In A No-holds-barred Interview With Popular Actor Vijay Sethupathi Cinema News
After patiently acknowledging almost every fan gathered to get a glimpse of him, Vijay Sethupathi settles down for a conversation. It is perhaps this humility, despite being one of the most celebrated actors in contemporary Tamil cinema, that has made him a darling of the masses.
However, if there’s one thing that constantly changes, is his look, which he does consciously to suit the characters he chooses to portray. We ask him if his clean-shaven avatar is for another film. "This is just a style statement and not for any film," he says with a wink.
The actor has over half a dozen films in his kitty. He plays a tribal leader in his upcoming film Oru Nalla Naal Paathu Solren, which has Gautham Karthik playing another lead, while Gayathrie and Niharika Konidela play the heroines. "I play a character called Yeman. He’s like Robin Hood. He steals for the livelihood of his gang but doesn’t harm anyone. It’s a complete fantasy," he says.
Speaking of fantasy, that’s very unlike him considering he’s known for playing relatable characters set in realistic backdrops. "The genre has never really been a deciding factor to sign a film. I want the audience to be entertained and the producer to get his returns. As long as I’m sure of that, I have no problem. At the end of the day, we’re here to entertain and deliver good films," he says.
Coming back to Oru Nalla Naal Paathu Solren, he says, "The different avatars you’ve seen doing the rounds are for a song. I won’t be seen in different looks throughout the film. However, the character has many layers. Also, the gang I’m part of in the film will show what unity is, how to respect women and other important things that society needs to learn. The film doesn’t have a trace of negativity. When Gautham seems like the hero in a few portions, I’m the villain, and vice-versa. Overall, Oru Nalla Naal Paathu Solren will be a feel-good film for the audience."
Talking about working with the younger crop of actors like Gautham Karthik, Vijay Sethupathi says, "Coming from an illustrious background, Gautham didn’t show attitude or have any ego. I’ve seen several actors expecting to be treated like royalty on the sets. Even I’ve been late to the sets. But Gautham was always on time and would wait for others patiently. Also, his dedication and humility will take him places."
The actor, in the last few years, has also seen a lot of fan clubs crop up across the state. "I’ve asked them to disassemble the clubs. One of my fans was severely injured after he tried to paste my posters on a wall. I had to immediately call him up and tell him that he is answerable to his parents who have brought him up, and not me. I understand their unconditional love. It’s good if it’s within limits though."
At a recent event, Tiruppur Subramanian, an office bearer of the Exhibitors' association had said that the industry needs actors like Vijay Sethupathi, who can successfully do six films a year, which has also done a world of good for producers and distributors alike. "When a popular distributor like him says such things, it motivates me to push my boundaries. I always listen to what my heart says when it comes to signing my films. Also, talking about being on a signing spree, initially I have had various reasons for doing it. But now, I am doing it out of the passion for acting. So, it doesn’t take a toll on my health or mind. When you enjoy something, your mind and body listen to your heart and don’t get exhausted."
He seems quite philosophical of late. "I guess it’s got to do with the kind of cinema I’ve done. I learn and change for the better with every film. But yes, I’m also spiritual and I believe films, my craft and just being a good human being is my way of connecting with god."
In The Pipeline For Vijay Sethupathi
- Super Deluxe
- Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy
- Untitled Mani Ratnam project