Interviewer : Venkat | Camera : Balaji | Text : Prathap | Coordination : Venkat | Video Editor : Jesi
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Meet the guest of the week Srikanth who is much excited about his role in Shankar’s Nanban. In an exclusive chat, he discusses in detail about Nanban, Vijay, Shankar and many more.

About Nanban

Nanban has finished 4 schedules. The shoots are progressing very fast. This is a very important film for me because it gave me an opportunity to work with my favorite director. Like every other actor, I also have a wish-list of directors to work with and I wanted to work with Shankar. And I got the invitation one fine day, for an amazing role in a trendsetting movie. It’s a multi-starrer and I get to work with Vijay, Jiiva and Sathyaraj. It’s a very nice feeling to be associated with all of them and the opportunity to work with Shankar.

Shankar does not want to take

creative liberties with Nanban

Your role in Nanban

Nanban is the remake of 3 idiots. We are just replicating 3 idiots and the director has no intention to take creative liberties with the movie. It is imperative to retain the magic of the movie that made it a huge success in Hindi. Shankar called me when I was in Kerala. I wanted a role in this movie and I had earlier contacted Shankar. But he was travelling abroad and I couldn’t contact him. So I told the producers, whom I knew from my earlier movies, that I want to be a part of this movie. And when they were finalizing the cast, Shankar felt that the Madhavan character will suit me. He contacted me and I took it gladly. It’s a very satisfying experience to work for a person like Shankar.

Besides, Madhavan has immortalized the character in the Hindi version and I have huge responsibility. My wife tells me that I have got the significant character in the movie. Another highlight of the movie is that every character has scope to perform in this movie. And the narrative of the story starts with my character. It’s a huge asset for me and my presence will be throughout the movie. We did homework to fit into the roles both physically and otherwise. We have tried our best to improve the movie’s look and feel and all the credit goes to Shankar.

It’s also one of my favorites. I have seen it many times. My wife tells me to at least keep up with Madhavan’s performance if not do any better. One burden in remakes is that there are bound to be comparisons with the original version and the actors. It’s a challenge to break that mould. I am part of a remake for the first time and I hope to do my best. I have Shankar’s total support and he gives the artist freedom in terms of improvisation and provides his ideas. Since he is an actor and mimicry artist, it is easy for him to show us what he expects out of the scene. That is a major plus and it’s enough that we follow him.

My wife tells me to at least keep

up with Madhavan’s


As far as possible, we are not following the Hindi version step by step and working like we are making a fresh movie.

Your co-stars in Nanban

There are Vijay, Jiiva, Sathyaraj, Sathyan, Ileana, S J Surya, Kishore, Uma Padmanabhan, Manobala and Anuya. Vijay is a fantastic dancer and I was very conscious about working with him. Because during dance sequences, it’s good enough that he watches the movements once. He can very easily replicate them so we were all anxious about matching his steps. But he was very helpful and to be very honest, I am not a good dancer. I found him very supportive and he motivates his costar. I admired his dance. He has a great sense of humor and since we knew each other earlier, it was easy to bond for the character as well.

The friendship and camaraderie of the three friends are quintessential for the movie and it should come across as perfectly natural. Only then the movie will be enjoyable to watch. Fortunately, Vijay, Jiiva and I share very good friendship on and off the shoots. It has been very entertaining and good time pass and that feeling has got translated on to the screen.

About Jiiva and others

Since we have played star cricket earlier, I became friends with Jiiva. Jiiva and I were supposed to work in Drohi but for some reason he couldn’t accommodate Drohi. He’s a very lively person and accommodative. Sathyaraj is an excellent actor and he is doing a powerful role, which I can tell you, is entertaining to watch on the sets. He has good sense of humor and keeps his costars entertained. Sathyan is doing a very important role and so is S J Surya; Ileana, who is a top heroine in Telugu is also very lively. Everyone is doing their roles perfectly. The team is an excellent team with an ensemble cast. I can assure you that the movie will recreate the Hindi original’s magic and will be a Diwali blast.

