Atharvaa on Semma Botha Aagathey, turning producer and working with Anurag Kashyap, Nayanthara

Haricharan Pudipeddi

June 27, 2018 14:05:17 IST

With nearly half a dozen projects currently in his kitty, Atharvaa is one of the busiest actors in Tamil cinema.  Despite being so busy and working on multiple projects, he hasn’t had a release in nearly a year. As he gears up for this week’s release of Tamil action comedy Semma Botha Aagathey, which also marks his debut as a producer, he opens up in an exclusive chat with Firstpost about the busiest phase of his career, donning the producer’s hat and sharing screen space with Nayanthara and filmmaker Anurag Kashyap.

Atharvaa in Semma Botha Aagathey. Image via Facebook

Atharvaa in Semma Botha Aagathey. Image via Facebook

Rumours that indicated that the delay in the release of Atharvaa’s films is due to him turning producer were put to rest as he says there’s absolutely no truth in these reports. “People need to understand that making a film is a lot of team work. It’s true that I’ve signed 5-6 films in the last few months and they were all delayed for various reasons. Some of the most common reasons have been demonetisation and the industry strike. I was juggling projects, and I had to distribute time and ensure the work was getting completed on each project. The delay has nothing to do with me turning producer because I’m only a producer when I’m sitting in my office. When I come out to shoot, I hand over the production responsibilities to my team. I realised if I start taking the pressure of production, I can’t concentrate on acting.”

It’s been one hell of a ride for Atharvaa in his journey as a producer. “We made the film like we planned. We completed the shooting in six months and we were ready for release. Unfortunately, the company that had initially bought the theatrical rights backed out for various reasons. Therefore, we had to wait to find another buyer. Meanwhile, there was strike in the industry and we also had to look for suitable date for release. I’ve always wondered why producers complain about having a tough time in getting their films out. This experience made me realize the challenges of a producer.”

Sema Botha Aagathey marks Atharvaa’s reunion with director Badri Venkatesh, who directed his first film Baana Kaathadi. Talking about the film, he said it’s an out-and-out popcorn entertainer that’s packed with an important message. The film’s title literally translates to "Don’t Get Too High" in English. Atharvaa clarified the film doesn’t endorse drinking or smoking. “The story follows events after a night of excessive drinking. In no way, we’re endorsing drinking. In fact, our intention is to convey the consequences one has to face when you do anything in excess. A lot of people take stupid decisions when they’re high and face severe consequences.”

Atharvaa, Nayanthara and Anurag Kashyap in a first look image of Imaikaa Nodigal. Image via Twitter

Atharvaa, Nayanthara and Anurag Kashyap in a first look image of Imaikaa Nodigal. Image via Twitter

Atharvaa’s next release will be upcoming Tamil thriller Imaikaa Nodigal, which also stars Nayanthara and Anurag Kashyap. The film marks Anurag’s acting debut in Tamil. Talking about sharing space with the Gangs of Wasseypur filmmaker, Atharvaa said: “Anurag as a director is way beyond our reach. As a co-star, he's so chilled out and amazing to work with. One thing that I learnt from him is that he really enjoys making movies which is what makes him one of the best filmmakers of our times.” If the industry grapevine is anything to go by, Atharvaa plays Nayanthara’s brother in the film. “Working with Nayanthara has been a pleasure. She's such a talented actor and she’s level-headed. Despite being busy with a bunch of movies, she takes effort to make every character stand out. No wonder she's called lady superstar.”

In upcoming Tamil action-thriller 100, Atharvaa dons khaki for the first time. Excited about playing a cop, he said: “After I did Eetti, a lot of filmmakers who were impressed with my athletic look approached me with police-based scripts. But these weren’t the kind of cop films I wanted to do. It’s been my long-time desire to do a cop film and when Sam Anton brought the script of 100, I jumped at the opportunity. It’s a very stylish cop film with a slightly out-of-the-box presentation.”

Atharvaa wants to continue his journey as a producer. “I may not necessarily produce films. But, I want to establish my production house. We are looking at content for digital platforms but it’s too early to even discuss.”

Updated Date: Jun 27, 2018 14:10 PM