Actor Dhanush talks about playing a schoolboy in Raanjhanaa, which marks his debut in Bollywood

Dhanush makes his big Bollywood entry with Raanjhanaa opposite Sonam Kapoor. In a free-wheeling chat, the southern star and the ‘Kolaveri di’ sensation talks about what it was like acting in the film, his first crush, legendary father-in-law Rajinikanth, wife Aishwarya and more. Excerpts:

You are a star in the South. Is Raanjhanaa the first film you were offered?

I got many Bollywood offers before, but I kept saying no. I was in Kolkata when director Aanand Rai called me up for Raanjhanaa. The script touched me. Of the 40-50 scenes he narrated, I could relate to 15-20 scenes. Similar incidents have happened to me, so I could easily relate to them.

Have you followed someone the way you chase Sonam Kapoor in the film?

Yes! I was 16 and the girl I was following desperately was in a different school. She accepted me, but after a year dumped me. However, that was love. Love changes your priority. I usually talk to my mom thrice a day, but when I fell in love, I didn’t even care to talk to her. I told (wife) Aishwarya about this when we were dating, I call it my golden period.

What is Aishwarya’s reaction to your first Hindi film?

She is yet to watch it. But she is excited that I am speaking Hindi.

Was it love at first sight for Aishwarya?

No. Do I look like a guy a girl will fall in love with at first sight?

Can you tell us how you met Aishwarya?

I met her at a screening of my film. I was with my family, and after the screening the theatre owner introduced her as Rajinikanth’s daughter. We exchanged greetings and left. Later, Aishwarya sent me a bouquet complimenting my work. We stayed in touch after that. We married young and are still discovering ourselves. Just like any other couple, we too have our good phases and not-so-good ones. I feel bad that I can’t always be there for my family.

Has your father-in-law Rajinikanth seen the Raanjhanaa promos?

No. He is very busy with his professional commitments. We never discuss work. In fact, I haven’t seen his earlier films.

Has being the son-in-law of a superstar like Rajinikanth been helpful in any way?

It hasn’t done anything. I have always done my own work. It has neither helped me nor affected me.

Do you think people compare the two of you?

My films and method of acting are completely different. There’s no room for comparison. He is an icon. And comparing a 25-film-old actor to an icon is rubbish.

How did you prepare for the role of a schoolboy in Raanjhanaa?

I didn’t make any effort for this role; I just had to remind myself of how I was in my school days. I just shaved; and later grew the moustache back.

You said you refused Bollywood offers earlier. How important is a Bollywood career to you?

I kept rejecting because my hands were full. In the past five years, I have done as many as 10 films, which is quite a lot for me. I just want to be part of good films, whether I make it big in Bollywood doesn’t matter.

You are also part of Aanand Rai’s next project.

We had an idea while we were shooting for Raanjhanaa. We thought we would do it later. We became very close during the shoot of this film. And now we will be doing that film which I will also be co-producing. But to set the record straight, it is not the sequel of Tanu Weds Manu.

Rumour has it that Ranbir Kapoor and you have become friends.

I have read about that in the newspapers. . But we have just spoken over the phone.

You sang ‘Kolaveri Di’ which became a sensation across India. Will that help you gain popularity in Northern India?

No. Only Raanjhanaa will help me.

Bollywood News Service

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