Excerpts from the interaction:
How is the lockdown treating you?
It is getting a little irritating and boring. There is a sort of creative restlessness kicking in as there is nothing productive to do.
Are you reading any scripts?
I was reading a lot of scripts before the lockdown. I just signed my first out-and-out Bollywood film. It is an action film and a mass entertainer. We had shot for an announcement video, but then the lockdown happened. So, for now, it has been put on hold. The whole team is waiting for the lockdown to get over.
I have been getting scripts, but I have not zeroed in on anything. I need clarity on the two projects I have already signed. Once that happens, I can line up other films. So, right now, everything is stuck.
How would you describe your Master experience?
Amazing. It was like a big college picnic. It was so much fun. We made something cool and different from anything that has been made in Tamil cinema before. It was a blast working on the film. I wish I could say more but yes, it is going to be a treat for Vijay and Vijay Sethupathi fans for sure. It is going to be madness.
You have worked with Rajinikanth and now with Vijay. Does it feel like you have finally arrived?
My first Tamil film was Petta with Rajinikanth sir. It was a dream come true. One of the reasons why I did the film was because it was on my bucket list to star in a film with Rajini sir, just like any other actor.
In my second Tamil film, I worked with Vijay sir. I didn’t think I would end up working with two such big stars. It is quite overwhelming. I thoroughly enjoyed working on both the projects. I love the films I have been a part of. So, yeah, maybe I have arrived (smiles).
How was the experience?
It was amazing working with Rajini sir. He is a lot into spirituality, meditation and yoga. We used to talk about that. With Vijay sir, he has become a friend now. With him, I share a fun, buddy space.
What was it like working with Vijay Sethupathi?
This is, technically, my second film with him. I did not have any scenes with him in Petta. He is a fantastic actor. He is such a nice human being and so much fun to hang out with.
Have you dubbed your portions in Master?
No, I have not. Even now when I speak in Tamil, it feels like a Malayali is speaking the language. So, I have to work on my accent and on sounding more local. I do intend to dub for my movies going forward because I feel the voice performance is such an integral part of your job. So, I will just say I am learning Tamil as fast as I can.
Have any discussions on Master’s release taken place? With films taking the OTT route, do you think it should release on a digital platform?
I don’t know. I don’t think I am in a place to say anything because it is the producer’s call. Right now, we all are waiting for the pandemic to ease out a bit before deciding on the movie’s release.
Have you experienced a Vijay fan show yet or is Master going to be your first?
I have never been to a fan show. Master is going to be my first. We all are planning to watch the film with fans on the first day of release. I am sure it is going to be madness. I am waiting to experience it.
Are the scripts down south more evolved in comparison to what you get in the Hindi film industry?
Every industry makes good films, but Malayalam industry does not stick to a formula when it comes to content. It is advanced when it comes to the script. If the content is good, masses will consume the film. The audience is also evolved when it comes to films. In the last couple of years, the Malayalam industry has churned out good films which have also been entertainers.
Will you explore the OTT platform?
Actors across industries are exploring the web space. OTT is our future. The pandemic has accelerated the need for content as more people are consuming it. So, I definitely would like to be part of a web series or web film.
Any actors you want to work with?
I am a greedy artiste. I want to work with artistes from different industries. I want to work with Ranbir Kapoor. He’s been one of my favourites since his debut in Saawariya. I want to work with Shah Rukh Khan. He is another person I have grown up watching and admiring. I have met him on a few occasions. My father is a cinematographer. He has shot a few films with him like Don, Jab Harry Met Sejal, Raees. I have interacted with him. He is one of the wittiest people I have met. So, I hope I get to work with him in the future.
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