Suriya on how he embraced grey shades with Kaappaan, and sharing screen space with Mohanlal
Suriya talks about collaborating again with director KV Anand for the third time, and giving marriage tips to his Kaappaan co-stars Arya and Sayyesha.
While interacting with the media, Suriya does not just talk about films. The actor would share a lot of unknown facts about his characterisation so my interactions with him have always been enlightening and memorable.
“I easily get hooked by the success story of people hailing from an ordinary background. Today, filmmakers unearth the secrets behind the successful sportsmen, politicians, and even scientists but our country also got a lot of unsung heroes. Kaappaan talks about them. How many of us know about the Special Protection Group (SPG)? If our film sheds some light on these important officers who are safeguarding the lives of important bureaucrats and politicians, we will be delighted," says Suriya who plays a high-rank SPG officer in the film.
“As my director KV Anand started his career as a photojournalist, the spark for all his films begin with the articles which wouldn’t excite a commoner when reported on newspaper but the same layman would get excited through his films, thanks to the commercial ingredients and grandeur," says Suriya on how Anand gets inspired by real incidents, and packages it as a large-scale mainstream commercial entertainer.
When asked about the research work for his character in the film, Suriya said, “I interacted with top officers from SPG at Manesar near Delhi. Their stories were mind-blowing, and I came to know about their relationship with top political leaders of our country. The unique quality of SPG officers is that they would be always ready to take bullets for their superiors. Any other armed force would first try to counter-attack the enemies but SPG officers' prime duty is to safeguard their masters”.
At the beginning of his career, Suriya refused to act in negative characters but now, he is game for any role. Suriya played a cunning politician in NGK, and his character in Kaappaan also has many layers. “As an actor, I want to explore all kind of roles, and don’t want to keep repeating the same good boy act in my films," he says.
Kaappaan is Suriya’s third collaboration with Anand. When asked the reason behind repeating the combo again, the actor says, “Recently, in a popular poll, audiences said Ayan is their most favorite film. Many people say that I look more energetic in Anand’s films. He is one director who exactly knows how to extract the best from me. He will not be satisfied with an ordinary performance. I also like the research work behind Anand’s films. He met top doctors to know about Siamese twins, and authentically presented my character in Maattraan. For Kaappaan, he went to Prime Minister’s Office, and gathered a lot of facts about the SPG group. Anand is also a master when it comes to handling big-budget films."
The topic slowly moved to Suriya’s working experience with Mohanlal. “See, it’s quite natural to feel the pressure of the presence of a veteran actor on the sets. But the good thing about Mohanlal sir is that he will not put on any extra weight on you. In the first meeting itself, he broke the ice, and made me comfortable. Lal sir and I discussed a few topics, which I would even hesitate to open up to a close friend. After the shoot, Lal sir told me that I can call him anytime, and he is just phone call away. Another unique quality about Lal sir is that you can’t feel the effect of his performance on the sets but on screen, he somehow creates a magic.”, says Suriya.
The actor lauds his Kaappaan co-star Arya for helping the team in the last minute. “Arya’s role was supposed to be done by another actor (Allu Sirish) but for some reasons, he had to opt out of the film. The first day of the shoot was actually a scene featuring Mohanlal and the actor who has just backed out of the film. Anand sir and I immediately called Arya, who boarded the next available flight, and reached London. Arya actually saved us. Not sure whether I would have accepted when a director/actor asked me to play a character without proper narration. Arya blindly believed so there was a huge pressure on us," says the actor.
When asked how he handle failures, Suriya says, “I accept all my films only after reading the script, and believing in the ability of the directors so failures don’t affect me because for me life is an ever learning process."
Suriya says he shares his own experience in life to youngsters so that it would inspire them. "I wrote a book called Ippadikku Suriya, which motivated a lot of youngsters. I'm an introvert, and an average student in the class. With this limited skill set, I achieved a recognisable position in the film industry so I'm sure all the young minds are capable of doing something big in life. In fact, I also shared my marriage life experience to my Kaappaan co-stars Arya and Sayyeshaa (Saigal), who recently got married. Today, youngsters spend crores of money on their marriages but within a few months, they apply for divorce. When I married Jyotika, we were shocked seeing so many divorces within the film industry so we cautiously worked on our marriage life. Now, Arya and Sayyeshaa have been mentioning my marriage advice to them in all their interviews, which is actually embarrassing so I've told them to not repeat it in their future interactions," laughs the actor, signing off.
Kaappaan is all set to release this Friday on 20 September.
“Please remind yourself that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over yet and be careful,” Kamal Haasan tweeted.
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