Naachiyar actor GV Prakash on working with Jyothika: 'She is one of the most humble artists I've worked with'
Actor-composer GV Prakash said completely transformed his face for his role in Naachiyar to an extent that nobody recognised him on first day of shoot.
Actor-music composer GV Prakash Kumar made his acting debut in a full length role with 2015 horror comedy Darling which went on to click at the box office, cementing his position as a hero in the industry. His second film, Trisha Illana Nayanthara, an adult comedy about first love and losing virginity, was a rage among youngsters. His subsequent films such as Pencil, Ennaku Innoru Peru Irukku, Kadavul Irukan Kumaru and Bruce Lee, despite mixed response at the ticket window, created a certain image for him among the youth.
Prakash is all set to shatter that image with the National Award-winning filmmaker Bala’s forthcoming Tamil thriller Naachiyar, which also stars Jyothika as a hot-headed, foul-mouthed cop. Slated to the hit the screens this Friday on 16 February, the film features him in the role of a slum dweller who sells fruits for a living. In an exclusive chat with Firstpost, Prakash opens up on the experience of working in the film in a role that is unlike anything he has played in his career so far and working alongside Jyothika, whom he considers one of his best co-stars yet.
When Prakash received a call from director Bala early last year, little did he expect it to be an acting offer. “When I received the call, I thought it was about the music for his film. I was quite surprised when he told me he wanted to cast me in his film. I was initially scared because the look he wanted me to sport for the film would not allow me shoot for any other film for at least six to seven months. At that time, I had a few commitments and I told Bala sir that I wasn’t sure if I can take out time for his project. He told me he wanted just 38 days and asked when I will have the dates. I told him I can shoot in April (2017) so he went ahead shot most of Jyothika’s portion and waited for me to join in April. Since he had so much faith in me, I wanted to take up the offer,” he said.
The role required Prakash to undergo a drastic image makeover. “I play a young boy. Bala sir wanted me to have a clean shaven look. I had to look three shades darker than my original self. Popular make-up artist Pattanam Rasheed from Kerala was brought on board. My hair’s colour had to be changed to reddish brown. My eyes had to look red through most portion of the film so I had put some seeds in my eyes to make them look red. The process was very painful but the overall experience was wonderful. Bala sir is very particular about the minutest of expression. He wouldn’t even want an extra roll of the eyeball. He knows what he wants from his actors.”
On the first day of the set, nobody recognized Prakash in his look. “It was really funny. When I walked up on the set for shoot, nobody realized it was me. That’s how different I looked and all credit to Bala sir for visualizing me in a totally different avatar.”
Talking about the experience of working with the filmmaker who is known to be a taskmaster and even lose his cool with his actors, Prakash said, “He’s definitely a taskmaster. But I didn’t have any issues working with him because I have composed music for him and I know about his mood and the kind of commitment he expects. It was amazing to work with him. I got to learn so much. He taught me how to get under the skin of a character which was a very invigorating experience. He’s been a great teacher.”
Given his boyish looks, he is the most suitable for his role. Asked if there were any other reasons which convinced Bala to cast him, Prakash said, “Bala sir would approach any actor only if he's convinced about the choice in the first place. He has to be sure in his mind and only then would he approach any actor. He felt I’d be apt for this role and I think especially after shooting and seeing rushes of my portion, audiences would agree with his choice when they watch the film.”
On sharing screen space with Jyothika, with whom he has collaborated for the first time, Prakash said, “She’s one of the most down-to-earth artists I’ve come across. She applauds even for a junior artist. She’s very encouraging and motivating. She’s someone who transfers a lot of positive energy to everybody around her.”
Currently shooting for cinematographer-filmmaker Rajiv Menon’s Sarvam Thaala Mayam, a musical drama, Prakash is equally excited about this project. “We’ve been travelling a lot for the shoot. From Bangladesh to Kashmir to Rajasthan, it’s been so much fun working on this film.”
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