Interviewer: Daya & Inian | Camera: Hemananth.B | Text: Daya
Tall, dark and handsome Vishal fits the Mills & Boon epitome of a hero and yet in the versatile roles that he has played, has managed to keep intact the son-of-the-soil earthiness that South India loves. His best feature is his smile which lights up the screen and the hearts of his fans. The hero who started his career as an assistant director learnt more about performance while working behind the cameras which helped a great detail when he moved in front of the camera.

This summer, his Thoranai opposite Shriya is all set for a release. This film promises to pack in non-stop comedy and action with a happy dose of glamour from sizzling Shriya. The chemistry between the lead pair is already being spoken about. We catch up with Vishal for all the dope on his films, glamour and more.

What I like about Behindwoods is its reach to the entire world. What we all like is that you can connect with all the actors, actresses and technicians here. Talking about my films through this website helps in reaching the whole fraternity.

Thoranai is all set to release; do tell us about the film.

Vishal: Thoranai is my 8th film which is produced by GK films. Shriya is my heroine and this is the first time we are pairing together. I am also working with Prakashraj and Santhanam for the first time. Cinematography is by Priyan sir who had previously done my film Thamirabharani. Mani Sharma is the music director and his music is a plus for the film and the audio has reached everywhere. I wanted to make this film a summer treat, since none of my films so far have released in summer. I wanted to give a family entertainer.

What kind of role do you play?

It’s a boy next-door role. You can relate to it; nine out of ten people in the theatre will identify with the hero feeling that, ‘he is like me or the boy next door’. That’s the USP. The character of the film is that it’s not extraordinary and it’s a very down-to-earth character. Whatever character I have been given I am doing justice to it. Theeraada Vilayaattu Pillai is going to be my next film and it’s a romantic flick.

What was your experience working with Shriya?

Shriya is a very good friend of mine. We’ve been friends much before this film so it has been easier to relate to her at work. It was a very nice experience to work with a friend and that too lovely one at that. I think our chemistry will rock in the songs. I am glad she is a part of Thoranai.

After Sathyam, your movies have got the tinge of glamour. Is there a particular reason for this?

The director has to answer this. It’s not done with an inner motive. We have done what’s necessary for the screenplay, be it

" Shriya is

a very good friend

of mine "

" Action sells! "

songs or fight. Nothing is forced upon because of casting. All natural elements have flown into the screen play and that will be the highlight.

Are you particular about projecting a specific image especially since you have done a lot of action?

I don’t have an image. Action sells! It is being liked by not only youngsters but by many others also. Contrary to popular belief, everyone including women and children enjoy this. I don’t want to

be trapped in an image and would not want to be if ever I have any. I go by the film. I transform into whatever my director wants. This film has a lot of comedy. We keep hearing that it is difficult to perform comedy roles, what was your experience?

If you have it in you to make people laugh, its one of the best talents one will ever come across. If you can make another person laugh or feel happy with your sense of humor, you should be proud. I can’t say anything about my sense of humor but I am happy I can carry off a comedy role. One of the reasons I picked this film is that I have a full-fledged comedy character.

Has being an assistant director in the initial stages of your career helped you as actor?

Definitely! There are many nuances in acting. It can be difficult to stand in front of the camera without the knowledge of at least some basic elements. I did Visual Communication course and wanted to be a director and that’s why I became an assistant. The experience of working as an assistant director with the Koothupattarai theatre group for three and a half months has really helped me in shedding my inhibitions. An artiste should not be conscious of the audience and perform the role to his fullest potential. That I consider as an actor’s greatest ability and the acting should be natural.

Tell us more about Koothupattarai?

Koothupattarai is something every artiste should have a look at. It’s another world. As I did not have much time, I did not continue, otherwise I would have continued in it.

What about the level of glamour in Thoranai?

This film is a clean entertainer. Shriya is a very beautiful heroine and looks hot in the songs. The action is also there. However there is no ulterior motive to glamorize the heroine.

" Shriya is

a very beautiful

heroine "

" I hate

sentiments "

You have worked with Nayantara and Trisha. The films have fared badly. Do you believe they were unlucky and would you work with them in the next film?

I hate sentiments. If someone tells me not to cast a particular heroine in my next film because she’s unlucky, I would be the first to cast her. I have no such issues and would continue to act with them. It’s stupidity to go by sentiments, I don’t want to hurt others but that’s what I think. I will do what I feel is right. I do not believe unlucky heroine, director or company. I go by intuition.

How different is it working for a home production?

Mentally I am more stressed working for a home production because my responsibility is more. I want the film to be successful for everyone associated with it. When it comes to my brother as the producer, we don’t treat each other as brothers during the course of film-making. We have an actor-producer relationship. There are many arguments and fights. On the other hand, in a home production, I have more freedom to enhance my film’s quality.

What about your project with Director Selvaraghavan?

At the moment Selvaraghavan’s project has not worked out due to some reasons but in future I would love to work with him. Selva is one of the best directors we have in South India.

Tell us about your sister-in-law Shriya Reddy’s role in your career.

Shriya is very much part of Thoranai. If anyone says my costumes look good and I look good, the entire credit should go to her as she has taken a lot of effort to make me look good.

" Selva is

one of the

best directors

we have in

South India "

Apart from that, she has taken care that I should interact with my fans from all over the world and we started and I am able to interact with my fans better now. I am glad and thankful to her.

Why did you choose to do Thoranai?

I don’t know. The director was waiting to narrate the script for the past one and half years. He was working as a co-director in Sathyam. In this time frame, it worked out for me.

" I’ll even do a

heroine’s role "

Will you do a negative role?

I’ll even do a heroine’s role if someone gives it to me. As an actor, one should do every kind of role.

I thank Behindwoods viewers from the bottom of my heart because I am able to reach out to everyone. Thanks to Behindwoods for giving me this opportunity, God bless you all. Wish you all the best! Thank you!

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