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Interview Team : Jyothsna

Shabeer makes his debut as hero in Lakshmy Ramakrishnan’s Nerungi Vaa Muthamidathey. In his first interview, he talks to Senior Editor Jyothsna Bhavanishankar about the film, its director, the lead ladies Pia, Shruthi Hariharan and also his character Chandru. A yoga instructor and an avid fitness enthusiast, Shabeer’s resemblance to Vijay Sethupathy is quite striking. Over to Shabeer!


A brief intro


I am a Chennai boy and have done my MBA. I love fitness and am a yoga instructor. My dad is into business and mom is a housewife.  I have three sisters and two brothers. 


How did films happen?


Since school I had curiosity about how films are made. After college I had enrolled myself in Aari’s (actor) acting classes and he put me on to Jayakumar sir through whom I was associated with theatre for few years. My thanks to Jayakumar sir and Aari for training me in acting.  


Meeting Lakshmy Ramakrishnan


Lakshmy Ma’am called me for Nerungi Vaa Muthamidathey (NVM) seeing some pictures of mine.


To be very honest, the meeting was a little intimidating. Ma’am is very observant and she kept looking at me. I gave her a lot of negative answers and was sure of not making it. She asked me if I would sing, I said No! “Would you hum? No Ma’am!”


She asked a lot of questions and gave an idea of Chandru (my character in NVM) who is just the opposite of me. I told myself I am not going to be in. The meeting went on for two hours and at the end of it, she said I am in. That’s how I came on board NVM. 


Getting to understand Chandru


Getting to know and understand Chandru was difficult. Shabeer is totally opposite to Chandru. It took some time for me to feel like him. I had to work a lot on it. Ma’am helped by first allowing me to be a part of the story discussion which helped get a grasp of my character. I also gave inputs and if they were valid enough, they were accepted and if not I was explained why they were not. This gave me a sense of belonging and I got more involved in the project.


At the sets, not only Ma’am, but all the ADs, interns were very very supportive. They told me the aspects that I was missing and helped.  Although getting to know Chandru was difficult, I was able to manage after the hard work. I think I have done justice to the character. When you see the film you will understand. 


What is your character Chandru like in NVM? What were the physical preparations for the role?


Chandru is an affluent boy who is fun loving; likes helping people; enjoys life in dad’s money.


About the physical preparations, I was asked to put on weight. It was not hard for me as I am a yoga trainer and my body listens to me. 

My body listens to me 


Lakshmy Ramakrishnan


I owe a lot to Lakshmy Ma’am. If I had got Chandru right, it is because of her. Discussions with her prior to shoot and later on at the sets helped a lot. She gave me the right kind of guidance to catch Chandru. As a director I am so awed by the way she works. She is a multitasker and does all her roles very efficiently.


She is very inspiring and dynamic and I don’t know where she gets her energy. She is involved in every department and is able to execute everything.  She also takes care of her crew members. Given a chance I would love to work with her again and again. 

Lakshmy Ma'am is very inspiring and dynamic 




I am so lucky and blessed to be working under Anoop sir’s productions. I hope he does many movies to encourage newcomers like me. I am really thankful to him. Personally I want the movie to do well for him and Lakshmy Ma’am.


Pia and Shruti Hariharan


My character travels with both Pia’s and Shruti’s characters in the film. Shruthi had done a superb film Luciya and is more experienced. Initially I had slight inhibition because she is a senior artist. But we got friendly and she is a very nice person to work with, gave me many tips. She was just like any other friend.


Pia is very friendly too. Although she has worked with Ajith, Jiiva, Jai, she absolutely had no airs.  If she had any doubts, she used to ask me and never gave me a feeling that I was a newcomer. She is a very sportive person and is a brilliant actor.  She used to laugh around and the moment camera is on she becomes serious and is totally different. Her 'switch on' and 'switch off' were striking!

Although Pia worked with Ajith, Jiiva and Jai, she had no airs at all


Other co-artists


I worked in the first schedule with Ambica Ma’am and if I did not get anything she used to pat and encourage. Y Gee Mahendra sir and Thambi Ramaiah sir also were very helpful. Thambi Ramaiah sir used to discuss the scene beforehand, my pluses and minuses. AL Azhagappan sir conveyed his tips subtly. Bala Saravanan was very friendly too. In short all of them gave me so much of confidence. 

Thambi Ramaiah sir used to discuss the scene beforehand, my pluses and minuses


You are the hero in this film and as a newcomer, did you feel any pressure?


I never had such pressure while shooting because Lakshmy Ma’am took care of everything. Now I understand the magnitude of the project when I see the rushes. I am kind of anxious now.


Driving the lorry


Lorry is one of the main characters in NVM and I had to drive the same and also give the right kind of expressions. That was a little challenging. I loved it and as the days went by I started enjoying.


Your resemblance with Vijay Sethupathy


Yes, so many people have pointed out my resemblance with him and I take it as a compliment. Of course it kind of sends jitters. If I reach somewhere closer to his acting prowess, I would be very happy. 

If I reach somewhere closer to Vijay Sethupathy's acting prowess, I would be very happy. 


What kind of roles would you like to do?


I am a part of a good film now and would like to continue to be part of such projects. 


Favorite directors and heroes


I like films of Gautham Menon sir and AR Murugadoss sir. I like all kinds of films as one can learn a lot from every work.  I am so much inspired by Suriya sir’s and Vikram sir’s work. I also love Kamal and Rajini sir.

I am so much inspired by Suriya sir’s and Vikram sir’s work


Have you signed any other project?



Not yet, I want to do that after the release of the film.



Wishing Shabeer the very best in his career endeavors and also the best for Nerungi Vaa Muthamidathey






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