Interview With


Nakul starrer Sei finally hits the screens this Friday after being postponed a few times. The agile dancer in a conversation with Jyothsna Bhavanishankar elaborates about the film, his heartache upon its postponement, his journey from 'Boys' and his ever supportive wife Shruti among other things.

Your debut was in Boys in 2003. It has been 15 years in the industry. How do you see yourself; the changes, learning and also the future?

Yes, it has been 15 years as you had mentioned. There have been many changes in this period. When I started out, I was a total novice and had no idea how things were executed. Of course, in 15 years, I have learnt a lot. There were ups and downs; I had faced many challenges; I had been there, done that. But even today, my approach towards work, a character or the story is still the same. I feel as though it is my first day of shoot. In that sense, it is the same. I should say experience has taught me to deal with situations. However, as an actor, I am never satisfied. I always feel the one to come the next day is always the better one. I am constantly learning and it's not like I know everything. There is a lot more to come.

Your take on Sei's postponement. You were very emotional in the press meet

I was pretty hurt and upset. We had just then finished promotions in Kerala and everything was going on in the right track when I received the information that the release is postponed. The theatres that were there for us were not there. It really broke my heart as we have been following all the rules ethically. We waited quite a bit. The film was supposed to release in March and there was strike and we were struggling to get a release. It was very hard. We were upset. Of course, everybody has reasons to feel frustrated. I hope the council can make better rules in future so that new producers can have a chance to fight and cannot be pushed down. I have faith in the Producer's Council and hope for the best. Yes, we have incurred quite a bit of loss. It is disheartening. Of course, one can't live in the past. Future is here, 23rd the film is releasing and I am hoping for the best.

Sei was supposed to release in March. Would the delay have an impact on the storyline? Would it appear dated?

Sei is a commercial family entertainer and is a fun filled film. I don't think it would seem dated. It carries an undertone of social message which is relevant. It has action, drama, romance and all the elements to make it commercially entertaining. You will see me in a role called 'saravedi Saravanan'. Of course, a film releasing in its prime is always a good idea. But these things are not in anybody's control. For example, when I approach my work, I can only promise that I will give it my best. In the end, how the team works, how other things turn up are totally not in my hands. My job is only till I finish dubbing and after that how the execution is done is totally in the hands of the team. At the end when your film releases and who comes and bullies you into going on another date are not in my control. Sei will be an enjoyable film. The trailer was also released and people have liked it. So I hope for the best.

What are the features that you look for in a story to accept it?

My idea of a story is pretty simple. I listen to a narration not as an actor but as a general audience, more like a child who listens to a story. Basic thing is, the story should have a nice screen play. It should be engaging and at the same time, it should have logic. If a story is based on superman or batman, I can understand that it can break logic. Illogical stuff turns me off. Also, I am more of a visual person. When I hear the story, I visualize and think if I would want to watch such a movie. I look at the characterization too. My character should be challenging and fun to do. It should not be baseless and meaningless. It is not like I am looking for critically acclaimed films, or art films or award winning stories. I am only looking to do everything that cinema can offer. I am looking out for good stories and good characters.

As an actor, what do you think is your USP?

I am not sure. I don't want to sound pompous. I want to be a director's actor. I want to be an all rounder. Anything that is asked of me, I can perform and do it with skill. I want to be a skilled technician. As regards my USP, I think you need to ask my directors. Arivazhagan says that my USP is my eyes which have got the rage in them. Some say that I am an amazing dancer while some say I can act well and have a lot of positive energy. I am really not sure what it could be. I think it is persistence.

You are also a singer. Can you tell us something about your singing?

I am a regular singer, not a trained professional one. Singing is just my passion and I love singing. I was lucky to work with people like Rahman sir and got a chance to audition in his studio. I had worked with Harris Jayaraj sir, Yuvan and then Thaman. I feel blessed to have worked with these people and it all started with Shankar sir. It is not in my contract that I must sing a song. If somebody feels I should sing, I sing.

Your wife's contribution in your career

Shruti is my strength, courage and confidence. She has helped me in ways that I couldn't imagine. She has been there through all the highs and lows. She has taken care of me in so many ways, standing there for me in tough situations, being my critic, being my best friend, my wife; she plays many roles in my life. She also manages my work and she is amazing at it. She tells me, "Your job is to go and act, I will take care of the rest. Let me take the tension off your head". She is very supportive. I am blessed to have married someone like Shruti and the family that she comes with. Our family is spread all over the world and we don't get to meet that often. Because of Shruti, we have now such a big family. Before, festivals were just festivals, now it's like a big celebration. I get to experience all these new things which I had never experienced in a very long time. So, in that way, Shruti is like a complete package for me. She means the world to me. She is literally my better half. I am blessed, touch wood!

Social media

Instagram has been a great eye opener as I get to interact with many, connect with them and also entertain them with my stories.

What are your other projects?

I am working in Eriyum Kannadi with Sunaina. It is going to be after a decade that we are coming together for a film. I feel there is a hat trick pending, because our first film together was Kaadhalil Vizhundhen followed by Masilamani. I am really excited. Many people have called me to express their wishes. Yuvan is composing and Sachin Dev is directing this film. It will be a feel good film and is a romantic love story. Also, I am working on an untitled film, the details of which will be announced soon. In TV, I am judging a show on Colors channel, with the legendary Brinda Master. It is called Dance Vs Dance. It will be on air from 24th November. I am also listening to a few scripts.

All the best Nakul!