After a notable debut in Tamil with Anegan, did you expect a six-year hiatus in Kollywood?
I was on the lookout for the right scripts and got busy with a few projects in Hindi and Telugu. But now, I’m keen on being part of more Tamil movies. I really loved Adhik’s narration — I have always wanted to work in a genre like this. In fact, when I signed the film, I didn’t know that Prabhu sir would be playing the lead. When I got to know about it, I was thrilled.
How was it to work with a senior like Prabhudheva?
In Bollywood, he is looked upon as a director and a choreographer. It was great to act along with him; his tips on performing based on different camera angles and other technicalities were quite helpful. There’s a fantasy sequence in the film which has a small dance bit, but it isn’t a full-fledged dance sequence. I was actually scared to dance with him. The incredible dancer he is, I think he will make any dancer look bad on screen.
The film has close to half-a-dozen female leads. Does it ever bother you?
Adhik had clearly told me about the film and the characters in it. As long as I can do justice to my role, I don’t need to be concerned about the screen space of the other artistes in a film. I think gone are those days where people used to feel insecure about their co-artistes’ duration in a movie. Moreover, most of my scenes are with Prabhu sir.
What was challenging about playing your character?
Shooting for the dramatic scenes was quite challenging. I had to scream a lot and had to fight, and these are things I haven’t done before. There were instances where the character is required to go overboard with regard to emoting, so I had to strike a balance between natural acting and overacting.
What are your takeaways from the lockdown?
I shifted to my parents’ house during the lockdown. I loved helping my dad, who is a doctor. Like many others, the experience changed me as well. It has made me a simpler person. It has helped me to take life as it comes without any expectations. I no longer believe in great plans for the future. We need to take one step at a time.
Be it fuel price hike or farmers’ protests or attacks on women… you are quite vocal about political and social issues. At a time when many choose to remain silent, aren’t you concerned about the consequences while expressing opinions on various things?
There are people who don’t want to react to unjust things that are happening around us, and that’s their personal stand. But I react whenever I feel something isn’t right, and to react, a person should be knowledgeable about social and political happenings. I’m careful about what I tweet. I ensure that my opinions don’t come across as rude or unnecessarily harsh. Everyone has the right to express their opinion and I’m happy to do it cautiously.
The restrictions on OTT platforms have created quite a stir. A series which you were part of, too, came under the scanner. What do you think of the new regulations imposed by the government?
I think the restrictions will create problems in getting more people to make content in India and I’m not happy about it. Cinema is an art and when you start imposing restrictions, we won’t be able to showcase many things to the global audience. We have great writers, directors and actors, but such restrictions will stop us from making great content.
Do you think people are in a mindset to return to theatres?
No, I don’t. People are still scared and we can’t blame them. But life has to go on; it’s just that we have to be careful. I have been hearing that movie halls are rocking in Chennai and I hope other cities, too, join the list.