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When Vijay Sethupathi ‘begged’ to play a trans woman in Super Deluxe: ‘You don’t need to pay me any money’

On 44th birthday of Vijay Sethupathi, we are revisiting his journey and one of his finest performance in Super Deluxe.

Vijay Sethupathi birthdayVijay Sethupathi played trans woman in 2019 release Super Deluxe. (Photo: Vijay Sethupathi/Instagram)

Actor Vijay Sethupathi celebrates his birthday today. And on the occasion, we cannot not talk about Super Deluxe, the 2019 anthology in which he performed the role of a trans woman and woke up the country to his talent. For anyone who has seen the film, his character of Manickam aka Shilpa is a big take away. But did you know that when he heard the narration of the script, he was so adamant to play the role that he even agreed to do the part without being paid a single penny? In an old interview with Film Companion, Vijay Sethupathi opened up on playing Shilpa and how he was touched by the script.

“When he narrated the script, I liked it so much. The way it was written was so awesome,” the actor recalled. He picked a scene that made him want to sign the film as soon as possible. “In one scene, my kid asks me why I was not born as a female. That scene was written so well that I decided that I don’t want to miss this film. I begged him (the director), told him that you don’t need to pay me any money. On first day, I think it took 50-60 takes. Then finally, I realised the female inside me. I got the confidence,” Sethupathi explained.

He went on to talk about how for him it is never about the number of takes or competing with his co-stars. The actor explained that he just wants to justify his character and relishes in performing the part.

In his career so far, Vijay has managed to choose scripts that has etched his performances in people’s mind. His journey started from being a background artist to becoming an important character of the story. And now, his mere presence guarantees a hit. But who are his influences? In a Netflix interview, Vijay said that the first time he felt impressed by what he watched on screen was in Dubai. “When I was in Dubai, one day I was finishing work and leaving. They used to call it ‘Alfahadi street.’ There was an electronic store on the street, where a cartoon was playing. I think it was Laurel and Hardy. These used to be one plump guy and one slim guy. One of them kept saying ‘I’m a bird’ and became a bird. That impressed me a lot,” he said. For next several years, he put himself to sleep saying “I am an actor.” But his journey was tough. In the same interview, the talented actor said that he started off doing parts for only for Rs 100.

As far as his inspirations are concerned, Vijay admires legendary actors such as Sivaji Ganesan, MGR and Kamal Haasan for their choices and their performances.

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Currently, Vijay’s next big film is Kaathu Vaakula Rendu Kaadhal, which sees him sharing the screen space with Samantha Ruth Prabhu and Nayanthara. He will also be seen in Kamal Haasan’s Vikram. The actor is all set to make his Bollywood debut with Santosh Sivan’s Mumbaikar. Earlier this year, Vijay also signed full-fledged feature film with Sriram Raghavan, titled Merry Christmas, which stars Katrina Kaif in the lead role.

First published on: 16-01-2022 at 03:18:47 pm
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