Dhanush is on a roll these days. After the stupendous success of Thiruvilayadal Aarambam and Polladhavan, he has repeated his trail of success for the third time with Padikkadavan. This boy-next-door is on a freewheeling chat with Behindwoods wherein he talks about Padikkadavan, his relationship with Suraj and a host of interesting topics.

Meet Dhanush, our guest for this week.

"My entry into film was accidental"

BW: About your character in Padikkadavan

Dhanush: It is all about an uneducated boy in an erudite family-the problems that he faces and how he handles those- form the film’s content. This has been narrated in a hilarious manner combined with the right dose of action. The basic content of the film is comedy.

About the title Padikkadavan

Padikaada Medai was the first title suggested. But the producers of Padikaada Medai were considering remaking the same film. The next choice hovered around the name of the hero ‘Rock’ though his father had christened him as Radhakrishnan. But after failing in the 10th standard, he starts calling himself ‘Rock’ which was also on the race for the title. But the producer and director felt that as the story was about an uneducated boy, Padikkadavan will have a better recall value. However I hesitated initially but they convinced me and that is how the title Padikkadavan was born. Of course it cannot be denied that the title added to strength of the film.

Did you worry about your image in Padikkadavan?

No, nothing like it! The character was that of a ‘boy next door’. An ordinary face that we come across in our daily lives. The first half will be like my pervious films Thiruvilayadal Aarambam or Devadayai Kanden where the comedy is laced with sarcasm combined with a good number of dance numbers and musical tracks. Second half will have the stamp of Suraj’s films like Marudumalai or Thalainagaram.


How was it romancing Tamanna?

It was just like romancing any other heroine. However as regards Tamanna, she is an interesting character. She does not take prompting. So, naturally my comfort level with her is on the high. Secondly while dancing, even if she finds the steps difficult, she does not give up; she practices relentlessly and gives the best. She has good projects in hand and I am sure 2009 will turn out wonderfully for her.

Working with Vivek

It is the first time that I have teamed up with a leading comedian like Vivek. He too worked very hard for this film and has come out with a different body language and voice modulation. I am sure his comedy track will be played again and again in all the television channels.

"Tamanna is

an interesting

character"


About punch dialogues in Padikkadavan?

Personally I don’t think there is anything called punch dialogue. When some lines in the film are constantly repeated they become punch dialogues. But in Padikkadavan, there are not many such one liners. The one thing that comes to my mind instantly is ‘Ennai madiri pasangala paatha pidikaadu, paakka paakka dan pidikkum’. I think it has already become popular.

Did you work out physically for Padikkadavan?

No, I did not do anything like that. I worked out vigorously for Polladhavan as I had to do shirtless shots in the film. But I did not want to repeat immediately in my next film because then it would be a matter of ridicule and I will be scoffed at.

Which is your favorite scene in Padikkadavan?

I like all the comedy scenes in the film. I enjoyed doing them; we had a roaring time at the sets doing these scenes. Two scenes that I like in Padikkadavan are the scene where I go to college and the second where I go to see a bride for me. These two scenes are a total laugh riot.

About stunt scenes in Padikkadavan

Stunt scenes in Padikkadavan are hilarious and entertaining. Unexpected turns and twists in the film make it all the more enjoyable.

The scene that you worked very hard in Padikkadavan

I found the song sequence ‘rose, rose and rose’ a bit difficult in which I had to come in different costumes. Yes, this sequence was difficult.

About Sun Pictures buying the rights of the film

It is highly advantageous for the film and the team. It doubled our confidence in the film and we were sure that they would take Padikaadavan to every nook and corner.

"Suraj is

a master of

one liners"


Working with Suraj

Suraj keeps me happy like nobody else and I have never laughed with anyone else the way I did with Suraj. He is a master of one liners. He makes me laugh every 30 seconds. It is a delight working with him. As soon as possible, I want to work with him again. As regards me and Suraj, we have given two hits earlier- Thiruvilayadal Aarambam and Polladhavan for me and Thalainagaram and Marudamalai for him. We hoped that Padikkadavan would also be a hit and it has turned out to be a great success. We worked very hard and our hard work has paid dividends.


You have always been doing either comedy or action films. Are you avoiding other types of roles?

No, I don’t want to avoid any roles. Firstly, such script should come my way. Secondly I want to tread in the path that has given me success. So I choose such films. Of course, in future if any project that excites me comes along, I am not against doing. The project should be something that is not tried, something that should give me scope for performance, and it should also be heavy. Kaadal Konden was one such film and for such a film to happen again in my career, I think I should wait.

Do you think action scenes suit you?

I don’t want to talk about whether action scenes suit me or not. But I think what matters is whether those scenes suit the script or not. Sullan, where I had many action sequences, may not have done well. But Polladhavan where I had heavy fight sequences did very well. So the question of action scenes suiting me is totally irrelevant. It should suit the film. That is most important.

On what basis you select your films?

Strong screen play, characterization and how much I can relate to the role. These factors are important. I am not concerned about story but screen play is important.