Manoj’s cinematography will be

the highlight of the film

Cinematographer Manoj Paramahamsa

Manoj was Saravanan’s associate when I was doing Bambara Kannaale. Today, I am happy to note that he has become hugely successful after Eeram and Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya. I think his selection is very apt for the movie. The cinematography will be lively. Nanban unit is a very friendly environment and I am lucky to work in such a team. Manoj’s cinematography will be the highlight of the film.

Harris’s score will be also another plus in Nanban; I am working in his music for the first time. I am a fan of his music and he has retained his perky music for the movie with good tunes. The famous line ‘All is well’ will still be the caption and it has come out very nice. We shot in about 7 locations such as Dehradun and Chennai. We enjoyed doing that song.

We shot in about 7 locations for

‘all is well' song

Your experience in Nanban

It was an enjoyable experience working for Nanban. There were many memorable moments during the shoots. I was blessed with a baby girl while shooting for Nanban. It was the second day of the shoots and I received this news. I did not know how to ask for break. It was delicate for me because it was only the second day of the shoot and sentimentally, people would not want to cancel the shoots. Shankar is a very understanding person. I received a call when I was on the sets. Shankar finished as much as he could for the day and booked flight tickets and sent me home. It felt very nice; I could share the happiness with my wife without my work getting affected. Shankar ensured that I was with my family to celebrate the occasion despite knowing that work will be stalled momentarily.

While shooting in Andamans, we had to travel by road for about 3 hours. We set out as early as 3 in the morning. We reached the jetty around 5.30 and a motor boat will take us further. It is also a different experience since the sea would be rough. Since I am also scared of water, it was totally unforgettable for me. But I enjoyed thoroughly, it was more like a picnic.

I want Madhavan’s feedback

after the movie is screened to


How important is your role in Nanban?

This is a beautiful script and every artist has equal importance in this movie. There is tremendous scope for delivering good output for all the three of us. My role was challenging, something that I could relate to of a guy who is very obedient to his parents; this has been the story for many of my earlier movies. Shankar could justify this role. I have scope for transformation in this movie; I could show age difference. I have only one thing to achieve; if not beat Madhavan’s performance I should at least perform as well as him. That would satisfy me. I want Madhavan’s feedback after the movie is screened to him.

About your future projects

I am also working for Ediri En 3 with Poonam Bajwa, Prabhu, Jayaprakash and Suman which recently started. It’s a totally different, contrasting genre, family cum crime thriller. We have shot for about 10 days. Since I am busy with Nanban, there is a break for Ediri. They are shooting the rest of the portions without me. I am waiting to get back to Ediri after finishing Nanban. It’s a challenging script, inspired by real life events and I loved listening to the script. The movie’s camera is handled by Richard Nathan whose earlier projects include Angaadi Theru, Ko and Bana Kathadi. Dharan’s music has come out really well. We shot for a song and it was a peppy number. In fact, it’s the fastest number I have done in my career. I am also waiting to work with a veteran like Prabhu.

I am waiting to work with a

veteran like Prabhu

Other than that, I have Kodai Vidumurai, directed by Kathir. Kathir and I were supposed to work on another project, Maanavar Dinam, earlier and it did not take off. This is a college love story and I have been looking for a similar project for long. Kathir was responsible for my cinematic debut. He spotted me during my modeling days and called me for audition. I learnt a lot from him and got trained. But I did not work on that project because of the lack of facial hair growth. Then I was launched by Sasi, who was Kathir’s associate. I am looking forward to working with Kathir after all these years now. His films will be poetic, songs create huge expectations and I am hoping this movie will also replicate that notion.

All the three movies that I am working / going to work are diverse in nature. I have also finalized a couple of other scripts; a horror, romcom, nativity-based and semi-action. I seek variety in scripts and I am conscious about not getting monotonous with scripts. I am reading good scripts.

Tags : Srikanth, Nanban, Vijay, Shankar, Jiiva, Ileana
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