Vijay Sethupathi on maiden collaboration with Mani Ratnam: He demonstrates how huge an art form cinema is

Surendhar MK

June 06, 2018 11:12:40 IST

Vijay Sethupathi, who is currently busy with a flurry of projects in hand at various stages of production, is the most sought-after lead hero in the Tamil film industry for all kinds of producers. From diving into the role of a septuagenarian to playing a mass hero with panache to quietly enacting the role of a transgender in an indie kind of film, Sethupathi has been effortlessly straddling between different projects of late, living up to his 'versatile hero' image.

Vijay Sethupathi. YouTube

Vijay Sethupathi. YouTube

One of his most anticipated films is Mani Ratnam's Chekka Chiavantha Vaanamwhere he reportedly plays the role of a police officer. Talking about working with the auteur for the first time in his career, Sethupathi said in a recent interaction, "Mani Ratnam is an outstanding technician who sincerely respects the craft. He has an immense maturity as a filmmaker. He's someone who has the whole film in his eyes very clearly. When we come up with specific nuances in the performance, he embraces it wholeheartedly. He also encourages it instead of refusing it. He works very passionately like a debutant filmmaker. For people like me who don't have a comprehensive knowledge of cinema, he demonstrates how huge this art form is."

Sethupathi said it has been a terrific experience to witness the master at work. "He sculpts every frame. And each scene is a learning experience. During the narration stage itself, I asked him if he would be open to inputs on set. He explained how a film is a collective effort and that he would always be ready to welcome suggestions," he added.

After starring opposite Nayanthara in Vignesh Shivan's super-hit rom-com Naanum Rowdy Thaan and Tamannaah Bhatia in Seenu Ramasamy's hit village drama Dharmadurai, Sethupathi would next romance Trisha in 96.  Talking about the film, he said, "I received a lot of offers for romance subjects after the success of Naanum Rowdy Thaan. But I wanted to wait for a good story. 96 is a mature love story. It's about love, longing, nostalgia, togetherness and the emotional tension that a couple experiences. Love is the oldest feeling in the world. It was an excellent experience to work with Trisha in this film. She would come to set on time every day. She took complete responsibility to portray her role in a better manner and worked hard as a newcomer would."

In Seethakaathi, helmed by Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom director Balaji Tharaneetharan, Sethupathi is playing the role of a septuagenarian. He has already wrapped up the shooting for the film, which is currently in the post-production stage.

“It takes four hours to put on the make-up and another two to remove it. I was stunned by Vijay’s patience, and all that he can do to get under the skin of a character," Balaji had earlier told Firstposabout the film.

Academy Award-winning make-up artist Kevin Haney, best known for working in Hollywood movies such as Driving Miss Daisy and Planet of the Apes, designed Vijay’s look for the film, which marks Sethupathi's 25th project. The movie, which stars Ramya Nambeesan, Gayathrie and veteran director Mahendran in essential roles, is being produced by Passion Studios.

Sethupathi also has Junga, where he co-stars with Sayyeshaa, Aaranya Kaandam-fame filmmaker Thiagarajan Kumararajan's much-awaited Super Deluxe, and Chiranjeevi's Telugu magnum-opus Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy. 

However, all eyes are currently cast on Sethupathi's role in director Karthik Subbaraj's next untitled movie with superstar Rajinikanth. Sethupathi reportedly plays the villain in the film which is being produced by Sun Pictures. The makers conducted an exclusive photo shoot on Tuesday in the premises of Sun Network in Chennai.

About sharing screen space with Rajinikanth for the first time, Sethupathi had earlier said, "I'm one of the huge fans of Rajini sir's screen presence and his acting. There's a difference between how you see him on screen and how I observe. I would learn some minute details by watching him perform. I would also like to enjoy his acting by witnessing it first hand on sets."

The project will start filming in Uttarakhand's capital city Dehradun in a few days. Anirudh Ravichander has been signed to compose music for the project. National award-winning cinematographer Tirru is on board to crank the camera.

Updated Date: Jun 06, 2018 11:12 AM