Tamil Interviews

Suriya Interview: ‘You Will See The Lighter Side Of Me In Thaanaa Serndha Koottam’

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After a spate of films where Suriya was all style, swagger and righteousness comes Thaanaa Serndha Koottam, where you see snatches of the actor you loved in films like Pithamagan, Ayan and the flashback portion of Ghajini. Very few directors have tapped into the actor’s ability to laugh easily, and Vignesh ShivN seems to have sailed down that course in this film.

In this film, Suriya dubs for himself in Telugu, where it releases as Gang. The film will release in Kerala too, and the actor has been doing the rounds to promote the film based on the Hindi blockbuster Special 26.

Excerpts from an interview with the actor:

As a performer, you look very happy in the film. After a spate of serious films, was this a departure from the norm?

This was definitely a change. Vignesh ShivN’s age group, his sensibilities, opinions and beliefs are different from the people I’ve worked with earlier.

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He’s written a script where you get even with someone using your brain, not brawn. There’s no anger or aggression even when there is provocation. In many scenes, he shows how you can be relaxed and cool and still achieve lots. He’s made me be another person; someone who achieves with a smile. That way, I had to move away from my comfort zone. After a lot of serious movies, it was very easy to fit into that mould. Now, when something else is being demanded of me, there’s learning involved. I experienced that with TSK.

A still from the film.

You’ve always mixed and matched directors, working with young as well as experienced people. Does this switch help you tap into your various facets as an actor?

The very first day of TSK’s shoot, I knew I was part of a film where I was expected to do something I had not done in a while. If the humour flowed seamlessly in Pithamagan, Ayan boasted some genuine laughs too. You can see the lighter side of me in this. I like the way younger directors work. There is no dialogue paper, no need to memorise lines. They write as they speak, I repeat it in my style, and the shot is wrapped up. Everything is on the go. As the dialogues changed, Vignesh kept changing the camera. In one sense, it was like guerrilla warfare; it was spontaneous and full of surprises.

TSK ran into trouble some days before release, with a case being filed. What’s your take on this trend of putting filmmakers through the wringer?

These things affect the producer first. As actors, we get the news from the same sources as the audience. Most often, this only adds to the publicity of a film.

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But, if things can be corrected, they should. It is unfair to sit quiet all along and then exert pressure on the team during the run-up to release. Right now, all issues regarding TSK have been sorted out, and it will release in Tamil and Telugu across States, and overseas.

You’ve made a series of announcements in the past few days. There’s mention of KV Anand, Sudha Kongara, Gautam Vasudev Menon, and there’s a Selvaraghavan film too. You seem to be dabbling in films that flit across genres…

There’s a lot of writing happening simultaneously. But, there’s no scope for things getting jumbled. Even if I don’t shoot immediately, I’m sure that once the writing is done, I will be able to accommodate them in the right manner. First up is Selvaraghavan’s film, followed by KV Sir’s. I’ve confirmed a project with Sudha but we are yet to fix a shooting plan. There are other interesting projects in the pipeline. It’s a good phase to be in.

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