Vijay Sethupathi on Sindhubaadh, working on multiple projects, and why he's not a 'perfect' actor
Vijay Sethupathi says the process of shifting between two characters is not as tedious as projected.
“People are now talking about me doing multiple films simultaneously but if we look at the past, there were some legendary actors who did more number of films than me in those days without any technological advancements. I don’t consider this strategy of mine a huge achievement. The process is quite natural. When it comes to films, all my directors focus on one film at a time, so they take care of my performance. Moreover, the process of shifting between two characters is not as tedious as projected,” says Sethupathi.
Sindhubaadh’s director Arun Kumar had previously worked with Sethupathi in Pannaiyarum Padminiyum and Sethupathi. “The only difference between Arun and other members of my family is that I have not mentioned his name in my will. What I really like about Arun is that he would listen to our ideas and aesthetically present it on screen. For example, the scene where I fell down at my wife’s feet in Sethupathi was originally placed in the backdrop of the bedroom but I felt that it would be more appealing if it was changed to the kitchen. Arun understood my point of view and aesthetically presented it to the audiences. After working with him in two films, I suggested his name to other heroes but they thought that there was some rift between him and me. So there was no other option; we are now ready with our third film Sindhubaadh,” says the actor.
In Sindhubaadh, Sethupathi shares screen space with his son Surya but they play partners in crime. Both will be seen as petty thieves in a small town. “It was Arun’s idea to cast Surya who already played my younger version in Naanum Rowdy Dhaan. When Vignesh ShivN (director of Naanum Rowdy Dhaan) wanted Surya to play the particular role, I asked my son to take the final call but as his dad, I told him the advantages and disadvantages of being an actor. Surya considers Arun his uncle but he wasn’t comfortable playing a full-fledged role. As Arun shares a good rapport with Surya, I was the taskmaster on the sets. I scolded Surya in several scenes where he failed to show his work respect,” he explains.
Now, Sethupathi’s daughter also plays a cameo in his commercial action entertainer Sanga Tamizhan. “As a father, I don’t want to be partial towards one child. When I noticed that my daughter was upset with her brother’s exposure, I asked my director to give her a small cameo in Sanga Tamizhan. She plays one of the five small kids in a family."
Vijay also says maintains he is not a perfect actor. “I would not agree if someone called me as a perfect actor but I’m trying hard to become one with the experience I gain from each film. It’s easy to listen to what the director says and perform in front of the camera. But what I’m trying to do is perform in such a way that the audiences should enjoy watching me in that particular scene. Whatever I’m doing now is the combination of many senior actors in the industry,” says Sethupathi.
Before signing off, he also briefly narrates the story of Sindhubaadh. “Within 36 hours, I should find my newly married wife in an unknown land. I don’t know anyone there and the language is totally alien to me. But my wife believes that I will definitely rescue her. I also have a teenage professional partner (Surya Sethupathi) and my unconditional love for my wife as my two companions in the journey,” says the actor who also has Chiranjeevi’s magnum opus Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy, Maamanithan, Sanga Tamizhan, Laabam, Marconi Mithai, and Kadaisi Vivasayi in the pipeline.
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