Atharvaa Murali is a fast rising young hero who has the looks, the physique and the acting skills to go far. In his booming career, he has mostly done serious content-oriented films, with Paradesi and Eetti being his best. For the first time, he has gone the mass commercial way in a full-on way with this Friday's Gemini GaneshanumSuruliRaajanum (GGSR), with 4 heroines for company. He gets talking to Moviecrow'sKaushik LM in this freewheeling chat,
"GGSR has been a different experience. I had always wanted to do a comedy film but somehow it didn't click and my career has hence been packed with serious films so far. When producer Siva sir told me about this film, the title was a big attraction. During the narration, I was sold within the first 10 minutes itself, thanks to the way my character was established. The film will provide full -on entertainment to the audience and now I actually feel comfortable in this space."
Soori is someone who takes over the screen space completely; heroes tend to get overshadowed by him. Were you prepared to play second fiddle, getting into GGSR?
"I've never had such issues or the insecurity in sharing the screen space with other actors. Cinema is all about team work and all the actors and technicians have to do their jobs well. I alone can't guarantee a Hit. GGSR will be one of Sooriannan's best and he is someone who improvises so much on the spot. I had to keep pace with him and match his level."
A film with 2 or 3 heroines is passe nowadays. But, the presence of 4 lovely leading ladies (Aishwarya Rajesh, Regina, Pranitha and Aaditi) is a definite USP of your film
"The four heroines are a wonderful addition to the film and the posters look so colourful thanks to their presence. The fact that they agreed to do the film shows that this generation of actors are very comfortable in their space. There were no cat fights between the girls, as the media often says. Even we feared that there would be some tension with 4 heroines in the film and we were also warned by well-wishers. But, there were no such issues!"
With so many other films releasing alongside GGSR on July 14, how do you see this release rush?
"As an actor, the planning of the release date is not in my hand. Anyway, we (Tamil cinema) aren't competing amongst ourselves. We have to up our game and stand up to films from other industries. All the new releases have to do well to give a facelift to the entire industry." Looking at your career so far, the releases have been really spaced out. Is it is a conscious decision or it so happened?
"I would also love to have a regular flow of releases. But, earlier in my career, things just didn't work out. I couldn't do the films that I wanted to, as there are many factors which have to fall in place for a project to go ahead. Now, I'm thankfully in a good space and I've lined up 4 films. All these are films that I generally would love to do. I sleep and wake up a contented man daily." Your line-up after GGSR - Semma Botha Aagathey, ImaikkaNodigal and a newly announced film with Sam Anton, looks very interesting and varied
"Semma Botha Aagathey has nothing to do with promoting alcoholism and it isn't a 'stoner' film either. It is a film which cannot be slotted in any category or genre. It will offer interesting entertainment to the viewers. ImaikkaNodigal is an action thriller. It was a script narrated to me by director Ajay Gnanamuthueven before Demonte Colony. We've always wanted to do this film and finally it fell in place when both of us got free from our other commitments. Seniors like Nayan madam and Anurag sir are very sorted and comfortable in their space. It is delightful to work with such nice actors.The cop film with Sam Anton is in very early stages and we are in the pre-production phase. I assure you that it won't be the regular cop film. I'll wrap ImaikkaNodigal and get into this film. The audiences will be instantly hooked when they come to theatres to see this film."
Finally, a few words about your late dad, Murali? He must surely be a big inspiration.
"According to me, he was the strongest person in the world and he shall always be my hero. When I decided to get into films, he advised me to not look at his films keenly and just build my own thing. Consciously or sub consciously, I've never followed what my dad did and my kind of films are different from what he did. That said, I keep seeing his films and Idhayam, Iraniyan and PagalNilavu are some of my all-time favourites from dad. And, I also feel remaking his films is not the right thing to do. He was a phenomenal actor in his own right; I'm trying to get there."
Best wishes Atharvaa on all your career endeavours in acting, production and other areas.