How it happened

I was born and brought up in Theni-Periyakulam. I used to watch at least 400 films a year as I was interested in cinema from a young age. After studying engineering in Bangalore, I came to Chennai. I joined Sundar C. as an assistant director and worked with him on nearly 15 films. We wrote a story in a short span of one week, and discussed the line with actor Ajith Kumar. He was not happy with it, but I promised him it would be a hit. Ajith told me he would act in a film directed by me if the story we had discussed proved to be a hit and that if it didn't, I shouldn't see him again. The film Unnai Thedi became a hit and at the 100th day function, Ajith told me to approach Nic Arts Chakravarthy, who offered me a film to direct and that was Red starring Ajith. My first acting assignment came from director Bala who made me play a role in his Nan Kadavul, but it was Rasu Madhuravan's Mayandi Kudumbathar which proved to be a big break for me.

How it felt

On the day of its release, when I went to watch the film, a young boy after getting the ticket dashed against a glass door and hurt himself. I administered first aid to him and hence missed seeing my name on the big screen. Then I went to Udhayam theatre to see the film. The audience there didn't know I was the director. So I got to know what they really felt about the film — it was heartening to hear their positive comments. As for acting, people appreciated my performance in Mayandi Kudumbathar.

How life changed

I followed up Red with Mayaavi. I am now busy with acting. I have a dozen films on hand which includes Thoonga Nagaram, Muthukku Muthaga and Nandi. As far as direction is concerned, I plan to take it up only next year.