the chubby boy who made his film entry through
Shankar’s Boys went on hibernation for
a few years and has resurfaced on the Kollywood
horizon looking trimmer than ever. This new
kid on the block has made his emphatic entry
through Kaadhalil Vizhundein, whose Nakka Mukka
has become a youth anthem of sorts and the boy
has become a heartthrob of young women overnight.
like all of Ajith’s films."
What is Kaadhalil
Vizhunden to you?
was previously Prasad sir’s baby but now
it is my baby. We worked very hard and wanted
the film to be a success. We took our own sweet
time. When we liked something, we retained the
shot and when we did not, we changed and re-shot.
How did ‘Boys’
Those days, I
did not know anything about films or acting.
My sister Devayani used to go for shooting and
I was happily going to school and enjoying life.
One day a manager from Shankar’s film
unit approached my mom and informed me that
director Shankar was looking for a group of
boys and asked us to try. My mom sent our family
picture focusing my elder brother. But Shankar
sir had supposedly wanted me and had said “I
want the fat boy”.
evening I went to Shankar sir’s office
and had a casual chat with him. He asked
me if I can sing and I sang and goofed up.
Then he asked if I knew to play keyboard
or drums, I lied to him saying that I knew
a little bit of drums and keyboard when
actually I knew nothing. Then I was asked
to go for a screen test the next day. That
is when I became anxious. A director like
Shankar spending some time with me! The
next day I went for a screen test and was
asked to speak a few dialogues, sing songs
etc. And I did everything. But I lied once
again to my mom saying that 1500 applicants
are there for the role and I don’t
stand a chance. Mom encouraged me saying
that it was participation that mattered
and not winning. However I got a call that
afternoon asking me to report to the office
and give measurements and I was like- “What?
Measurements?” And then I realized
that I AM in the movie after all.
lied to Shankar sir"
‘Boys’ and the gang
was a totally a new experience. I did not know
anything about films, camera angles etc. I learnt
so much during the shoot which was like a school.
We were all silent during the shots and enjoyed
during break times. Above all, I had excellent
friends like Siddharth, Bharath, Sai and Mani
who supported and encouraged me. The entire unit
was like a family and I enjoyed working with such
a great director and with such lovely friends.
is like my elder brother"
you anticipate that Bharath and Siddharth
will scale greater heights?
I felt it then by way they conducted themselves
on the sets. Bharath was a good dancer and
also emoted well. I kept looking at them
and learnt a good deal. In a way, they were
my mentors. Siddharth is like my elder brother.
He had already worked as an assistant director
under Mani Rathnam sir and he knew a lot
about film making. I was sure that they
would become big stars in the future. They
have some quality in them akin to a star
and I am very proud of them. Siddharth is
a big star in Andhra now and Bharath is
rocking in Tamil Nadu. Sai, of course has
changed his name to Thaman is a very good
drummer and is composing music in Moscowin
Kaveri. Everybody is talented. Manikandan
is so passionate about films that if asked
to jump from the 10th floor for a shot,
he would do that.
the success of Kaadhalil Vizhunden
am a private person and I generally stay
indoors. So, when the film was released
I did not know anything about its response.
After three days I got to know from the
manager and my friends about the tremendous
opening of the film. It was a pleasant shock
and initially I did not believe and kept
asking if what I was hearing was true. One
of the websites had reported the opinion
of viewers and everyone kept saying ‘super’,
etc. I was in some kind of heaven. The audience
response was tremendous. It is like I went
in search of rocks but got diamonds instead.
I am truly happy.
went in search of rocks but got diamonds"
was your sister’s reaction to Kaadhalil
entire family saw Kaadhalil Vizhunden at Kamala
theatre. In fact I suggested to my akka that I
will have a private show. But she insisted that
she wanted to feel the response of the crowd and
we were all overwhelmed by the audience’s
reaction. For Nakka mukka song everyone including
the girls were dancing and whistling. Not only
for this number, but all the songs received similar
reaction. The crowd was at a frenzy enjoying themselves.
Akka was very happy. In fact I was a bit nervous
watching the movie with her as she is a big star
who has proved herself and was worried about her
Who taught you the movements in ‘Thozhiyai
master choreographed the song. But the montage
bits were the director’s idea. I just did
what was told to me.
Mukka was Vijay Antony’s magic and
you can create magic only once"
your next film have a Nakka Mukka-type number?
believe in giving what the audience wants.
One song may not help a film’s success.
