Soorarai Pottru is a fictionalized account of Captain GR Gopinath’s fascinating entrepreneurial journey. And Suriya was captivated by how Sudha Kongara had shaped Nedumaaran Rajangam for him. So much so that he went the extra mile in terms of physical transformation and acting to do justice to the character that he loved so much.
Suriya had to reduce weight and gain back weight in a short period to play different ages of his character. “I really like fitness. And gaining or losing weight is not difficult when you follow a regular fitness routine. When you are 80 per cent disciplined and give one of your days (to workout), you can gain and drop weight by simply changing your diet. And when you have a ringmaster like Sudha, you have no other choice,” said Suriya.
Well, Suriya definitely makes achieving physical transformation no big deal. But, Sudha Kongara disagrees. “If he wanted, he could have done CGI, but he still did it anyway,” noted the director.
Suriya had to look like a 20-year-old for a shot. “Actually, I was shocked when he went out and did what he did. His screen time in that particular look was just five minutes. But, he wanted to be perfect for those five minutes. And no ringmaster can make you do that unless you feel like doing it yourself,” recalled Sudha, adding that his “drastic” effort helped the entire production crew to connect with his character instantly.
Suriya said that one of the challenges of making Soorarai Pottru was how to make a story about an airline relevant for people, who are facing issues daily due to scarcity of food, drinking water and sanitization. “I think that’s what we have cracked (with this movie),” Suriya told indianexpress.com.
“It (the story) connects to everybody. Even today, common people in villages and cities look up in the sky when they hear the sound of an aircraft and watch it until it passes. Even now, only 3.5 per cent of the population uses the aviation industry. For a lot of people, it is still a dream,” he added.
Suriya noted that movies like Soorarai Pottru offer more than just regular entertainment. “Imagine, what would have been the situation when Gopinath sir started (the low-cost airline). I think there were less than 400 flights in 2000. And now the aviation industry is completely changed. I think it is an important story to tell,” said the Singam star.
Interestingly, Suriya to date prefers to travel in an economy class even as he could afford a chartered flight. “Yes (I travel on an economy class) with my family. We all sit together and travel. I (didn’t) have the luxury of travelling in business class until much, much later in my life. Even after I started in movies, it took me about 12 years to travel in business class,” he noted.
Soorarai Pottru is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.