At 31, GV Prakash Kumar is living the dream as he wears many hats including that of a singer, actor and music director with seemingly equal ease. As his latest film, Sarvam Thaala Mayam has opened to positive feedback, GV Prakash Kumar gets talking about his upcoming releases lined up for this year—100% Kaadhal, Kuppathu Raja, Adangathey, Jail, Ayngaran and Watchman, besides composing music for Dhanush’s Asuran.
Prakash says he is keen to maintain a balance in his acting career, essaying roles in mainstream entertainers. “I do films that excite me. The bottom line is that I want to entertain the audience. Mostly, it has been a trial and error method. Though I have done a variety of films, I stay in tune with my directors’ sensibilities and try to understand things from their perspective,” he adds.
GV Prakash Kumar believes he has an image of a boy-next-door that has played out drastically to his advantage. “My constant endeavour is to offer something new to the audience. Right from my first film, Darling, I have tried hard to make sure I am not typecast. I am happy that directors think of me when they explore simple characters. Take Peter, for instance, he can strike a chord with your average Tamil audience. But hey, though I am short-tempered, I am not like him. Naan thanni adichutu avana maari kaththa maaten. To be honest, I am yet to play a character, which is close to my real-life persona,” he grins.
Prakash credits Bala and Rajiv Menon for chiselling him into an actor. “In the initial stages, I was comfortable doing a Trisha Illana Nayanthara or a Bruce Lee. But I can’t keep repeating them. First, it was Bala sir who instilled a sense of belief in me that I can do performance-oriented roles. Then, it was Rajiv sir. There is so much to learn from both of them. Now, I have become more confident about my acting skills,” he smiles.
Like any actor, Prakash says he wants to associate himself with good cinema. And playing Peter was something special, admits Prakash. “It is not only because I could relate to the character, but when you work with someone who is extremely passionate like Rajiv Menon, your work becomes easier. It is commendable to see him so driven,” he adds.
Prakash describes Sarvam Thaala Mayam as a once in a lifetime experience. “The film required us to travel extensively, and I got to jam with many folk artistes. They invited us to their home and shared their food. I rode the bike in the snow. It was like a soul-searching exercise,” he recalls.
Though Prakash is adept at playing the piano, learning mridangam from Umayalpuram Sivaraman was a huge challenge. “There is something special about the way he plays the instrument adhering to its nuances. He is a genius who redefined the art of mridangam playing. Rajiv sir wanted someone young who can play the percussion and attend practice sessions. We never felt we were filming,” he shares.
Talking about collaborating with Vasanthabalan on Jail, Prakash says, “Thirteen years ago, I debuted as a composer with his film, Veyil. Even now if you listen to the album, it sounds fresh. I am sure Jail will offer the same treatment as for songs and the background score.”
Prakash is equally excited about teaming up with Dhanush for Asuran almost after nine years. “We had so much fun while shooting Aadukalam and Mayakkam Enna. Of course, we had some differences of opinion, which we sorted it out eventually. Dhanush, in fact, crooned a number in Jail. Asuran has a great script. I still remember how we churned out “Yaathe Yaathe” in Aadukalam. It was such a pleasant experience! Additionally, I am composing music for Suriya’s untitled film directed by Sudha Kongara of Irudhi Suttru-fame. But it’s too early to talk about the project,” he shares.
100% Kaadhal and Watchman, Prakash adds, are experimental films. “I have never done a full-fledged romance film, and this will be on the lines of Khushi. As for Watchman, it’s a complete thriller. There are fewer dialogues, and I had to shoot with this dog. I love animals. I had a blast shooting for this one,” he says.
How does he see himself in ten years from now? “I see myself as a learner, and I will continue to be a humble student of cinema,” he concludes.