Suriya will once again play cop in Singam, all set to release next week. The actor tells sudhish kamath what drives his decisions
When Vaaranam Aayiram won a National Award for best Tamil film, I sent him a text saying this was reason enough to continue doing the other kind of cinema. K. S. Ravikumar's unabashedly commercial Aadhavan post Ayan, had many of his fans wondering if Suriya had crossed over to the dark side of formula films.
“Sure I had my lesson too,” Suriya then messaged back. “Do have a lot more responsibility now. Will be more selective.” As Singam is all set to release in the end of May, we talk about what drives his decisions.
“Hari has already assured his fans decent films. Aaru and Vel were both successes. When I was in San Francisco shooting for Vaaranam Aayiram, I thought only people in the villages watch those films. So I was surprised when I met people there who said they had seen Vel and Aaru. I found it weird because I thought they would like only films such as Kaakha Kaakha.”
Singam is not a village-based film, he clarifies. So how is the cop in Singam different from the one in Kaakha Kaakha?
“Duraisingam is not just about the cop, it's about where he started from, what his culture is, why he came to the city and his attachment to his roots. We were shooting in Theri near Thoothukudi when we came across a temple festival and there were many Landcruisers, BMWs and even a Bentley parked outside. People from the city had come there to pray. They stayed for two weeks, connected with their relatives, brought food for the villagers… I found it very touching. We moved to the city and hardly go back to the village. Hari made me want to go back to my village and meet my grandmother.”
Suriya also comes to the director's defence saying: “Hari never moves too far away from logic. The song picturisations with Anushka are very good and should draw city audiences too.”
“This film will surpass the collections from all my previous films,” he declares.
Striving for balance
“We can't be too urban. A lot of people are from the middle-income group… these people need a different kind of entertainment… I am not saying any film with six songs and fights will work. Whether it is for the rural or the urban market, there must be a strong storyline, a powerful character and situation not seen before.”
“I want to maintain this balance. I shot for 30 days with RGV for Rakthacharitra (Ratthacharithram in Tamil) and now I'm moving on to Murugadoss for Ezhaam Arivu.”
Suriya shot in three different languages for Rakthacharitra. “I first did it in Tamil so that I could get the emotion and lines right and then, I would do it in Hindi and then in Telugu. We shot each scene thrice. I am able to manage Hindi.”
Ram Gopal Varma was all praise for Suriya's commitment to getting in shape for an action sequence. “He wanted me to take my shirt off. So I asked him for a little time and worked on getting more definition, a lean mean look. Not exactly a six pack. It's a hi-intensity action film, a complete men's film as RGV calls it.”
On the home front, Suriya and Jyotika are expecting another baby in June. “Before delivery, I will be in Chennai. Look forward to spending more time with Jo and the babies.”
He's a proud brother too. “I am super happy about Karthi, I like him and his movies too. He'll be playing roles much younger than mine, so no competition,” he laughs.