"I don't want
to get into the
number games"


Siva karthikeyan has further established his position in Kollywood after the grand opening of Velaikkaran. He is busy shooting for his 3rd film with director Ponram. Here he spares some time for a detailed chat with Moviecrow's Kaushik LM,

Unlike a few years back, most of your films now take a long time to complete. Do you miss doing those 'quickies'?

"The content that I pick up needs that much time. It's a conscious decision. When I was doing Remo, I definitely couldn't have done any other film due to my makeover and weight loss. And, the Malaysia schedule of Velaikkaran took about a month's time to shoot though its final footage in the film is just about 15 to 20 mins.In Velaikkaran's slum set, the team even created a 'koovam' by mixing black powder in the water. They used to refill water periodically whenever it went down. It was a fan moment for me while seeing all this. One can create anything in cinema, provided there is enough time.

In my upcoming film with Ponram, there will be a lot of action sequences, which generally take a lot of time to shoot. We took about 8 to 9 days just to shoot a fight sequence in Kutralam. I always feel that safety precautions are a must while doing stunts; people come into a unit with happy vibes which have to be maintained right through the entire process. This film will take about 120 days to complete and we'll be shooting all the crucial episodes from hereon in Tenkasi. Our 3rd outing together will not just be on a bigger scale, we also want to surprise the audience with something unexpected. Only then will we be able to do our 4th film together too!

In the coming year, I'll be shooting for two films simultaneously (with directors Ravi kumar and Vignesh Shivn). A few years back, I shot for Kedi Billa Killadi Ranga and Ethir Neechal simultaneously as the team's requirements were like that."

How do you look back at your extraordinary run? You are already seen as one among the Top 4 heroes in Tamil

"More than the pre-release business of my films, I look more at what they collect. I don't want any of these spots. All the top commercial stars have slogged so hard to get to the top. They've laid the path for actors like me to follow. I've grown up seeing all their films. I'm not saying this out of modesty but I just don't want to get into the number games."

Vijay Sethupathi's graph has soared up very quickly in 2017. Fans see him as your closest competitor. Your comments on this?

"It's a good thing that he has grown so big but I've never seen him as a competitor. He chooses a variety of films and his choices will be a benchmark for other actors in the years to come.I admire his acting skills and box-office growth, but if I start seeing him as a competitor, I'll only get worried needlessly. For Velaikkaran, Remo is my only competition. I compete with myself!"

Unlike Vishal and Karthi, you don't seem to be too involved in the NadigarSangam, Producers Council and all that politics

"I don't understand that very much and that's why I don't get into it. I don't follow the goings-on, daily. I don't have any friends there and productive work isn't possible without a good rapport with other members. I feel it is the right time for me to focus only on films. Even when I'm playing tennis ball cricket, I'm very careful to not dive around needlessly. Shooting is just too important!"

What's your take on social media negativity? A leading actor like STR has completely shut himself off from social media due to all the trolls and hatred

"Such negativity and trolls have become a part and parcel of sports, politics and cinema mainly. Everyone has to face it and cross it. I don't react to negativity, I don't block people. At the same time, I can't totally ignore it either. I read the positive stuff and get motivated by my fans' love and support."

Has your little daughter Aaradhana started seeing films?

"She is very much into cinema. Just by seeing the 'Daily Thanthi' ads, she identifies all the heroes and heroines. She hasn't started reading yet but can recognize actors by seeing their pictures. My kid will be like me only right? (laughs)."

Will you ever get into the zone of 'dark' films like Arjun Reddy, Vikram Vedha, Mankatha?

"I just saw the first scene in Arjun Reddy. I'm sure I can never do such films. And, no one but Ajith sir could've done Mankatha. The way he holds that interval block speaks enough! I'll just admire such daring films. Also, directors won't think of me for those kinds of films. It's tough to hold a positive image and build the audience's trust that I'll convey only positive things in my films. I'll always respect my audience base and their expectations."

What happened to the singer in you? You didn't sing in Remo and Velaikkaran...

"The songs that I sing should be like jolly rhymes. I'm not a trained singer and stay in my comfort zones. I may sing in the Ponram film. There was no scope for me to sing in Remo and Velaikkaran. It's not in my hands (laughs)."


You are a close friend of Anirudh. His critics feel that he is singing far too many songs in his films. What's your take on this?

"The rough track that he delivers in his voice is that good. All of us in the team will invariably like it, thanks to the energy and passion in his rendition. And, we demand him to sing the final version too. He actually wants to give space for other singers and explore their talents.It's more like others wanting him to sing because he gives that something extra to every song (even for other composers). Also, he does only a limited number of films and that's why maybe he sings a couple of songs atleast, in each of his films."

Your long-time friend Arunraja Kamaraj is turning a director in a film based on women's cricket. You must be feeling proud right?

"Yes, I'm waiting to celebrate it with our gang of friends; it'll be a big moment for us. It's an inspiring story on women's cricket. I was also part of some of the discussions. I'm also ready to do a cameo in this film, provided it doesn't dilute the core story and the lead character's journey."