If the story is not good, audience will
reject it right away. Ok... the song is
nice. Now what after the song? As an audience,
I expect my three hours of film watching
worthy of every penny that I spend. Nakka
Mukka was Vijay Antony’s magic and
you can create magic only once. I cannot
call a music director and tell him to score
music like Nakka Mukka. He will have his
special talent and he will bring that out.
It is nice that Nakka Mukka is a trendsetter
and I feel good to hear that it is the anthem
of the youth.
carrying Sunaina along the track
that morning we finished the TTR shoot and
traveled the entire day to reach Coimbatore
station and we finished the fight sequence
there. It was a very hectic day. I did not
get a break and it was the first time in
my life that I was working so hard, three
days shooting at a stretch. Lifting Sunaina
and running was of course difficult. But
Prasad sir had prepared me saying that it
was a strong character and I require a lot
of stamina. My beach running, gymming and
diet really helped me. Sunaina was not heavy
but the wheel chair was. More than me, I
feel Sunaina bore the brunt because when
I was carrying her and running, her stomach
will fall on my shoulders and every time
the shock was more for the girl and I feel
she really did the scene well without showing
the pain on her face.
Sunaina and running was difficult"
day of my shoot with Livingston sir was at the
residence of TTR in Ooty. I was nervous as I had
lengthy dialogues with him. Livingston is a director,
music director and actor and has acted with my
sister too. I was nervous. So I straight away
went to him and asked him to help me out. He is
a very gentle person and an experienced actor.
He gave me a lot of tips and encouraged me. It
was a great experience working with him.
satisfaction is important"
to retain success
I was doing Kaadhalil Vizhundein, I was
constantly in fear that anytime I may be
thrown out. Even now, I dread that if I
don’t deliver goods, I will not be
here. I want to make my producer, director
and audience happy. That is my main thought.
When I am doing a film, I want to concentrate
on that. That’s all.
you act in your sister’s production?
and personal relationships are different. However
if my akka approaches me, I will definitely say
yes. Script is what is important to me not the
What kind of roles would you like to play?
now, I am a director’s actor and whatever
he says, I will do. Of course scripts play a major
role and I listen to a lot of scripts.
next film is Masilamani under the production of
A G S Entertainment and the director is Manohar
who was K S Ravikumar’s assistant. Manohar
is a new director and I am also a new face. Sunaina
will again be my heroine.
character in Masilamani?
Kaadhalil Vizhundein, I was something like an
animal that suffers so much in life, faces a lot
of trials and tribulations. He is a fighter. In
Masilamani, you will see Nakul in a different
character. (chuckles) It may be clichéd
to say ‘different’ but for me it is
a different character. Very soft, bubbly and cheerful.
I am hopeful that everyone will love my character.
am open to criticism. In fact I have sharp
ears for remarks which are aimed at me.
If someone throws a brick at me, I don’t
want to get agitated and throw it back at
them. Instead I want to collect all those
bricks and make a palace out of it. Criticisms
are important for growth. That’s how
I view them. I want to use them to hone
and perfect my skills.
are important for growth"
like all of Ajith’s films"
and Vikram. I like their personality. Their
on screen and off screen personalities are
totally different. They are very pious,
down-to-earth and very friendly in real
I would like to be like them. Not on a star
level, that’s too far away for me.
But as a person, I would like to model myself
on them. I like Vikram sir’s Dhool
very much. I like all of Ajith’s films.
and of course my akka. In the newcomers list,
I like them all.
I used to see films and criticize mindlessly.
But now, after having seen the rigors of film
making, I am able to appreciate everything about
cinema. I respect the hard work, the team work,
the dedication that goes into the making of a
film. A three hour film is a result of commitment
and toil of so many people.
cinema in a world arena
here are trying new ideas and are broadening their
horizons. The trend is very positive and film
makers are attempting to tread on unchartered
areas now. Success of Subramaniapuram, Jeyamkondan
and Kaadhalil Vizhundein is encouraging. There
is a collaboration of Ochre studios with Warner
brothers. Adlabs has also come on the scene. The
trend is definitely promising and hopeful.
your good comedy timing
like to watch comedy films and I am willing to
do such roles. As of now, I will do whatever the
director says. Kaadhalil Vizhunden is a serious
film which did not give much accent on comedy.
I was not able to explore much on the comedy aspect.
But I would definitely like to do such roles.
I want the audience to feel happy when they leave
the theatre. The money that they spend on watching
films should not go waste. Audience satisfaction
Interviewers: Inian, Annadurai, Pradeep