonderful, he says, “I was lucky to have been at the wedding.”
[quote align=’left’]”I can sing really well, so if someone’s thinking of making an Aashiqui 2 remake, they know whom to call.”[/quote] It’s just been a few days since VIP’s release and the team is overwhelmed by the response. “Everyone has said good things about the film. The response so far has been unanimously positive.”
Of course, Amitash has been approached by a “few people” for roles already, and is hopeful of getting a “good offer” soon. “I can sing really well, so if someone’s thinking of making an Aashiqui 2 remake, they know whom to call!” he laughs, and quickly adds, “only if Shraddha Kapoor is in it as well.”
The Amitash Pradhan interview is a Silverscreen exclusive.