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Interview Team : Kaushik L M

Amzath Khan is a young actor who made his debut in director Arivazhagan's National Award winning Vallinam. His role as Nakul's friend was recognized by audiences and Amzath is now a part of 3 films. He has big dreams of taking his career to the next level as a capable actor and in this chat with Kaushik, we find out more. 

A brief intro about yourself and your background

I always wanted to be in the movie business. Before venturing into acting, I was a film marketing professional with Sony Pictures in Mumbai, after specializing in film marketing in my MBA program. I was in Mumbai for a year and then moved to Chennai to try my hand in films. I developed good contacts here as I was involved in film distribution and branding. I was also part of a theater group called ‘Stray Factory’ where I performed and learned the craft. I then moved to the marketing space in radio and furthered my film and media related contacts in Chennai.

I acted in a few short films in Naalaiya Iyakkunar Season 2 and this increased my exposure. I then got a call from Arivazhagan sir to audition for Vallinam.

Now I am fully concentrating on films and also have an event management firm where I do consulting for events.


Vallinam is back in the limelight after the National Award

Even when the movie was being made, we were sure that the film’s camerawork and editing would be recognized and appreciated. The film was of a really different genre and we were confident that this attempt would be welcomed. Though we didn’t make the movie with the sole intention of getting awards, we are very happy now for Sabu sir’s National Award for Best Editing. A lot more people are seeing the movie now, after the National Awards recognition, and in that sense the movie is back in the limelight.


Are you still in touch with basketball? 

Basketball helps you to keep fit. 5 minutes of playing the game is equivalent to an hour in the gym as the game is totally physical and involves a lot of movements. During weekends, I still play the sport.


Tell us about your preparation for the movie, from an acting perspective and from a basketball perspective. 

Basketball can’t be mastered in a short span of time. During our training, we were taught to master specific moves and tasks based on what our characters do in the movie. Of course we were taught all the basics and fundamentals of the game to look authentic on screen. Our training for the game was itself for about 6 months and this also resulted in the movie’s extended production duration.

From a performance point of view, Arivazhagan sir let me be my natural self and allowed me to play the character in my individual style. I wasn’t asked to change my basic personality for the sake of the character Guna. He just asked me to have the attitude of a sports player in addition to being my own self on screen. He didn’t correct my body language even once though he gave me some important technical inputs. The experience that I got in Vallinam is like a textbook that I can refer for my future films. Of course I’ll keep learning new things, but Vallinam has given me strong basics. 

The experience that I got in Vallinam is like a textbook that I can refer for my future films


The scene which really challenged you in the movie 

The scene in the movie which really pushed me to my limits was the train jump sequence which we shot at the Chengalpet station for 3 days at a stretch. Silva master composed this scene and we shot for this train jump scene on the last day, by which time we were totally exhausted. I was really scared despite the safety precautions and expertise of the unit. But it is a great experience for me now.

The ‘Mama Machan’ song was another new experience for me, as that was my first film dance sequence.


Did you get shouted at, by your director or crew for any scene? 

Never. In fact, my director and cinematographer Bhaskar sir were so soft and never showed their anger on me anytime. They’ll give their inputs in a very pleasing manner and will never scold us despite mistakes.


How were your interactions with Aascar Ravichandran, who is a big shot in the film business space? 

One thing I learned that whatever great film you make, it is important to distribute and release it in a proper manner in order to ensure its success. Ravi sir has a great network and rapport even with theater owners and managers in the remotest corners of Tamil Nadu. For a man of his stature, it is not necessary to personally speak to such theater owners but he does so and has such a good relationship with all of them. That’s why whenever a film comes with the Aascar label, it will get a really wide release irrespective of the cast and crew. Vallinam also got a big release and justified our efforts.

He took a big risk by making a film with unknown stars and totally trusted Arivazhagan sir, a director who makes films for the love of cinema and not for money and stardom. I am very thankful to both of them for giving me such an opportunity. The Vallinam offer was a fruit for my perseverance and toil and reinforced my belief on cinema.

Ravi sir has a great network and rapport even with theater owners in the remotest corners of Tamil Nadu


Post Vallinam are people recognizing you on the streets? How has the feedback been, from the public? 

My current look is different from the look that I had for Vallinam. But yes, people do recognize me in public; they come over and genuinely appreciate my work. The movie has got me respect as an actor. When I stop over at tea shops, people come over and speak to me about the movie. I also get many calls from places like Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Singapore and also many appreciative messages in the social media. It feels so gratifying.


The films that you are doing currently 

I have signed up for 3 films after Vallinam. One of them will start next month and it is directed by Ram Venkat. I have completed one film, called Koditta Idangalai Nirappuga directed by Balan, an assistant of Sasikumar sir. I play a rural guy who comes to Chennai from Theni and this film is currently in the post production stage.

I am currently also doing director Ravichandran’s (of Majnu and Kannedhire Thondrinaal fame) new film where I am one of the two main leads. The movie is based on friendship.

All these films should positively release this year.


The kind of films that you are looking forward to … 

I want to do any good role, doesn’t matter if it is a lead role or supporting role. I am not after lead roles as I believe that till the time I establish myself in the market, I should be open to do any kind of role provided there is a basic standard. Actors shouldn’t be chasing lead roles in the beginning of their careers.

Doing a solid negative role with a rough look, is definitely something which I would like to do.


The actors and directors who you look up to …

Dhanush is an actor who I really look up to.The way he started off and the level that he is currently at is unimaginable. Among directors, it is definitely Arivazhagan sir. I respect his love for cinema and his thirst for doing something different. I am dying to act in his next film, even if it is just a small part. But he would call an actor only if the script justifies his / her presence. I am eagerly waiting for his call.

Of course Mani Ratnam sir is a dream director, as every aspiring actor would say. Young directors such as Karthik Subbaraj anna and Nalan anna are inspiring and the trend that they started is now a huge wave.

Good Luck Amzath for a rocking career ahead ... 



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