Vidharth is known for associating himself with arty/content rich films. Is this a planned one?
It surely is a planned move. After Myna, I was doing many films but sadly they did not do well. It is not that I did not like them; in fact I liked all those scripts and then only accepted them. But somehow those films did not click well.
Aal is one film where I paid extra care on the script. Although it attracted attention, it did not do well commercially. Then came Kaadu which was a different film. That's when my brother started his production venture and we did Kutramae Dhandanai. We chose films which gave an identity to me like Kidayin Karunai Manu, Kurangu Bommai, Aayiram Porkaasugal or Kaatrin Mozhi.
Always, an actor will try to get himself an identity. In that sense, when I was searching for my identity, I realized it is going to be my films. Films with a strong storyline are the ones that transcend time and stay on in people's mind forever. I am not immortal but my films would be. A film may do well and the actors will be celebrated. The next one may not and the actors will be forgotten. It is a normal occurrence. No one is to be blamed. Therefore, story is important and I am clear on it. It is just not enough if there is a brilliant story, but it should be made into a good film too. I might choose good script but it is not necessary that all of them would click; there could be some which may not do well as everything is not in our control. It rests with the director. And now I am focusing on these elements. These films have given me an identity. I am not a very successful hero. But I do stand out, which gives me happiness.
Koothu-P-Pattarai Na Muthuswamy
People who have been associated with Muthuswamy sir would always attribute him to their name and fame. But to me, in addition to that, he has given something that is very significant. Ezhuthu Arivithavan Iraivan Aavan. As Ramesh, I know how I was. Muthuswamy sir was the one who transformed me to what I am today. If there is a place above maatha, pitha, guru and deivam, Muthuswamy sir occupies that slot for me. Whatever I say now, it can never encompass what Muthuswamy sir is to me. Words can never completely communicate what he has done to me or what he is to me. He is my torchbearer. Whatever I am today, the way I talk or the way I think or the way I live, it has its origins from Muthuswamy sir only.
Your journey into filmdom till now- how do you see it? Are you happy with it or do you feel you deserve a better place here?
After Myna, when there was a lull in my career, many of them have wondered why it is so. But somehow, I don't see it that way. Firstly I don't understand the yardsticks for measuring success.
In Koothu-P-Pattarai, an extraordinarily talented actor who all of us used to be in awe, did not have any film opportunities and is staging plays in his village. Do you think he is a failure? No! He is in the area where he is passionate about. That is important. How many of us get that opportunity to be in the field that we like? We should not compare ourselves with anyone. Everybody's journey is different and one needs to travel in that path.
Even if I run away from film industry, I would somewhere be staging plays or acting in plays or writing plays. But I would be in the same field, in some place in this art form. I don't want to slot myself within the common definition of success and failure. Who do you want to show your success to? To the world? To your family? Or to yourself? Satisfaction is important in what we do. I will always be happy when I am myself and live MY life.
You have worked with Jyothika in Magalir Mattum (cameo) and now in Kaatrin Mozhi. How do you see her as a performer and a co-artist?
We all know that people are fond of Jyothika ma'am. My mom and my wife also like her a lot. So, she is extra special to me. Therefore, when Magalir Mattum came, I did that cameo. At that time, we just used to exchange pleasantries. I had not taken a single picture with her then.
However during Kaatrin Mozhi, it was a different scenario. I was a little scared when I came into the film. That is the truth. I have never felt scared in any film usually. Besides being an established actress, she comes from a family of popular and talented actors. These things were working on my mind. But Jyothika ma'am made me feel very comfortable. At the risk of sounding cliched I have to state that she is the humblest person I have ever come across. She is down to earth and is an excellent human being. She is also very serious about her work. It is very evident from the scripts that she chooses how much she loves her profession.
If people say I have acted well in Kaatrin Mozhi, it is because of Jyo madam's support only. We all know she is a terrific performer. But in this film, she has done beyond that. She has done an excellent job. This will be a big break for her. I feel a little shy to praise her but it is the truth.
Kaatrin Mozhi is a woman centric film. Did you have any apprehensions accepting the film?
Yes, many people had raised this question. But to me, what I am going to bring to table is more important than anything else. I am keen to be in a good film and not worried about my screen time or presence. It is important how I fit myself into a film. I am very happy to adapt myself into a woman centric film like Kaatrin Mozhi which is family oriented. When a film is woman centric, it is sure to have a good storyline. I consider this as a stepping stone that people would consider me for such films.
Did you see the original Tumhari Sulu? How have you approached your role?
Yes, I had seen the film. I like Manav Kaul who played Vidya Balan's husband in Tumhari Sulu. He is also a theatre artist like me. I saw the film mainly to get a feel about my role. I would have done it even without seeing it. Radha Mohan has added many layers and strengthened my role in Kaatrin Mozhi. He has made that character a complete one. You will find emotions which are not there in the Hindi version. My character will appear ordinary at a superficial level but it is not so. The story is being said from a wife's point of view but there should be a balance too. Radha Mohan brought all these aspects out. We finished the film in 38 days. Almost all of us took only a couple of takes. It was good working in Kaatrin Mozhi.
Jyothika had mentioned during the recent press meet that she was very comfortable working with you, after Ajith, Suriya and Madhavan. Your take.
I am very pleased to hear that. When someone says they are happy to be working with you, it feels good. To me, it indicates that I have done my work correctly and diligently. I view her comment as a validation of that.