All we really knew about him was his penchant for naming movies after places, and delivering hits. Now, Behindwoods, in an exclusive interview with Perarusu, finds out the years he spent dreaming of being a director outside AVM studios, And his aspirations to make realistic movies and his struggles as an assistant director before he made it.


I wouldn’t mind working as an assistant to Ameer.

BW: About your financial contribution to Lawrence’s charitable trust?

It is very easy to focus on social issues in movies which I have done in many of mine. I would like to go beyond just advising people and government on the burning issues of today. As a first step to it, I implemented a scheme of helping pregnant women in my village. Every pregnant woman who is admitted for delivery in our village hospital gets financial assistance based on the scheme.

Besides, there is also the note book distribution scheme for helping school going children in my village.

Thus, when Lawrence told me about his trust that uplifts physically disabled children, I decided to assist him in some way or other. He offered me to write lyrics for his Pandy and in turn I gave away my compensation I earned for that to his charitable trust.

Any plans to move away from the commercial scenario?

When I started out, I did not have plans to restrict myself to commercial movies. But I stumbled upon some good and realistic stories. I have tried for 7 to 8 years to make it big and had some off-beat stories. Cheran and Ameer have been lucky that way and are noticed for such movies. Sadly nobody was willing to sit and take notice at that time considering the risk in producing such movies. I could not wait anymore and was infuriated - and so resorted to commercial movies.

Your penchant for naming movies after places.

There was no specific reason behind that. I had this notion that Thirupachi would be a hit since I’ve named it after a place. So when Tirupachi turned out to be a hit, I decided to name my next movie also after a place. That is how Sivakasi was born and my producer liked it. When I decide to move away from the commercial scene and direct an off-beat movie, the naming convention will also change.

Any plans to direct another movie for Ajith?

No immediate plans. Things should fall in place for such association and I won’t hesitate to take it up if it happened.


I’m writing a script for

the Superstar and it is my

lifetime ambition to direct him.


Your experience with AVM

I’m proud of my association with a legendary company like AVM for Tirupathy. When I was new to Chennai, I used to frequent AVM and stand in front of the studios longing to visit the place. I bribed a production in charge ten rupees one day and got myself into the studios. Later, AVM invited me to direct a movie for them. It is a pleasure to work with them and I like the way they work. They are tremendously organized.

Selvaraghavan, Maniratnam, Gowtham Menon, Ameer, and Bala. Who would you want to be associated with?

Ameer. I like his movies and the way he portrays sentiments and human emotions. My movies have those two but with a commercial touch. I wouldn’t mind working as an assistant for Ameer.

Your project with Vijay was shelved for some reason?

This is a common phenomenon in the profession. I worked with Vijay for Thirupachi and Sivakasi and both turned out to be super hits. We also had plans for another movie which could not take off due to several reasons including Vijay’s prior commitments. We are planning for another venture probably next year.

In a tabloid recently, there was a mention of Vijay wanting Gautam Menon to add up a few scenes from your movies like Thirupachi and Sivakasi for their latest venture. Your take on this?

Vijay is a mass hero and he has a responsibility to satisfy crores of fans. I don’t see anything wrong in Vijay mentioning such a thing since those movies were commercially well received. Besides, there are lots of compromises involved in making a movie and it is quite acceptable for the director and actor to have certain priorities.

My name was kept in

the dark and it broke my

heart to witness someone

else carting off with my credit.

Your memorable experiences as Assistant Director.

There are lots of such experiences and it would consume a day to narrate all of those. Assistant Directors don’t usually receive the credit they deserve. Sometimes their names are not even credited in the movie titles. I once wrote dialogues for a movie that received State Government’s award. My name was kept in the dark and it broke my heart to witness someone else carting off with my credit. That fuelled my anger and made me turn to commercial movies.

Any future plans with Surya, Vishal, and Madhavan?

Circumstances have not fallen into place for such associations. I would love to work with Madhavan and Surya sometime.

About your Thiruvannamalai.

Thiruvannamalai is a powerful name and so is the storyline. The movie would have all the ingredients and provides a deep look into contemporary social issues. The tagline is ‘Action Jyothi’. Arjun is a matured hero and I have a huge responsibility to complement his image.

About the on and off news on your association with the Superstar?

I have met Rajini Sir many times. He deserves every bit the title – as an actor and as a human being. There is a difference between people liking your movies and people liking the individual. Rajini Sir is humble and respects human-beings, that is a lesson for every one of us. I’m writing a script for him and it is my lifetime ambition to direct him. The first film shoot I ever saw was Murattu Kaalai and I was leading the Rajini fan club during my college days.


Plans with Vikram?

There were talks about it and it later got shelved. We are planning for another round of talks and there is the possibility of a project with him.

My best wishes to Behindwoods readers.

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