Pudupettai was a milestone in your career. Did you feel bad about its failure?

I enjoyed working in the film. I do feel bad about its moderate response. I was upset till critics watched the film. But once I started getting their reviews, I felt very proud.


Does the success or failure of a film affect you?

Yes, I think it affects everyone right from the producer to the director to the distributor. It is easy to see the film for five minutes and say it is bad. But it is difficult to make a film which will be lapped up by the audience. It is not easy to predict the pulse of the viewer. If it can be done, it is a lot easier. To be a critic is very simple but to make a film is very difficult. It is an uphill task to take the paper and write four scenes that would receive applause.

How do you feel during the release of your film?

During those days, I feel I should have taken a different, less taxing office job and relaxed. Sleepless nights and butterflies in the stomach happen every time before the release of the film. It is akin to the pain of a woman in labor. It is anxiety at the top order. First, audience should accept; then the trade and finally the verdict. Till I hear the verdict as hit, I am not relaxed. One week before the release and one week after the release, I am on tenterhooks. This goes on with every film and it is not simple.

"To be a critic

is very simple

but to make a film

is very difficult"

"I don’t have

any role model"


Who is your role model?

To be very honest, I don’t have any role model. My entry into film was accidental. I never thought I would be accepted but somehow audience has accepted me and my life goes on. Of course over a period of time I have come to realize the money that is being put in and the number of families who are dependent on the success of a film. So I do take my work seriously and follow director’s instructions and carry on.

About your name change from Prabhu to Dhanush

When I entered the industry, there was already Ilaya Thilagam Prabhu and also choreographer Prabhu Deva. So I had to change my name. I was watching Kurudipunal in Sun TV wherein there was this operation Dhanush which was going on. I liked the name and christened myself as Dhanush. There is no astrology or numerology or anything like that. I am Prabhu only to my family and close friends. Of course I do turn and look when someone calls Prabhu.


What about direction?

I am writing a story right now. Of course I don’t have much time and the situations are not favorable right now. In fact I am more passionate about directing. I am sure when the time is right I will definitely venture into direction.

Will you act in your direction?

No, I will not act in my own direction. But, I may, only as a last resort.


Will you be working with your brother Selvaraghavan again?

Yes. Our next project is Maalai Nerathu Mayakkam. Again, I have a very jolly, care free character in the film. I cannot be always doing roles like in Kaadal Kondein though I did try off beat characters in films like Pudupettai, Adu oru kanakaalam.

Which film of yours is your brother Selvaraghavan’s favorite?

Adu oru Kanakaalam. Selva openly appreciated my performance in the film saying that I have done 10 times much better than what I did in his film. Till date, this is the only film that I have got appreciation from Selva. He has never even talked about any of my other films.

"I cannot be

always doing

Kaadal Kondein

roles"


You were supposed to do a role in Aayirathil Oruvan. Why did you not do this project?

Yes. I was supposed to do the role. I do not want to mention the reasons as they are not very pleasant to hear. I did homework for that role for four months. It is an extraordinary character. Even now when I see Parthiban, I will always say that I would have done better than him. I say this more out of love for the role and not out of disrespect for Parthiban. But when I first saw Parthiban in that get up, I got the feeling that he would definitely be a plus to Selva and the film.

About you and your wife singing in Aayirathil Oruvan?

Yes, a number called ‘un mel asaidan’. I am sure it would be the highlight of the album.

Can you sing it for us?

No. The audio is not yet released.

Is it a melody?

No No. It is a western number.

Do you sing on a regular basis?

On and off. People call me when they want some odd voice like that of a drunkard’s or a wastrel’s. In the guise of singing, I also shout and carry on.

On you being called ‘Ilaya Super Star’?

I have told my fans not to but they don’t listen. In fact one of them went unmanageable to an extent of fasting. I had to call him and advice. I honestly don’t know how to manage this.

Status of Malai Nerathu Mayakkam

We are yet to commence. Script is ready.

"Anyone can

become a hero;

the best example

is me"


Your project with Vetri Maran is getting postponed. Why?

It is not getting delayed. Vetri Maran took one year to complete Polladhavan. Now he is in Madurai readying the script.

Future projects?

Currently I am working in the Telugu remake of Arya which is yet to be titled in Tamil. Yaaradi nee Mohini director Jawahar is directing this film. 50% of the film is complete. Shreya is my screen partner for the second time. Devi Sri Prasad is scoring music. It will be released in May 2009.

Any message to the viewers?

You should forget a film, the moment you step out of theatres. Recently I heard a small boy trying to emulate my character in Polladhavan. Please don’t. You should study well and things will automatically fall into place. Today anyone can become a hero. The best example is me. You study and make your parents feel proud of you. That’s what I call a real heroism. I tell my fans that they need to first look after their family and then only other activities.


Interviewer: Inian

Camera: Hemananth.B

Text: Jyothsna

Gautham Vasudev Menon Gautham Vasudev Menon Arya Pooja Dhananjeyan Vijaya T. Rajendar
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