It has been 20 years since Suriya stepped into showbiz. 34 films later, the actor is one of the biggest stars in the industry. But Thaanaa Serndha Koottam reminded him of his early days in the industry remarked Suriya while talking about the film that hits the big screen this week.
“With every profession, we learn as we go. As we learn, we tend to mature. After twenty years, I agreed to this film because of the way Vignesh Shivn writes — it took me back to my younger days. Something about Vignesh Shivn is very fresh. That freshness will be seen on screen in this film,” said Suriya.
Suriya’s sense of humour has been memorable, take Pithamagan for example. But off late, the actor, by his own admission, has played characters that are heroic. Observing the serious tone his films have now taken, Suriya said on a lighter note, “I started saving my state in my films — that is playing slightly larger than life characters. This is me coming back to realism.” However, that doesn’t mean a dearth of entertainment. “Vignesh Shivn is known for satire. It has been a while since I did a film that has a high quotient of humour. People who have watched the film have told me that this is how they like to see me.”
Thaanaa Serndha Koottam is based on a true incident that happened in 1987 — the opera house heist. “While Special 26 was based on the same incident, there is a lot more background and emotional conundrums woven in. This is another take of that incident,” said Suriya.
TSK boasts of a strong ensemble cast comprising Ramya Krishnan, Senthil and Karthik among others. Talking about his experience of working with them, Suriya said each one of them has a meaty role in the film. “Nobody can replace Karthi sir. Directors even today mention him when they narrate a love scene. Watching him perform is like watching a film — his command over the craft is flawless. You don’t even know when he prepares. I have a long list of people to talk about, ” added Suriya.
Thaanaa Serndha Koottam is releasing in Telugu as Gang and the Singam star has dubbed for it himself. “I loved dubbing for myself in Telugu. It took me only 6 days as I completely enjoyed voicing for my parts. I now know how Karthi learnt Telugu quickly — it is mainly due to dubbing. Since it is my first film there might be traces of Tamil, but I will keep improving to perfect it,” he said.
The actor heaped praises on his director Vignes Shivn, terming that the experience helped him reconnect to his roots. “Vignesh told me, ‘Sir I know you are a senior actor with a huge fan base and a market. Our character is completely different from Singam. When was the last time you had tea at a local shop? We went to a tea shop in Valluvar Kottam and just observed life as it is. I haven’t spent a lot of time in public areas — mostly I meet people in hotels or at airports. It has been twenty years. This was a different experience, it took me back to my roots.”
He further added, “I still remember my first salary. It was Rs 726. I used to take the 12 B bus to school and college. Life was very simple, thanks to Mom and Dad. TSK was about going back to the roots and respecting it.”
Thaanaa Serndha Koottam is being touted as a perfect festival release — a commercial entertainer. Suriya, however, reasoned that it is necessary to have a balance between commercial potboilers and experimental ventures. “The films are getting larger these days. We can’t stop the business or the market. Thus, the content has to grow larger as well. I feel the options become lesser when the number becomes larger. I have my doors opens.”
He further added, “To do an experiment 7 am Arivu, we needed a film like Singam. There is a need to do commercial films that will give me a market which I can leverage to experiment. I have to give a new experience and sustain my market as well.”