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Interview Team : Sudharshan

It is never easy to catch hold of an actor for a quick chat. Vishnu Vishal was even tougher to meet. A passionate and hard working artist that he is, Vishnu has a long line up of films to complete this year and he is enthusiastically working round the clock, with a sole motive to keep his fans and the film enthusiasts entertained.

Once you get hold of him, he is very easy to talk to. The actor is not just as grounded as others praise him to be, but he also keeps things frank and precise.

Behindwoods Correspondent, Sudharshan Giridhar chats with the actor on various topics including the early part of his career, his approach to cinema, his dreams and the bell that rings every time he comes across a good script.

Today being his Birthday, it is only apt to know the back-story of this very talented actor. Here’s the first part of the interview. 



You are very choosy about your scripts…  Aren’t you interested being a commercial hero? Isn’t that an easier route to bigger fame and stardom?

True… But when I decided to become an actor, I wanted my debut movie to be different from the regular commercial cinema. There are two reasons for my decisions – one, I wasn’t from this industry and commercial movie, without any industry people backing up, didn’t feel like a wise decision; Secondly, I wanted to be a part of a film that dealt with something I was aware of. Luckily, I got to work in a sports based movie, Vennila Kabbadi Kuzhu. Also, I was happy that there were 10 other main characters in the movie and that it wasn’t like I have to carry the whole movie on my shoulders. All I had to do was to perform in a group and stick to my duty. 

When that film worked out well, I wanted to foray into commercial cinema. My second and third films were proper commercial films (Bale Pandiya and Drohi). But, it misfired. Despite good story lines, they didn’t work as well as I expected.

I freaked out then. I was afraid that I was going to be chucked out of the industry. I didn’t know anything other than cinema and cricket. I had to make a living out of this career.

So I decided that I must stick to the kind of characters that will suit me and to what I know best. I was ready to take it very slow, even if that meant waiting for a year without a project.

I was afraid that I was going to be chucked out of the industry.


What is your strategy when it comes to taking up projects?

I had worked out a strategy when I began my career. I wanted to show a lot of noticeable varieties in my performances and the kind of movies I pick. After Vennila Kabbadi Kuzhu, I put on weight for a project, reduced for another, turned muscular for one and stuffs like that. I was desperate to prove myself. Then I realized it was all hasty. People didn’t even know who I was.

Firstly I wanted people to know me for what I was. So, I decided to take it slow. That has been my strategy ever since- Wait for the right project.


Did that work?

It did, almost. Not all films work wonders in the BO. But, things have worked out pretty well for me, all thanks to God.

Life has been good. I got to play a variety of characters in my following films. I had to wait for a long time after Neerparavai. But the wait was definitely worth it. Mundasupatti happened and I’m happy that the film’s doing well.

Again my next film is Jeeva, a sports based movie. Then there is Seenu Ramasamy’s Idam Porul Eval, a middle class drama set in Madurai. I’m mixing it up as much as I can. But I’m also trying to make sure that the film has a pinch of comedy. That seemed to work with my audience.

I prefer realistic movies, with situational humour in it. I kind of like that genre of films, compared to regular hero centric movies. If you had noticed, all my movies would have had a lot of characters that drive the story forward. That seems to work for me.

I had to wait for a long time after Neerparavai. 


What would you have done, if cinema hadn’t worked out?

I would have probably done my MBA, and taken a desk job. Might not have enjoyed it, but I’d have done what was necessary.


How do you pick your scripts?

I go with my gut feeling. I know… You’d probably be wondering for an actor with all the strategies, going by the instincts seems too simple. But that’s the truth. When I heard Vennila Kabbadi Kuzhu’s script, a bell rung in my head… I started to think too much for my next two films, which didn’t quite work. So I went back to the bell thing…

I don’t mind waiting for a long time, but the project I take up must be approved by my gut. People wouldn’t have believed me if I had said it back then, but I said no to 11 films before signing Neer Paravai.

All that said, I also give importance to four other factors before taking up a project- 1) does the story have anything new to deliver? 2) My character sketch 3) Capability of the director 4) Production House.

People wouldn’t have believed me if I had said it back then, but I said no to 11 films before signing Neer Paravai.


So, won’t you ever take up a commercial movie?

Being a part of the industry, I myself don’t watch a commercial movie, unless it has a big star. So imagine how people would react to commercial cinema with relatively younger actors. Commercial movies work the best with big stars.

I believe, you should reach that kind of star status before doing a commercial film. I will reach stardom, if I’m destined to. If I’m not destined, no matter how hard I try, I’d not reach that status. For now, I’m trying to do my daily duties rightly. But, I do dream of that kind of superstardom.


Happy Birthday Vishnu! Have an incredible year ahead…

(In the second part of this interview, we discuss about Vishal’s recent heroics, Mundasupatti and more. Stay tuned…)

I will reach stardom, if I’m destined to.



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