I could not predict the twists and turns in the scenes and whatever I had envisaged, had turned wrong. The film would certainly give the audience a different feel and I am not saying this because I am in it. It is the truth.
The producer Axess Film Factory also kept calling me for my approval and I was even wondering about it. But, into the story, I realized that all the characters in the film are equally important and I was best suited for my role.
You say, there are many characters and did you not feel that you might be overshadowed in the film?
No. In many of my films, this has been the case. If you take Mounaguru, Uma Riyaz Khan and John Vijay's portions had a better screen space than mine. In Vamsam, in the second half, Kishore who played my dad's character had occupied twenty minutes of screen time. In Naalu Policeum Nalla Irundha Oorum, Singam Puli annan had more screen duration. I can say the same thing for Oru Kanniyum Moonu Kalavaanigalum also. But these are the requisites of the story and people are anyway going to remember you for your character if it is etched well. I would rather be in a good film that had less of me than in a bad film that has only me.
Tell us about director Maran
Maran is someone who has superb clarity about what he wants and how he is going to achieve it. He is very accommodative of everyone. This is a very important quality. On the 1st day of shoot, at Cloud Nine Hospital, I was looking for him at the director's chair behind the camera and he was not there. Even on subsequent days, he was not to be seen. Later I realized he was a little shy but is keen to get things completed in his style.
Are you satisfied with the way Maran's narration had been translated visually?
Yes, of course. You will realize this when you see the film. It will keep you engaged and also guessing as to what is going to happen next.
Tell us about your co-stars
In IAK, I got an opportunity to work with such experienced people. The cast boasts of such talents and experience. Anand Raj sir is someone who has been acting even before I was born. John Vijay sir and Aadukalam Naren sir are all such experienced artists in the industry that I got to learn a lot from them. Lakshmy Ramakrishnan ma'am has done a pivotal role and she was very supportive. IAK has Vidya Pradeep, Chaya Singh and Suja Varunee who have done their parts very well. I was in awe of Mahima, who used to be joyful and light hearted till the camera begins rolling and the moment it starts, she brings out the intensity of the character. It was all a wonderful experience, to sum it.
You have a reputation of choosing your films. Do you think, this would have an effect on your career?
No. I am choosy because I want to be part of a good script and I am not in a hurry. My first film Vamsam was released on the 13th of August in 2010 and till now, I have done 10 films, including IAK. So, this is an average of 1.05 films per year. But I am happy. I am very particular to be seen in a quality film. Quantity is not the criterion. Down the line, if I had to look back at my career, I want to be pleased with it for my association and involvement with good scripts. I also get suggestions that I should have two releases an year but I am convinced that it will be only good ones.
What is the status on Pugazhendi Enum Naan?
Fifty percent of the film shoot is over. We did not shoot for the past two months because of the strike. We would soon be starting the procedure. Director Mahendran sir is there in the film and needless to say, the learning curves, I am subjected to. We are having a good time at the shoot. Karu Palaniappan sir has written some powerful dialogues. There is also RK Suresh. In all probability the film would hit the screens before this year end.
Have you signed any other project?
No, not yet. I am waiting for the result of these projects.
Recently, a video of your son playing with your granddad Karunanidhi, went viral. Can you tell us something about it?
Sometimes, I am jealous of my son Magizhan as he gets to spend time with my grandfather more than what I did during my growing up years. At that time, he was so busy. Every evening, Magizhan will promptly be ready to go, play with my thatha. It is certainly a nice and happy feeling.
How is your granddad now?
He is much better and recovering.
Wishing Arulnithi and his team of IAK the very best!