What are your
responsibilities in Muran other than as an actor?
Did you expect the movie to be successful?
works keeping success in mind. You cannot
work without having success as your goal.
We expected the movie to be a hit but it isn’t
as successful as we thought it would be. We
couldn’t satisfy the rural audience
as much as we could do with the urban audience.
I think we could only achieve 70% of the expected
Everybody works keeping
success in mind
Other than an actor I was a producer in Muran. I was
also involved in enhancing the script and the story
as a producer. I only facilitated the movie making
process and did not involve myself in the movie using
my directorial credentials.
Prasanna’s personal experience
with the role has made him talk
comments on the role during an event related
cannot comment on that. Prasanna’s personal
experience with the role has made him talk
like that. As a costar with him in the movie
I have only encouraged him with regard to
You are into acting now. But you have always
been a director. What made you switch roles?
chases money and money chases everybody. It’s
like a game of hide and seek. When we have
enough money, we want more challenges. And
when we seek challenges we tend to lose the
money we earned. So in this game, money dictates
everything. I cannot narrow myself into anything.
When Autograph was made, if any actor agreed
to do that role, I wouldn’t have been
cast in that. And when the movie was successful,
I veered off and concentrated on acting. Even
that I am very careful in selecting my roles.
I can only do what I can. For instance, I
cannot be a commercial hero, like what Ajith
does in Mankatha. Direction demands more attention
and when my financial status is a little better,
I will start focusing on direction. There
is no change in that.
Everybody chases money and
money chases everybody
Audience dictates the way
movies are made
do you think of people’s taste these
days? Has it changed?
don’t think so. They watch movies according
to their moods. If they are in a mood for
a serious movie, they will go and watch it.
So the onus lies with the creator to check
the pulse of his audience. Audience dictates
the way movies are made. Besides, I do not
command the fan base of Ajith or Vijay. No
matter how hard I try, my movies pick up only
after 10 days of their release. I am not blaming
moviegoers but that is the reality.
What is next-
Acting, direction or production?
have their own issues and cinema is always
secondary in their priority. These are the
same fans that made a movie run for 100 days.
But greed took over us and we started making
the releases in big scale. When small movies
do big scale release, they lose out because
there are not many takers. Other than that,
there are also issues with regard to VCD/DVD
and piracy. So there are a lot of issues for
a movie. Hence if there are 10 people who
make it big, there are about 500 who are dying.
But those 10 do not have time to think about
the 500. There are also people who are smarter
than these 10. So what is happening here is
according to Pattukottai’s song ‘Manushana
Manushan Saappiduranda’. In this scenario,
I can’t be an idealist. I will have
to stay home and nobody will notice me. No
producer has ever approached me looking at
my past credits of national awards or my movies.
So movie making here is a livelihood.
No producer has ever
approached me looking at my
Next I am producing a movie for Nakulan where I am
also acting. Despite the failures I live in the hope
that I will survive. One thing is for sure. I will
only produce good movies. In the race for making money,
I am not willing to replicate my previous movies like
Autograph and Porkaalam. There will be variety in
my movies. After Nakulan’s movie, I will be
acting in Vasanth’s movie. And then I plan to
focus in direction.
What is your
take on Balu Mahendra’s comment that directors
should not don the greasepaint?
That’s his perspective. I have different take
on that. If no actor is willing to take a director’s
story, the director cannot quit his profession. That
is when he turns to acting. There is nothing wrong
in that. Nobody calls it a mistake. I am sure even
Balu Mahendra doesn’t.
Discussing the issues of Directors
Council in public has no
do you think about the issues plaguing Director’s
Directors Council is formed to fight for the
rights and issues of the 2300 members we have
in the council. But discussing the issues
of Directors Council in public has no relevance
whatsoever for anyone. It does not do any
good to either the members or the general
public. So such questions do not need to be
asked since they are of no use to anyone.
Please avoid asking such questions.
It’s being said that cinema spoils the society.
What is your take on that?
It’s a blame game that people play. Do not think
people are inferior enough to get spoilt by cinema.
People know what to give importance and when. There
are other aspects in the world that spoil the society
like politics or globalization.
What is your
advice for new directors?
I have nothing to advice. On the other hand, I am
willing to get advice from people.
Any plans to
do movies with Rajini, Kamal and Sathyaraj?
No. I do not have such plans.
Before the state
government changed, you were vociferous about your
views. Now you stick to cinema in your speeches. Why
Experience! I can’t explain it to you, again,
because of experience.
What is your
opinion on new directors and new technology?
What is your take on mixing cinema and politics?
because politics entered into movies, we are
experiencing a decline in the making of movies.
It is ruining small producers. No matter which
party is influencing cinema, it’s wrong
be it DMK or AIADMK. Our chief minister understands
it and she is clear about it. But some producers
want to identify themselves with the ruling
party but their motive will not be successful.
If politics takes over the movie making business
once again, whatever is left will also be
left to rot.
It’s because politics entered into
movies, we are experiencing a
It’s good for Tamil cinema and makes it healthy.
Even if the directors are ready to direct such movies,
producers are not willing to help. That is the issue
Any plans to
direct other language movies?
James Cameron was also
inspired when he did Titanic
do you feel about movies inspired from Hollywood
do not think inspiration is a bad thing. But
lifting a movie scene by scene is unacceptable
unless you have proper rights. Even James
Cameron was inspired when he directed Titanic.
So inspiration is not at all a bad thing.
I haven’t received any such offers. I will consider
such offers when they come to me.