Vijay Antony on Thimiru Pudichavan: I choose stories that compensate for my limited acting skills
Vijay Antony talks about donning the khaki for the first time in Thimiru Pudichavan, and why he does not believe in maintaining an image.
Actor-composer-editor Vijay Antony, whose latest release Thimiru Pudichavan hit the screens on Friday, has very successfully carved a niche – with his share of highs and lows - in a very short span of time, thanks to his unique choice of scripts. In this exclusive chat with Firstpost, he opens up about his journey as an actor with limited skills, the experience of playing a cop for the first time in his career in Thimiru Pudichavan, and why he does not like to maintain an image.
While most current generation actors are obsessed with building their image which most of the times, reflects in their choice of scripts, Vijay rather believes in delivering good content. “I believe audiences who come to watch my films expect nothing but good story. Going by the reception so far for my films, they don’t really care how I look on screen. Therefore, I don’t really believe in the concept building an image and it applies to my roles as well. When director Ganeshaa approached me with the script of Thimiru Pudichavan, he told me I should consider the film because I haven’t done a cop story. But I was very clear that I’ll only do the film if I like the story. I never choose a character just because I haven’t played it before. It’s only after I was convinced with the story did I give my nod. I can do back-to-back cop stories if I’m really impressed with the story.”
How does he decide if a particular story will work or appeal to everybody? “I always insist upon listening to the whole story. I don’t encourage directors who pitch one line story and then plan on developing the idea while making the film. I become the viewer when I listen to the story. I come from a very small town and I prefer stories that appeal to the masses as I believe the reach of such films is far and wide. When I heard the story of Thimiru Pudichavan, it made me empathise with my character and I felt it’d work with the audiences.”
In spite of choosing scripts with much care, Vijay says there are many reasons why his last few films didn’t work. “There are a lot of factors that can affect a film’s run. It’s not just about content anymore as audiences have options to choose from when it comes to entertainment. The timing of release is also very crucial. My film India Pakistan, for instance, couldn’t draw audiences despite opening to good reports because it released alongside Kanchana 2, which worked big time with the masses.”
Quite aware of his space in the highly competitive market, Vijay does not shy away from admitting that he has limited acting skills. “That’s why I rely on good story. I try and pick scripts that will overshadow my inability to act. It has never bothered me because I focus on delivering good content and that’s why audiences don’t have a problem with the way I act. I know my limitations as an actor and I keep that in mind while acting,” he said.
Vijay’s films are synonymous with social issues. He clarifies that he is not as inclined to such scripts, but they come to him. “After Pichaikkaran, films with social message come to me. Directors approach me with such stories as they feel it’d suit my image. Every time I listen to a director telling me that I play a character who fights for a particular cause, I feel like asking why I can’t play someone who doesn’t do all this. I want to try my hands at comedy and romance, do a lighthearted film.”
Talking about the experience of donning khaki for the first time, he said, “When most heroes play a cop in mainstream cinema, it’s a step up for them when it comes to playing to the gallery. I haven’t played a heroic cop in the film. Instead, I played a public-friendly cop and the way my character is portrayed will be appreciated by audiences, in my opinion.”
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