It seems just yesterday that we saw your Biriyani posters in which you were eating Biriyani with Karthi, now it’s your press meet for Maanga. Any reason why you choose to get associated with such titles?
Nope (laughs)! Actually this movie was supposed to titled ‘Half-boil’ but was later changed to Maanga. Another movie under discussion has the tentative title ‘Aasa Dosa’! I can’t tell why, but it sure seems catchy.
After Mankaatha, you were seen only at events and parties as you didn’t sign any flicks. Don’t you feel that this gap might raise expectations from Biriyani and Maanga?
True, but I’m very particular that my on-screen role must have enough importance and I must be given sufficient screen time to be remembered. My movies other than brother Venkat Prabhu’s movies did not give me the expected reach, hence I decided to work only with Venkat who knows my potential as an actor. But after Goa and Mankaatha, Venkat took a break to work on his scripts and suggested that I work with other directors in the meantime. I signed up Onbathula Guru with P.T. Selvakumar and Settai with R. Kannan. Fortunately, Venkat also was roped in for Biriyani, in which I have a meaty role along with Karthi and Hansika. Biriyani’s teaser posters have received wide appreciation already.
In Maanga, I have a dual role as father and son. The father character’s portion takes place in the 1950s and is shot in black and white; his hairstyles and costumes resemble those of a period movie. Maanga would be a jolly ride providing wholesome entertainment. Its shooting commenced in April and songs are being composed, of which one is complete. I am proud to tell you that the music for Maanga is composed by me. I’m enjoying the pressure and added responsibility since I love working.
100%. Every fan of mine (though I have no separate fan associations) is important to me. It feels great and is a privilege to receive their applause and appreciations. I have been open to their constructive criticism, which has helped me a lot in improving my performances.
Your looks in Maanga are so different from your other movies. Did you enjoy sporting them?
Definitely. I always ensure that my appearances in each movie are different and I have a huge admiration for Padmashri Kamal Haasan. I like to sport unique looks which give me a character and enhance my performance.
Your family has many musicians, and you have composed for albums and movies, but it’s been a while you wore only that hat. You chose to compose the music for Maanga, but why? Because you find it challenging and interesting?
Sure. As I said, Maanga is like a period movie. It did sound challenging to compose that 50s kind of music with orchestration style and instruments of that era. Moreover, being the protagonist and sharing good vibes with the director I have the freedom to experiment. I have always loved composing music, but due to the box office failure of movies (those featuring my music), people did not choose me as a music director. Venkat’s movies established me as a promising actor in a comic role. I made the choice of working more as an actor since the money and fame are better. Thanks to my brother, people now know me as the actor from Chennai 28, Saroja, Goa and Mankaatha.
Which do you find more easy and enjoyable: composing music or acting?
I’m an actor by profession, but I also love composing music. In fact, I’m not skilled enough yet as an actor to write my own dialogues. But as a composer, if a scene is narrated to me, I’m capable of creating a score for it. Many directors meet me with scripts, but I choose to sign up only if it seems interesting and only if it provides me scope to deliver my best. I feel it is in the director’s hands to bring out the best in me, like the clay ready to be shaped. As far as music is concerned, it is in my genes and God has gifted me with the ability to create. When the opportunity of Maanga came to me, I’m glad I accepted to compose its music plus play the lead role. I’m enjoying doing both for Maanga.
As one of the most active celebrities on the social networking platform, how do you interact with your fans? As a tech savvy celebrity, do you think responding to their comments and appreciations on your fan page make them happy?
100%. Every fan of mine (though I have no separate fan associations) is important to me. It feels great and is a privilege to receive their applause and appreciations. I have been open to their constructive criticism, which has helped me a lot in improving my performances. Yes. I’m active on Facebook and Twitter. Every day, I interact with my fans worldwide. This social networking platform is a major plus, not just for me but for any celebrity, since you get to understand the expectations of your fans directly without any mediator in between.
When it comes to replying to fan posts, only if it is interesting and different do I respond with a personal reply. Not that I do not respond to other postings, but there are at times when fan posts are witty and smart that deserve to be re-tweeted or liked. I do update photos from current shooting schedules in Instagram. I’m thankful to all my fans for supporting me so far and I’m pretty sure I will satisfy their expectations as a lead actor in Maanga.
As one of the eligible bachelors in the industry, what is your marriage plan?
Mine would mostly be an arranged marriage and my parents are already searching for my perfect bride. Just as Superstar Rajinikanth searched for a bride in Sivaji, I have requested my mother to find me a girl like Shriya Saran in the movie: traditional, beautiful and smart who can take good care of me. Await an announcement shortly (smiles)!