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Interview Team : Abishek Raaja; Balasaravanan; Jyothsna

Director Vignesh Shivan spares sometime to talk to our editor Abishek Raaja to discuss about the Rowdies and the number of butterflies in his belly before the release of his second project Naanum Rowdy Dhaan produced by Wunderbar Films. He also tells us how much Anirudh means to him and how did the film shape up.                  

When did the cinema bug bite you?  

I have always been a dedicated fan of Thamizh cinema. Since school days, I have been very particular about joining the industry. I am not a voracious movie watcher as such. I watch very limited films, but I watch them again and again and again. After studies, I assisted Prabhu Solomon sir and learnt the craft. I readied a script and that was Poda Podi.     

I assisted Prabhu Solomon sir 

What is love to you?

It is not a single entity that can be very easily explained. That unexplainable feeling is love. When you start considering the other person more important than yourself, then it is love. I wish I can put words to explain it, but the truth is, the intense feeling is so raw and real, it cannot be defined.  Sorry if this sounds too amateurish. 

That unexplainable feeling is love.

What have you learnt from Poda Podi?

There were certain uncontrollable factors delaying the progress and the release of the film. All of us, including Simbu were genuinely working hard for the final output, but we just had to face it till the movie got released. What I learnt from Poda Podi was about the logistics part of filmmaking. Thorough preparations and groundwork to shoot the film as per schedule and have it released on time without troubling the producer is what I incorporated from the previous learning. I am glad it has helped me with Naanum Rowdy Dhaan.

About the title Naanum Rowdy Dhaan? 

This film is about a wannabe rowdy. Though an experimental film, we have treated it comically. When I was searching for a title that could readily establish the complete setting of the story, the famous Vadivelu’s catchphrase ‘Naanum Rowdy Dhaan’ felt apt and hence we zeroed in on it.

Tell us about the producer in Dhanush.

Amazing is the only word I can think of. On the first day of shoot, he just came to me and wished me for the start. There were no interferences and no hindrances. There were no restrictions or qualms. Be it any kind of a proposal or a demand, the direction team was never considered less serious. He knows the in and out of cinema and he’s the kind of producer every director would love to work with. Wunderbar films gave such creative freedom and uncompromising support.

There were no restrictions or qualms

How is Vijay Sethupathi?

After watching Poda Podi, he called to congratulate me. Since then we have stayed in constant touch and he’s the kind of actor you can more than request to deliver an act in a way you might have imagined while writing it. He’s a true performer who takes in the core of an emotion and reflects it right from his body language to the way he recites the dialogues. Extremely cooperative and also smart enough to understand what is actually happening on the shooting floor, his innocence has majorly helped the central character evolve better.    

 He’s a true performer

The Nayanthara factor?

Ma’am is selective about her projects, but when a meaty-serious role comes her way, she quickly grabs it. We have written a not so usual character sketch of Kadhambari and so much has gone into the look of it. She is such a dedicated artist who wants every scene to be perfect and that’s the kind of artist a director needs. Her prominence in the script will be realized after the release.  


She is such a dedicated artist

Anirudh the magic. Please explain.

As you said, he is magic. A force that can never be stopped is Anirudh and his music. The main reason behind the songs being chartbusters is only because of his involvement with the script and of course my vision. He is a dear friend of mine and we have come a long way in shaping this film. Not just the songs, Anirudh has given much more to the background score. He knows the pulse of the audience and he is also very clear about his strengths. Anybody would love to work with him.      

 A force that can never be stopped is Anirudh and his music

About Naanum Rowdy Dhaan’s visuals?  

George, George, George, George, George. Make sure you type it out 5 times at least in the answer section. Since LKG, we studied together. We also went to the same tuition classes. During the hay days, we have dreamt of working together and it has become a reality with NRD. Wanting to keep the natural elements as a priority, we have also worked on a color scheme and have tried to give a gloss to the film. It is all thanks to his hard-work and inputs, you get to see such a result on the screen.

Tell us about the casting ideas in NRD.

Didn’t want to bring in some hunks from the North and make them act here. I have brought in actors who as a child I had loved seeing on screen. Parthiban , Mansoor Ali Khan, Anand Raj, Radhika and lot more experienced artists are part of the film. On the other hand, RJ Balaji gets to play an important role in the film.    

Vignesh Shivan the lyric writer.  

I am more of a writer than a director. I always like the writing part in a creative process. Writing a song happened by chance. Just the format varies, but to me it is still writing. I like to also talk about the story in my songs than just exaggerating an emotion. In the case of Adhaaru Adhaaru, GVM sir gave me a clear understanding about the context and I wrote for it. But in NRD, the tunes were first composed and then we worked on the lyrics. I am trying to realize my enthusiasm towards lyric writing.    

What gossips do to you?

I don’t pay attention to it. In the mean time, I would have re-written my scene.




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