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Interview Team : Tamil Dharani

Starting his career as an ace cinematographer and thereon a versatile actor in Naan Mahaan Alla, this sturdy man from Madurai has a bunch of movies in his kitty after his mighty presence in Papanasam.


Here goes the casual talk of Arul Dass with Sub- Editor Tamil Dharani….


From an ordinary man to an actor...

My native is Madurai. Myself and director bala belong to the same area and he was working as an assistant to Balu Mahendra sir. From my childhood I always wanted to enter cinema and I dreamt of becoming a cameraman. Whenever I come to chennai, I used to ask Bala for a chance and later with his help, my career started as an Assistant Cameraman. After my experience as an assistant, I did 3 movies as a full fledged Cinematographer. I always had a brotherly relationship with Suseenthiran; he felt that I would perfectly suit the character in Naan Mahan Alla for my sturdy look. Being a technician, initially I was reluctant to accept the role. Trying my hands in acting popped several questions but he cleared them for me and he gave the confidence to do it.

Whenever I come to chennai, I used to ask Director Bala for a chance



JK is the location manager of Tirunelveli for the film Papanasam. The director and producer went to look at a location in Tirunelveli and they were under discussion in choosing the characters. JK referred me, as he felt I had the closeness to the character. When both were convinced, I was roped in for Papanasam.


Acting lessons from Kamal…

I am a great fan of Kamal sir from my childhood and I used to watch his movies FDFS. My favorites are Sathya, Nayagan, Punnagai Mannan and the list goes on. I never thought i would work with him one day. Being a fan of Ulaganayagan, I am so proud to have been part of Kamal sir’s movie. Coming to the learning part, he needn’t teach us anything, you can learn everything by just seeing and observing him. Even the tiny thing he does, he does it from his heart and soul with such perfection. Be it the make up or the dialogue delivery or anything, nobody can be as dedicated and sincere as Kamal sir.

You can learn everything by just observing Kamal Haasan


Enduring memories with Kamal Haasan…

Papanasam in itself is a great memorable experience for me.This movie is a milestone for me and I will carry this till my death. My first shot with Kamal sir was to enquire him, I was very nervous from the morning on that particular date. They gave me the script and all the shot details. But if you had noticed, he as Suyambulingam had to be nervous, but in contrast I was the one who was tensed. I read all the dialogues and I was very cautious about delivering it properly, but to my dismay the first and second take was a big blunder. I felt really bad. Director Jeethu Joseph takes a 6 page scene at a stretch and you have to be well prepared for each and every scene. It was similar to stage play and later Kamal sir understood that his presence made me tensed, so he was like, “You are doing well, Be cool”. Those words gave me so much confidence and the next one was TAKE OKAY!

“You are doing well, Be cool”


Next film with Kamal sir…

In Papanasam Thanks meet, he expressed his wish to cast everyone who worked for Papanasam in his forthcoming movies. I have a lot of confidence in his statement and I am eagerly waiting for Kamal sir’s call.

I am eagerly waiting for Mr. Kamal Haasan's call…


People’s reaction after Papanasam...

I have done a lot of movies but I have not got such a welcome from the people. Papanasam has given me a tremendous reach; wherever I go people appreciate and praise me. Firstly, it’s all because of Kamal sir and secondly, the hit factor of Papanasam movie. Being a part of such a powerful movie, is what happiness is. A strong message where the pluses of technologies can cause minus in anybody’s life is greatly said and this message has cautioned many parents. This is the highlight of the movie.

Papanasam has given me a tremendous reach


Difficulties of a cameraman…

As everything is digitized now, any mistake can be rectified on the spot. When I was working as a cameraman in 90’s there was no monitor. Cameraman had to decide everything. If the cinematographer is okay with the shot, the director will also be okay, thats why both are called as husband and wife in the field of cinema. So a cameraman has to be very confident in deciding the perfect shot. After the monitor’s entry, everything has become easy as it says the right and wrong immediately. So mistakes have decreased drastically and there is no such difficulty now.

Mistakes have decreased drastically and there is no such difficulty now.


Future Projects…

I play a terror villain in Thaakka Thaakka which is scheduled to release by this July or August. Then a comedy villain in Aayirathil Iruvar directed by Saran. I am also doing a cameo for Seenu Ramasamy’s Idam porul Yaeval and Paayum puli for my brother Suseenthiran. Then Kaathirupor Pattiyal under director Baalaiyaa D. Rajashekar.

I play a terror villain in Thaakka Thaakka



Cinematographer Arul Dass or Actor Arul Dass


Though I stepped into this industry as a cinematographer, I see myself as a proud actor.



Memorable Appreciation


Director Bala - “I had tears while watching Naan Mahaan Alla.”

Kamal Haasan in Papanasam Thanks Meet - “He didn’t have any fear while working, he was so realistic and lively.”



Dream Role


Being an actor in this industry is a dream for me, so I don’t have any specific roles to mention.



Role Model


MR Radha for his versatility.





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